How much is hiring a REALTOR going to cost me? And then, there are tons of subsequent questions: when is the money due? What if I don't have the money? Is it part of my down
But I Found my home ON MY OWN.
When I started selling real estate 16 years ago, I physically found my clients their homes. Those were the beloved DAYS of DIAL UP internet. If you are young enough that "Dial Up internet" is a history lesson, count yourself lucky. Real estate websites were weak, and Zillow didn't exist as we know it today. Homes were advertised in the classifieds like this:
4 bdrm, 2ba w/FROG on .27acres. TLH. Call The Clever Ppl.
Good luck to you, figuring out what THAT meant. The purpose of an agent at that time was TRULY to find YOU a home because short of outdated magazine ads and the weekly classifieds, there was no other alternative for a home search. OH, and your agent also had to SHOW you homes because that was before Tom-Tom and GPS were a thing so buyers legitimately didn't know WHERE houses were.
Today, the internet and the existence of big real estate websites with "alert" features makes it super easy for buyers to vet out houses online, and drill down on the finest details (i.e. how far away a house is from work, nearby shopping and gyms and a zoom-in feature that let you see if the shiplap is tongue and groove or flush joint). So, the real question is this: IF YOU CAN FIND YOUR HOME FAST AND ON YOUR OWN, WHY DO YOU EVEN NEED A REAL ESTATE AGENT?
That's a fair question and honestly, if you're not asking yourself that, you need to be.
Hollywood portrays real estate agents as fancy-dressed-door-unlockers. They drive around in their flashy SUV's, talking on speakerphone while they verbally get people to accept less-than-list-price offers.
If THAT was the true picture of an agent, you WOULDN'T need one to buy or sell a home. YOU could play a real estate agent on TV and in real life. However, the truth is that the role of an agent has evolved and become more important than ever. Hear me out:
Would you commit to a medical procedure after only googling blogs and watching YouTube videos?
Would you let a doctor cut you open, if your only encounter with him were through his online profile?
Would you sign a medical consent form if you were only able to google an explanation of what the form meant?
If you were diagnosed with a terminal illness, would you only trust YOUR opinion that you developed through your online research?
NO WAY. Why? Because when things are important, we want the guidance of an EXPERT. We know better than to trust our online research as the sole source of "counsel" before making a huge decision. So why would it be any different for your real esate transaction?
The real estate market changes EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. So unless you are 100% immersed into the industry, there's is a 100% chance that you will lack all of the knowledge you need to make the wisest decision.
Are you an FBI Hostage Negotiator? If the answer is YES, then there's a good change you will be able to handle your negotiations just fine. But if your full time profession is anything else, I can guarantee that you lack at least SOME of the skills necessary to achieve the best results.
Do you have TOTAL flexibility with your day time schedule? Are you able to stop what you're doing on a whim to respond to appraisers? Inspectors? Contractors? Lenders? Attorneys? There are so many moving parts, and the more people involved, the greater the demand for time and attention. Scheduling, while that may seem like a simple thing is challenging, when there are multiple vendors involved, who are running ahead or running late or who need to access the home or the transaction based upon THEIR avialability, not YOURS.
Do you have money you can throw away? Better question: do you have so much money that you WANT to throw it away? With contractors, lenders and attorneys, money is flowing throughout the transaction, and in nearly every sale, there's a mistake on the financials. Having a master person, who knows WHAT to look for and how to manage timely corrections is certain to protect your investment.
So do you need a real estate agent to FIND your home? While the most skilled agents ARE gifted at understanding their client's unspoken needs and guiding them to the best home, the reality is that a buyer can likely nail FINDING the home online. So, arguably, you don't need an agent to FIND a home. But to make sure you get the best deal and the best protection in your home purchase? Well, you do need an expert for that. THAT'S the true role of a real estate agent in this new (and constantly evolving) market.
My husband and I are the founding members of a top selling Real Estate team in Anderson, SC. I have been a native of the area for over 20 years and attended elementary, middle, high school and college....
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