10 Reasons to Use a Licensed REALTOR® When Buying or Selling a Home
By Pete Chaison
1.) Education and Experience: Licensed REALTORS® go through a rigorous licensing process and continuing education is required in subsequent years. In most cases you are hiring an individual REALTOR® that has more home buying and selling experience than you do.
2.) Agents as Buffers: Agents act as your buffers with other agents and the general public. Other licensed REALTORS® prefer to work with a licensed REALTOR®. A few of the reasons are REALTORS® are under the same license law, rules and governance of the Georgia Real Estate Commission. Also when discussing sensitive issues regarding a home conveying and resolving these issues is always better agent to agent.
3.) Local Knowledge: The MLS system is very valuable in determining pricing and trends in a particular neighborhood or area of town. The integrity of data from the MLS system is very high compared to all other public sites. The home transaction numbers are real and not estimates. Only licensed agents have access to the MLS. Remember last weeks article about the variance in the Savannah area, regarding a market within the market.
4.) Price Guidance: By using data from the local MLS system your REALTOR® is better prepared to help you with pricing your home to sell using CMA’s or comparables. It is ultimately the seller’s decision to determine the price of a home to be listed, but use the guidance, data and experience which he/she has accumulated.
5.) Market Conditions: Your REALTOR® should discuss with you the current and local market conditions including sharing data such as average cost per square foot of similar homes on the market. I call this your competition. Other data such as average days on the market, median and average sales prices and ratios of listing price to contract price are both important and useful. The buyer dictates the market in which we work and sell, not you or your REALTOR. It is extremely important to price your home to be in the market rather than on the market.
6.) Professional Networking: Like any other profession, real estate agents network with other agents and local professionals whom provide valuable services when buying or selling a home. I am often hesitant to suggest or recommend individuals or companies to perform work or service. So when I do I always make sure it is people with whom I have a history or track record: people with whom I am confident in their abilities, knowledge, reliability and performance.
7.) Negotiating and Confidentiality: A good real estate agent is not just a messenger. He or she should be adept at delivering both information and messages in a very professional manner and in the best light scenario. He/she can take out the emotions attached to buying and selling a home. Their fiduciary responsibility to the client is important in maintaining confidentiality during the whole transaction process.
8.) Contracts and Forms: Today’s real estate purchase and sales agreements, listing agreements and disclosures are more complicated than ever. REALTORS® have extensive knowledge of all these forms and what is required to protect you regardless of what side of the transaction you are on. A typical transaction will average a minimum of 8 to 10 separate forms from start to closing. One error or omission could be both costly or result in a lawsuit.
9.) Post Closing: On many occasions even after we close a transaction, there are questions or items that come up that your REALTOR® can help answer or resolve. It can be as simple as a garage door opener or house keys to conveyance issues. A good reliable agent is there to help you even after the closing.
10.) Solid Relationships: Real estate is largely a business based on trust, professionalism and referrals. For us the best marketing and advertising is word of mouth. It is extremely important to be ethical with strong morals to survive. We always strive for a happy and appreciative client. It is that integrity that brings people back.
The ten reasons above are some of the many reasons to use a licensed and reputable REALTOR®. Since my first article about one year ago, I always have mentioned and strongly suggested hiring a real estate agent for your home transaction. Whether buying or selling a property we are here to help to make the transaction as smooth as possible from start to finish.