Do I Need a Realtor?

Benefits of a Realtor when buying a home.

When you’re buying a home, there’s really no benefit to not using a Realtor to help you find properties and close the deal.  Of course Realtors get paid commission (a percentage of the sales price of the home), but the buyer doesn’t pay the commission.  The seller pays the commission, and they pay their agent a commission whether you use a Realtor or not.  So for you, the buyer, having a Realtor is free, professional help.  As long as you have a Realtor that you enjoy working with, there’s no downside to you as a buyer.

Realtors build their careers by creating repeat customers and earning referrals. To that end, they do everything possible to make your home-buying experience pleasant and profitable.  Realtors are experts in their markets and know (or have access to) everything you want and need to know about the community.  Most importantly, if you’re new to the area, an experienced Realtor knows details about the market and housing stock that has taken years to accumulate.

When you work with a Realtor representing you as a buyer’s agent, here’s what they do:

  1. Assess you housing goals and assemble a comprehensive list of properties that meet your requirements.
  2. Arrange access to homes for you to preview.
  3. Accompany you on your home tours to provide advice and better understand your preferences.
  4. Help you pre-qualify for a mortgage loan (a major advantage when making an offer).
  5. Draft the offer to purchase and negotiate with the seller as your representative.
  6. Assist in securing financing for your purchase.
  7. Arrange the home inspection and help you find necessary vendors such as real estate attorneys, movers and tradesmen.
  8. Review all closing documents for correctness.
  9. Follow up post-closing to ensure your move goes smoothly.

All real estate agents are not the same.  Make sure you use an agent who is a Realtor and therefore bound by the National Association of Realtor’s Code of Ethics.  You’ll also want an agent who holds a Broker license rather than a Salesperson license because brokers have significantly more experience and education.  Again, it doesn’t cost you anything, so why not get the best?

It’s a fairly easy process to find the best Realtors in any given market.  They’re the ones with the most listings and the best marketing, both internet and print.  Those Realtors who do the most business will have the most professional websites, marketing and communications.  You should call a few and ask questions regarding their schedules, qualifications and experience in your interested market area.  Inevitably, there will be one who you like best and who makes you feel comfortable.

Yep, the Lone Ranger was pretty cool, but he would have gotten his butt kicked a few times if it weren’t for Tonto.