We’ve all thought this at some point in our adult lives. Real estate agents can seem like used car salesmen. They show up, give you a pitch on selling your home or tell you what you should be looking for in a property, and seem to rush the entire process. It makes you uncomfortable. Maybe you’re a private or shy person (I definitely am), and you hate the idea of meeting with multiple agents or talking to strangers on the phone about your home and life. Or, maybe you like to do your own thing and hate following a system. Any of these reasons can lead you to buying or selling a home without an agent.
At first, it seems like a great idea. Only you can know exactly what you want, right? No-one else will be as familiar with your financial situation or know your life plan and how real estate plays into that. Plus, you think you’ll save yourself some money by not having to pay commission to an agent. It’s easy to believe this is easier than the stress of hiring an agent. But is it the right move? Having your own real estate agent provides several benefits that may not have been factored in to your original decision.
First and foremost, a real estate agent does not get paid unless you purchase a home or sell a home. Period. There is no upfront cost to hiring an agent. As an agent, it is our job to meet your needs in real estate. You will never have to pay an agent to show you homes or to list yours. Additionally, real estate agents are knowledgable. In the State of Tennessee, agents are required to take 90 hours of classes and pass two exams prior to obtaining their license. Then, each agent is responsible for taking continuing education classes each year. If they don’t, they are fined and can lose their license. This helps you know that your agent is and should be up to date on the latest in real estate.
Real estate agents also have access to a number of platforms they can use to search for properties or to promote a property. Most agents have budgets for professional photographers, advertising online and through social media, and access to thousands of other agents with prospective buyers and homes. They have the ability to search for properties based on your exact criteria and budget. They can pull a comparable market analysis (CMA) to ensure you have the best information when listing your property. Agents are also a buffer between you and the other party. Arguing over repairs? Negotiating over price? Agents will handle it.
Did you know that around 80% of homes listed as For Sale by Owner fail? Or that you could potentially net almost 25% more if you list your property or home with an agent? So if your main goal is to save money, why waste your time self-listing your home and then potentially making less money overall on the deal? As a buyer, an agent can assist with paperwork and negotiations. They know the current market trends and the neighborhoods, and can then advise on how to make the strongest offer to help you buy the home you really want. Why risk losing out on your dream home?
Having a real estate agent gives you an advantage. Use it. And don’t be afraid to shop around. Find the right one for you. It will be worth it.