Need help Buying a home
If you’re thinking about buying a home, you may wonder whether you need a real estate agent. There are plenty of resources for a buyer these days, from online search sites to how-to guides. But an agent has something no buyer – particularly a first-time buyer – does: a wealth of experience. An agent will work as an advocate on your behalf and, in most cases, will get you a better deal than you could get yourself.
Real estate agents have first-hand knowledge of the real estate market.You likely don’t know exactly what the market is like right now in your area. Are homes generally selling for 97 percent of asking price? Can you expect to compete against multiple offers? Do you know what it takes to win against other bidders? If you want a three-bedroom detached home, what should you expect to pay? What’s the inventory like? Your agent will be able to counsel you on these topics. The best way to get an offer accepted at a price that’s in your favor is to know the market intimately – and a local real estate agent does.
Access to Homes
Without an agent, getting into a home will be difficult. Sellers are happy to let a buyer’s agent have the code to their lockbox to show their home. However, they’re not willing to allow an unlicensed stranger total access to their home. This means that you’ll have to visit the property when either the seller or the seller’s agent is available, making scheduling showings both time-consuming and difficult.
Because of this, most individuals who choose to go it alone tour the majority of their homes during open houses, when the home is open for anyone to tour, without an appointment. This puts you against strong competition since you likely won’t be the first person to see a home (a problem in a tight market). On top of that, the agent hosting the open house represents the seller. Any questions you have for them about the house will produce answers that have the seller’s best interest at heart, not yours.
When you tour a home with your agent, you not only have access and privacy, but you also have an advocate whose fiduciary duty is to look after your best interests.
With an agent, you’ll have an experienced advocate and negotiator. Buying a home is an emotional process. For many people, it’s the largest transaction of their life and it’s often done during other major life changes, like an expanding family or a job relocation. Stress and strong emotions can cloud judgment – which can cause you to make a decision you’ll later regret.
As agents, we look at a transaction with a more experienced, rational eye. We can help you understand your options, and serve as a balance against making a rash decision.
We also advocate on your behalf, especially at the negotiating table. We’ll get you the best deal possible, without letting strong feelings get in the way. At Redfin, this is particularly true. Our agents are paid a salary and receive bonuses based on client satisfaction – we want you to be 100 percent satisfied with the home you purchase.
You’ll have access to a rolodex of real estate service professionals. In the course of your transaction, you’ll likely need a lender, an inspector and a real estate lawyer. Clients often ask me for a personal recommendation, for someone whose personality and style matches theirs. As an agent who’s worked with many real estate service professionals over the course of my career, it’s easy for me to find a good fit. But without that knowledge, finding the right provider can be challenging.
Similarly, clients often have questions about home improvement. An experienced agent will have recommendations for handymen, plumbers, painters, general contractors, floorers – basically, any type of service you’d need to spruce up your new home.