Top 9 Reasons to use a REALTOR®
Published April 18, 2020
Associated Areas of law
I think the thing we all have in common is looking for ways to spend our money wisely. My husband and I have little kids and things we want to do, so the thought of spending money when we don’t have to gets under our skin.
But one thing I will never try to save money on is a REALTOR®. A good REALTOR® is worth every penny of commission. Here are my top nine reasons I counsel my clients to use a REALTOR®.
1. REALTORS® provide a great buffer.
A bit of space between you and the buyer/seller is a great idea because it keeps the relationship professional. We all like to connect with other people but, remember, this is an important business transaction too. Personal relationships can sometimes affect the way we respond to things.
REALTORS® give you the distance you need to make the best decision for you and your family. No awkward house tour with the owners who take every chance to tell you what a great home it is. You feel downright uncomfortable asking questions about potential issues or discussing your dislike of the paint colour. A friend of mine once toured a home with the homeowners sitting in their car in the driveway. Talk about uncomfortable!
REALTORS® act as independent tour guides, and show you things about the home you should be aware of, all at your own pace.
2. REALTORS® help with all the paperwork.
So, as a real estate lawyer, I know paperwork, and lots of it. Real estate paperwork is detailed and you need to understand the specific meanings of all the terms used in them. REALTORS® have seen these forms time and time again, and are great at keeping you informed of what it all means – what you’re signing. For example, misunderstanding betterment charges can lead to taxes you didn’t think you were responsible for, and knowing exactly what a warranty and representation is will ensure you aren’t promising more than you can fulfill.
And, who doesn’t like less paperwork?
3. REALTORS® act in your best interests.
Want to know how old that furnace is? Want to see the house in the evening? REALTORS® investigate homes for buyers in a detailed way. Real estate lawyers are bright and thorough, but we just can’t do this for you like a REALTOR® can.
Let’s face it. If you’re buying a house, you are likely spending more on this purchase than any other. Due diligence is key. REALTORS® help with the homework so you don’t have home buyer’s regret after moving in. And if you’re selling, you want to be sure to have a knowledgeable advocate working on your behalf. Very few sellers could duplicate the talents of a REALTOR®.
4. REALTORS® promote your product.
I passed a beautiful home on a country road last weekend with a ‘House for sale’ sign pinned to the mailbox. Hmmmm. I don’t think that homeowner is in for a quick sale.
REALTORS® have access to marketing platforms to effectively showcase homes for sale. The information is accurate, the photos are great, and you get a clear picture of what the home offers before you ever tour it.
5. REALTORS® have the inside scoop.
You can’t underestimate the inside track on a great property. There are a lot of homes that sell even before the REALTOR® sign goes on the lawn. The reason is that REALTORS® get to tour new homes on the market before they get publicly listed. A REALTOR® who knows what you’re looking for can schedule an immediate viewing before the sign hits the lawn.
This is also a big help for sellers. When we sell a house, every one of us anticipates the headache of trying to keep the house clean with the kids and the dog underfoot. Imagine your house selling even before it goes public! REALTORS® can help do that very thing.
6. REALTORS®know what the price should be.
A lot of people focus on what REALTORS® cost without considering how much more they can make a seller or save a buyer. Buyers benefit when a REALTOR® shows them the comparables, which help you judge if you’re paying too much or too little for your new home. If you’re selling your home, a REALTOR®’s review of comps is also invaluable. If your price is unreasonable given market conditions, it will sit. For months. Sometimes more than a year. If it’s underpriced, you leave money on the table that could have gone in your pocket.
7. REALTORS® are in “the Biz”.
Networks and contacts matter more than most people realize in a real estate deal. A REALTOR® can point you to a reliable, helpful mortgage broker, an inspector who is extremely thorough, a great lawyer (ahem), and can help with things like water tests and insurance policies. There’s often a lot of work involved in buying a property, and not a lot of time to complete it. It’s a fast and intense process, and let’s be real – who is not wickedly excited to get things done when they find the right property? And what seller doesn’t want it all done yesterday so their life can get back to normal?
A REALTOR® has a list of people they’ve worked with for years, people they trust to do the best quality work for buyers and sellers. You save time and money when you surround yourself with bright professionals who work their tails off for you.
8. REALTORS® help you avoid costly mistakes.
Not knowing is never an excuse for a legal error, and I can find mountains of precedent to prove it. Mistakes in a house sale or purchase get very sticky, and very expensive, very quickly.
Both buyers and sellers have various legal responsibilities to fulfill. If you miss something, there is often trouble down the road. Think about a seller who doesn’t know she has to communicate openly that her house had two floods caused by faulty plumbing. She can be sued by the buyers, even years down the road. There’s an old saying: “She don’t know, and she don’t know she don’t know.” Be smart. A real estate agent asks the right questions so you can move easily through the process, knowing what you need to know.
9. REALTORS® handle closing day headaches.
So, you’re all excited to be moving into your house today. This moment makes every bit of work, and worry, and exhaustion worthwhile. You walk across the threshold and find the seller left garbage lying around. Gah! Or you’re selling and the buyer’s funds don’t arrive when they’re supposed to. A REALTOR® has been through all this before so they can sort it out quickly and efficiently so you can get on with basking in the glory of your new home, or your home sale. I’ve handled hundreds of real estate transactions as a lawyer.
Without question, the smoothest ones all have one thing in common – a highly capable REALTOR®. ‘Nuff said.