Many people when buying or selling real estate sometimes think that they don’t need a Realtor. Buyers incorrectly assume that working with a Realtor will cost them money. Sellers think that they can save on commission by selling it themselves.
Buyers think that they will have to incur huge expenses to work with a Realtor. This is not true. A good Realtor will work with you through every step of the home buying process to save both your time and your money.
When buying a home, the most you typically have to pay for a Realtor’s service is a Broker Fee which is usually less than $200. This and other costs can be covered by a closing credit (usually up to 3% of the sales price) paid by the seller.
The only thing you as a buyer will have to come up with is the down payment which can be as little as 3.5% with an FHA loan, and even 0% if you are in the military and qualify for a VA loan. This means that for a $200,000 home, you can buy it with just $7,000.
Working with a Realtor also eliminates a lot of hassle. A good Realtor should have a list of home inspectors, contractors, and even utility contact numbers to aid you in preparing to purchase and move into the new home of your dreams.
Also, perhaps one of the most important things that a Realtor can do is ultimately save you money. Expert negotiation skills are a must when buying or selling a home. This factor alone might save you thousands of dollars, but it can also make sure that your contract is the one selected if you are up against multiple offers as a buyer.
In the NOVA / DC area, if a home is priced right and shows well, it may well attract many contracts. How can you make sure that yours is the one the seller chooses? Well make sure you are working with a Realtor that knows how to make your offer stand out from amongst the others.
Of course sellers might be hesitant to want to use a Realtor because they will have to pay a commission to the broker when their home sells. But there are a lot of misconceptions related to listing your home with a Realtor.
Selling a home can be like selling a car if you are going about it by yourself. For sale by owner (FSBO) home sellers are basically bringing their home to the market as a private seller. If you are buying a car from a dealer, you will probably expect to pay more than if you are buying it from a private seller.
This is true for many reasons which carry over to the home buyer and seller mentality. The car might not be thoroughly inspected, and may come without a warranty. There is a reason that cars cost more at dealers. They are thoroughly inspected and come with a warranty. There are also financial people who are their to make sure you can get a loan for your car too. A good Realtor should have a list of good lenders too!
Of course another huge factor is that if you are selling your home FSBO, a buyer will certainly want to get a deal on your home. They won’t want to pay “dealer price”. This puts the FSBO seller at an automatic disadvantage in terms of sales price. Of course if a Realtor was listing your home for you, you can expect to get the highest true market value for it.
There is also a reason that homes sold with Realtors make more money for the sellers. Realtors know how to price a home to make sure it is sold quickly and successfully. Many sellers think their home is worth more than it actually is, and they may ultimately push potential buyers away with their asking prices.
They might also be pushing away Realtors who might be working with the perfect buyers for their home. Many buyers are coming from out of town and may not ever see your FSBO home.
Realtors of course have all of the forms needed to write the contract for both buyers and sellers. They also have close relationships with Title Companies who actually conduct the closing and ensure that sellers get their money, and buyers get a home with a free and clear title.
Realtors are regulated and required to keep up on the latest laws affecting the purchase and sale of homes in their region. They should be excellent resources for any questions that you have or situation that arise during the entire home buying or selling process.
So now you know just a few of the many reasons that you actually do need a Realtor. Just make sure you choose someone like myself who is knowledgeable, always available to answer your questions via phone, text or email and with whom you have a great rapport.
Also ask for references from their clients as well. As all good Realtors know, you will certainly tell your friends all about your great home buying or selling experience after you’ve moved in. There’s no greater complement that you can give a Realtor than a referral to your family or friends!
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Ivan Katz is a licensed Realtor in DC and VA who will be happy to help you with your home search or sale. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
***Please remember that Realtors are not accountants or lawyers, and if you want any such advice you should seek out those specific professionals to answer your questions. Realtors are not licensed to give financial or legal advice!***