Whether buying a new house or an existing one, buyers typically feel more at ease having a real estate agent working on their behalf. It’s their job to make things go smoothly. Here’s how.
- Knowledge of builders. Real estate agents don’t just work with resale homes. Agents know the builders in a market — past and present — and should be able to tell you the quality of workmanship and the value for your money. Agents will also be familiar with any promotions or mortgage discounts available.
- Knowledge of the market. Real estate professionals know how home sales are pacing in your market, the average days on market, what areas are selling well, and what price range is selling well. This is valuable knowledge for buyers and sellers.
- Knowledge of particular neighborhoods. Real estate agents know the ins and outs on neighborhoods — which areas are selling well and which ones aren’t; the age of the homes; the reputation of the schools; and even the availability of shopping and accessibility to public transportation.
- Pricing knowledge. An agent will be able to tell if a house is fairly priced and how to best make an offer given market conditions.
- Knowledge of the contract. This may be the most intimidating part of the process for the average person who buys a house only once in several years. Agents work with real estate contracts on a daily basis and can help you ask the right questions and steer you to a lawyer, if necessary. Seasoned agents are also adept at negotiating.
- Knowing a network of professionals. If you don’t have local professionals in mind, real estate agents can recommend mortgage brokers, inspectors, appraisers and lawyers to hire.
- Professional standards. Real estate agents are licensed by state and are required by law to act with the client’s interests placed ahead of their own. Besides licensing, if an agent is a member of the state’s Realtor association, they have pledged to uphold the highest standards of conduct in the industry.