How to Decide on the Right Real Estate Agent for You
Buying or selling a house is a long and difficult process. As a buyer, you want a home you feel comfortable in. This means looking at numerous houses. Price is a huge factor for buyers.
You must look for a house within your budget, and also be prepared to negotiate with the seller. It is also important to factor potential repairs and other expenses in your housing budget.
The process is typically easier if you are selling a home. As a seller, the buyers come directly to you, but there is still some research involved. You must look up the current value of your home and find ways to advertise your home to potential buyers. Whether you are buying or selling a home, a real estate agent can help. Listed below are some of the top benefits of hiring a real estate agent.
Real Estate Experience
The biggest advantage of hiring a real estate agency is their experience. If you are buying, real estate agents know exactly what to look for in a home. Real estate agents take your housing preferences and use these to filter searches. While there are many online sites you can use to search for homes, this is not the same as hiring a real estate agent. Many websites have limited filters. There are also some sellers who post misleading details to trick the filters. Some websites are slow to update listings, or include outdated information. Real estate agents have the resources to search the most up to date listings, ensuring all the information is accurate.
If you are selling, real estate agents know the best way to advertise your house. Before you sell, an agent determines the overall value of your house, which helps them select a target audience. This ensures you do not waste time or money advertising your home to the wrong buyers. An agent also knows which parts of your house are worth highlighting to better attract interested buyers.
Extensive Market Knowledge
Real estate experience is not only good for finding and listing homes, but also determining price. If you are buying, a real estate agent knows how to assess the total value of the home. This includes looking for potential flaws in the home and calculating repair costs. Real estate agents also know how to read the market and predict whether the house will increase or decrease in value over the next few years, which is important if you plan to flip the house. An agent also advises you on other factors, such as mortgage interest rates and what loan providers are available.
This information is also important for sellers. Depending on how long you lived in your home, the price may have drastically changed. The value of a home can change depending on many factors. One is changes to the neighborhood. The second biggest factor is whether you made changes to the home. There are many small changes you can make before selling your home to increase the overall value and maximize your sale.
Real estate agents also have access to previous sale data. This allows them to compare how much your home is selling for versus nearby property. If other properties are selling for a higher value, this allows you to increase your sale price without alienating buyers.
Another advantage to using a real estate agent is networking. Real estate agents hear about sales before they are listed to the public. This is important for buyers. If a house has not been publicly listed, there are fewer buyers. This means the seller is receiving less offers, making it easier for you to negotiate. Real estate agents also know the best contractors and appraisers to hire, which is helpful whether you are buying or selling.
Negotiating and Paperwork
Buying or selling a home involves a great deal of paperwork. Real estate agents walk you through the process and file most of the paperwork on your behalf. During negotiations, real estate agents know what to look for to get potential discounts. If you are selling, your real estate agent can leverage the prices of other homes in the area, or identify potential problems in your home you can fix beforehand to keep the buyer from requesting a lower cost.
Hiring a Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents do not charge a flat rate. Instead, they receive a percentage based on the final sale price. Typically, housing agents charge anywhere between 2 and 6 percent, but this may vary depending on the agency. There are many resources to help you find real estate agents. Many agents rely on word of mouth. Ask friends or families if they have any recommendations.
Another way to find real estate agents is the internet. The National Association of Realtors allows you to search for registered agents in your area. Many housing websites, such as Zillow, also include sections on finding real estate agents. You can also look for agents through local ad listings.
Other Real Estate Options:
When searching for a real estate agent you need to keep two things in mind- commission payment, and certification. Real estate certification differs from state to state, and even can be different in various areas within the state. Finding a certified real estate agent in your area is imperative. A local real estate agent will understand the local markets a trends. Upnest.com is a great option for those looking for a Real Estate agent. Upnest lets your search for qualified real estate agents in your area, and because these agents are competing for your business you have more control over how much you will be paying for their services.
Another great option, although not quite a traditional real estate agent service, is FlatFeeAccess.com. FlatFeeAccess.com lets you list your property on their online platform for a flat fee. At the time of this writing, they are advertising a flat fee of $89! This flat fee covers the listing, agent support, and contract and negotiation services.
Finally, Realtor.com is another online platform that lets you list your home, browse listings, and find local realtors to help you with your listing.