Do you have to work with a real estate agent to buy a home? No, but there are a ton of reasons why you should, unless you have plenty of experience and success going it alone. After reading this article, you’ll probably agree this is the single most important home buying tip.
According to the National Association of Realtors annual national survey of home buyers, the vast majority of home buyers chose to purchase their home through a real estate agent or broker.
“87% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker.”
There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is the fact that the home buying process can be complicated. There can be many twists and turns and the road can get bumpy. You’re much better off having someone at your side who knows how to navigate the process and who has experience to draw from that will make your transaction successful and as smooth as possible.
Here are the top 5 reasons buyers worked with an agent according to the NAR survey:
- Helped the buyer understand the process
- Pointed out unnoticed features/faults with the property
- Negotiated better sales contract terms
- Provided a better list of service providers
- Improved the buyers knowledge of search areas
The Most Important Home Buying Tip For Many Reasons
Let’s take a closer look at some the compelling reasons why you should work with an agent to buy your home.
Uncover And Anticipate Problems
No one wants buyer’ remorse after buying a home. Structural issues, termites and code violations are just some of the items that can cost you dearly if they are not identified before you buy. Agents make sure all the proper steps are taken, such as inspection contingencies, to make sure all possible issues are uncovered. Unless there’s extremely high competition, the seller is usually forced to address the issues found in the inspection report or you can negotiate a lower price to offset the added cost you’ll be paying to address the issues.
If you have remodeling in mind for one of your potential new homes, you need to be aware of housing codes and zoning that could impact your plans. Agents will help you uncover anything you need to know so you aren’t stuck later.
Get Service Provider Referrals
When it comes to agents’ referral lists of home stagers, contractors, mortgage professionals, and home inspectors, the average person cannot compete. If you find you need work on your new home, it’s nice to know you’ll have a good source for contractor referrals. You might also find you need work done on the home you’re selling so you can buy your new home. Getting contractors on short notice can be very hard but an agent will be motivated to help you connect with a contractor since your transaction with them depends on it.
Boost Your Negotiating Power
Is a seller’s asking price justifiable? Where should you come in with your offer? Agents have market knowledge about inventory and have pricing and experience in negotiating with sellers to help you get a fair price and potentially save you a lot. They can identify weaknesses in the seller’s position which can translate to a better price for you.
In tight markets, there’s not a lot of room for trial and error with your offers. One miscalculated offer could cause you to lose the home you were hoping for. Agents also help with tricky contingencies and clauses that can get inexperienced buyers stuck with a bad deal.
Open The Door To More Opportunities
Almost a fifth of the home buyers in the NAR survey started right away with an agent.
“17% of buyers ﬁrst contacted a real estate agent to begin their home buying search.”
This is probably because these home buyers know that experienced agents are helpful in how they listen to buyers’ needs and present possibilities they may not have been considering. Agents can often see opportunities in desirable locations you weren’t initially considering and they can have creative ideas to make homes work for you that you may have ruled out.
What if you increased your budget by 10%? They can tell you how much impact this would have on your buying power and the opportunities that would open up to you.
It’s interesting to note that the length of the buying process and the number of homes visited were drastically reduced among home buyers who did not use the internet for their search (i.e. they worked with a real estate agent).
“The typical buyer who did not use the internet during their home search spent only 4 weeks searching and visited 4 homes, compared to those who did use the internet and searched for 10 weeks and visited 10 homes.”
There are obviously benefits to using the internet for finding a home. Regardless of how you go about searching for your next home, this statistic shows that agents can be quite efficient at matching buyers with homes.
Ten years is the average amount of time homeowner stay in a house before a sale. Having established a relationship with an agent will help you when it’s time to move again. The NAR home buyer survey statistics also show the vast majority of home buyers are satisfied with their agent.
“90% of buyers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others.”
The odds are good you’ll like working with your agent and will want to work with them again for your next transaction.