Should I use a real estate agent?
If you are buying
This one is easy. The Buyer can have all the expertise of an experienced agent for free! This is because the Seller typically pays all the commissions. While there are internet sites that can help you locate some properties, the tools available to an agent are far more powerful and can save days or weeks in identifying suitable prospective properties.
If you are selling
Wouldn't it be great to save all those commission dollars? Sure, but do you feel comfortable that you can: price your property correctly, take the steps necessary to attract qualified buyers, evaluate and counter contractual offers, negotiate with professionals, make informed decisions concerning option periods, earnest money disputes, title policies, appraisals, surveys, special provisions, inspections, financing contingencies, warranties, and a host of other related issues?
When you list your property with an agent, you will you instantly have an army of professionals working to sell your property. That is a priceless asset.
Keep in mind, too, that buyers expect the price to be lower when there is no listing agent. And, the longer it takes to sell your house, the more you pay in carrying costs such as mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, and utilities, to name a few. The fact is that a good agent will probably save you money overall.
How do I choose an agent?
It is a good idea to interview any agent you are considering. After all, this person will be representing you in your quest to buy or sell property. Here are some considerations:
- Does the agent listen well?
- Does he/she understand what’s important to you?
- Do you feel the agent will put your financial welfare above his own?
- Does the agent understand the type of real estate in which you are dealing?
- Does the agent have workable ideas as to how to help you buy/sell the property?
- Does the agent pay attention to detail so as to make sure your transaction is handled effectively and professionally?