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Buying or Selling a Home? A Guide to Real Estate Agents

By: Brandon Howl

There are a lot of services out there that help sellers and buyers deal with their own real estate transactions, and you might be wondering if you should just go it alone. While it certainly is possible, a DIY real estate transaction might end up costing you more than a realtor’s commission. Since selling or buying a home is such a huge emotional and financial undertaking, there are some major reasons why you should consider hiring a real estate agent.

Experience and Education

When you hire a real estate agent, you don’t need to know everything there is to know about buying and selling real estate. Your agent is trained to speak the language of real estate so you don’t have to, and will know all the tips and tricks of the trade to get you the best deal possible. If you are looking for an experienced real estate agent, you may be interested in contacting the Slavens team for more information about their Toronto real estate agents.

Better Access

It’s your agent’s job to act as a liaison between you and the seller or buyer. This means you’ll get easier access to all other properties listed by other agents. If you’re handling the purchase by yourself, you’d have to track down homes that match your criteria and get in touch with sellers’ agents to make appointments to view the homes. This become even more difficult when there are homes that are for sale by owner.

Negotiating Skills

If you love a house but hate the interior design and don’t like the idea of how much it will cost to remove the shag carpets and wood work, your agent can tactfully convey your concerns to the sellers’ agent without offending the sellers. Your agent can also act as the bad guy, to represent your best interests without turning off potential buyers or sellers. If you want to learn about real estate negotiations, Entrepreneur.com has 11 tips that may help you with the process.

Knowledge of the Neighbourhood

What your agent doesn’t know about the neighbourhood, he or she can find out from colleagues. Your agent will look at comparable sales and help you find more info on crime, schools, and demographics.

Info on Market Conditions

Market conditions will govern your buying or selling process. Data like the typical per square foot cost of similar homes, average and median sales prices, rations of list-to-sold prices, and average days on market will have a lot to do with what you decide to do in the end. It’s hard to come by this information by yourself without an agent.

Networking

Real estate agents work with a variety of other professionals ranging from interior designers to fence builders. Agents can give you a list of people with who they have worked and offer background info to help you make the best possible choice.

Handling of Paperwork

Today’s purchase agreements tend to run at least 10 pages, and these don’t include any legally mandated disclosures. Most real estate files are between one and three inches thick, and if you make one small mistake, you could end up in court or lose out on thousands of dollars. Part of this paperwork is handled by your lawyer, of course, but your real estate agent will handle some, too.

Answer Your Questions

Even transactions that go off without a hitch can come back to haunt you. If there are any issues that arise after closing, your real estate agent can often help with just one call. If you have questions afterwards that you might have forgotten about in the heat of the closing, your agent will be more than happy to answer them for you.