Before we begin, please allow me to clarify the term "REALTOR". All real estate agents are not REALTORS® even though the public uses the terms interchangeably. A REALTOR® is a licensed real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORs® which makes them accountable to a certain level and code of ethics making them committed to treating all parties honestly. If an agent subscribes to this level of performance, they will proudly display their REALTOR® designation.
Why use a REALTOR®? This is a question that crosses the minds of some home-sellers and home-buyers. Sometimes a friend or family member with nothing at stake suggests to "go it alone". I find that consumers are more likely to "go it alone" on transactions they perceive to have little risk and are limited to a certain level of money involved (usually the amount they can afford to lose). For example, most people don't seek professional consultation or representation to purchase furniture. There's little risk and the amount of money is low relative to that of a home, so the transaction is well within their comfort zone. I would venture a guess that most people start leaving their comfort zone when the amount of a transaction is higher than the price of their car.
Let's consider this hypothetical situation? Say, you entered a contest to win $100. You later received a call that you won.... BUT... in order to receive the prize you - and any assistant you wish to bring - had to complete the 20-page prize pick-up form EXACTLY right - without errors. If you made any mistakes, you may not receive the prize. For a 100 bucks, most of us would "go it alone" and pick up the prize money figuring not much is at stake. Let's take that scenario and make the prize $100,000. Would you now consult someone about completing that pick-up form correctly? What if we made the prize $1,000,000? How about now? Are you going to seek a professional to help ensure you receive the prize? At some point, most of us are going to classify the level of risk too high for our own abilities and/or self-confidence level. We WANT that prize, so we're going to hire professional assistance to help ensure we get it.
Why do people suggest to "go it alone" in the first place? I believe that can partially be attributed to many things in life appearing to be "easy" as long as you remain unaware of all the inner-workings that make it all happen. Real estate brokerage is no exception. An efficient REALTOR® can often make the consumer think "that was a piece of cake", and it may have been for them, however, the agent's efficiency at managing the transaction is what may have allowed that to be, so that impression should not conclude that there wasn't a lot of work involved. The agent simply provided the client such good service that they may have thought there wasn't much to it. Unfortunately, this can also falsely lead the some people to think the agent isn't earning their payment which couldn't be farther from the truth. If the roles were reversed on those who thought that and we all took a small snap-shot view of their occupations, we might tend to think the same thing about their occupations, and I'm sure they would quickly come to the defense of their earnings.
In today's wonderful world of technology, information is at our fingertips. Data about properties can be found everywhere. The properties can then be driven by. You've concluded you love one of them and want it! You're all set, right? Well, maybe not. You've got to then be familiar with the legalities of the transaction, timelines relating to offers, contingencies in sales agreements, inspections, financing, and more. Simply put, there are so many aspects to a real estate transaction that most consumers will not easily navigate them without professional assistance. Remember that prize pick-up form? Mistakes may lose you the prize. It's the home you want to buy or sell. You don't want to lose the deal. Hire a REALTOR® to help ensure your transaction is completed efficiently and you get the home you love (or efficiently sell your existing home if you're on the selling side). As you reach this point in the article, you may think all that applies only to buyers. That would be incorrect. Simply view the "prize" in the scenario above as your home-sale instead of a home-purchase. You want that home sold, and you want that transaction to go smoothly. All those things you have to know about the transaction hold true for a sale as well. Let's look at some of the ways a REALTOR® can help in both situations - buying and selling. Why use a REALTOR® when buying a home?
This only touches the highlights why hiring a REALTOR® is a smart thing to do in a transaction involving real estate. You WANT that prize. Let your REALTOR® help secure it for you.
Bob Parks Realty