Why You Need a Real Estate Agent
In today's world of buying and selling homes there are a plethora of viable options - online portals, discount brokers, pay-for-MLS services, and the old fashioned "DIY" method. The traditional way of buying and selling real estate (hiring an agent) is still by far the most popular way, but by a shrinking margin. That margin needs to expand. Soon, and by a lot.
Sure, you can see homes online. You can talk to a builder and have their rep guide you through the buying process, complete with discussions on options, financing, and title work, but without a licensed real estate agent, the question lingers: Who is protecting you?
A recent closing brought a strained sigh of relief to one of my clients rather than the joyful demeanor that should accompany the purchase of a new home. Why? Because my client chose not to have a real estate agent represent him. The decision nearly cost him 6 figures.
My client was purchasing new construction, and long before I spoke with him, a contract was in place with a builder in Palm Harbor, Florida. Along with the contract, the builder took an extremely hefty (large 6 figures, much greater than 20% of the purchase price) deposit from the buyer, and got to work on building.
I came into the picture pretty far along, just about 45 days from the closing date, with a bank statement loan product that the borrower needed (his previous loan officer that started the process had dropped the ball big time on this buyer), and from start to finish, the only word I could use to describe the process is STRESS. And maybe FEAR. The builder reps threatened the borrower nearly every day with the fact that if he did not meet his closing date, they planned on cancelling his contract and keeping his deposit.
Even after loan approval, appraisal receipt, and even failing themselves to meet the closing date (The CO was not approved on their own demanded settlement date!), the builder continued their threats. I advocated for the buyer, dealing with 3 builder reps in heated discussions, and it was not a pleasant experience. I have a good amount of experience with builders and buyers purchasing new construction, and even with that, it was a daunting task. For an unrepresented buyer? It must have been a combination of terrifying and intimidating.
Real estate isn't always pretty. A pretty or handsome little sales rep promoting a new construction community as all rainbows and butterflies can be a huge smoke & mirrors show, with the facade quickly fading once dotted lines are signed and deposit checks are in place - that friendly builder can turn into a money hungry monster, and the customer can quickly be made to feel like nothing more than a source of a pay day. That's not what home buying should be.
A real estate agent does more than put homes into an MLS, or put you on 'autopilot' for home searches based on your wants and needs. A good agent will be your advocate, your insurance policy, and your representative in making sure you never have an experience like my client just went through. Unless they're an experienced investor with a real estate license (emphasis: a license AND experience), no one should ever be making a real estate purchase without professional representation. Having a good agent can save you time, headache, exorbitant amounts of stress, and sometimes, a 6 figure deposit. A builder, greedy seller, or savvy listing agent can take a buyer into what seems like war - don't go in alone. Get yourself a real estate agent.
Thinking of buying or selling a home and don't want to go it alone? Give me a call at 484.680.4852. Chances are I know a professional real estate agent in your area that will provide you top notch representation.