Why you need a real estate agent?
You could be in your very own home sweet home very soon with the help of a qualified real estate agent. Rather than trying to do it on your own, getting the help of a real estate agent can make it far easier. When you work with an agent, it costs you nothing. The seller pays the commissions, regardless of whether or not you have one. You'll gain the benefit of the expertise of a realtor on your side who's not working for the seller.
Some of the things an agent can do to help you claim your home is first help you narrow the search. A good realtor will work with you to first identify the price range you can afford based on your income and other factors. He or she will also make other suggestions that can speed the home buying process, such as getting a pre-approval letter from a bank or other qualified lender. The Realtor may also offer a list of several lenders he or she has worked with in the past who have treated her clients well. The pre-approval letter takes time but can be crucial. It tells the seller you're seriously considering the home and can afford it. It also tells the seller's agent to work hard to get this deal because there's a better chance of it being successful. It also helps you complete the closing faster.
Real estate agents also know how to maneuver through the various listings. They know the various neighborhoods and how to find homes that fit your requirements. They also know the subtleties of the listings and that newer doesn't mean new. The buyer's realtor will add an objective eye to the home viewing process. They've seen plenty of homes and know that a little paint can make a dowdy home look fantastic, but a bad well, horrible plumbing and signs of a leaking roof on the interior might be very expensive to fix. Realtors also have a good idea of the average cost of utilities in the area. If they see a home is heated by gas or electric, but the cost is extremely high, it may need more insulation. High water costs can set off a warning signal, due to the potential of leaking pipes. They help you see the entire cost of owning a particular property, such as the cost of taxes and insurance.
Realtors also help negotiate the price. They not only help you make an offer, but will advise you to counter a counter offer if they think it's off base. They also arrange for professionals to inspect the property. Termite inspections and general inspections are often required by the lender, but the buyer's realtor could ask for additional types of inspections, such as a septic inspection for a home in the country or water sample testing. Those extra steps can save you thousands of dollars and heartbreak later. The real estate agent also is at the closing to make sure there are no errors on the paperwork and to help with any last minute issues. Having an agent on your side can make the difference between finding the best possible home and either making a poor choice or spending a lot of time and effort with nothing to show for it.