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Do I Need To Hire A Professional?

Education & Training with Demetree School of Real Estate

Someone on this forum recently asked if it was necessary to hire a licensed professional to handle a transaction where mistakes could have severe financial penalties. That sounds like the question that most real estate agents would say “Yes! Hire a professional.”

 If the question had said the transaction was a piece of property, most agents probably would have said yes. But in this case, the transaction was filing your annual income tax and whether a CPA was necessary and/or worthwhile, so many agents said no. Many of them essentially said, “Why would I need a licensed professional to handle something that a computer program can do?”

 Many real estate professionals take the position that it is irresponsible to buy or sell a home without a licensed real estate agent. If you try, you will fail and maybe lose your life savings. Yet, these same people go online and say a software program is as good as a CPA. The irony here is killing me.

 Do I think everyone needs a CPA? Absolutely not. But I also don’t think everyone needs a licensed real estate agent.

 You hire a licensed professional for one of the following reasons…

  •  The transaction is out of your league. You need someone with knowledge you don’t have.
  •  You have the knowledge, but you don’t want to fool with it. For example, you know how to file your own taxes or sell your own house, you would just rather have someone else do it for you.

 I am happy to tell people that when I bought my home, neither I nor the seller had a real estate agent. Would I do that again? Maybe – it depends on the situation. Would that work for everyone in all situations? Of course not – it depends on the situation.

 Is it fair for us to treat our industry like everyone needs us and only a fool would try to sell their house without an agent, but then talk about other industries as if their licensed professionals are a waste of money?

Whether it's hiring a real estate agent or hiring a CPA, it's usually worth it to hire a professional.

If you want to become a licensed real estate agent in Florida, please give me a call.

Comments (5)

Gwen Banta
Sotheby's International Realty - Los Angeles, CA

And to add a point: Real estate agents should never give tax advice. We need to stay in our own lane! Thanks for the post.

Feb 27, 2020 06:09 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Some people can do taxes, and some can sell/buy real estate, and some can solve their own problems, without hiring a professional. For most, though, there are strong enough reasons to hire one.

For example, I normally do my own taxes, but this year am hiring a professional because I had too many financial events last year that I am not sure how to handle. So I need a professional who does this all the time to assist.

Interestingly enough, when we discussed one of the items we were most concerned about, she said, "oh yeah, we'll just do such-and-such." I would have had no idea.

Feb 28, 2020 06:02 AM
Krystin Mitchell, CPA CFE
KLSM CPA Firm, PLLC - Houston, TX
Strategic Accounting & Tax Solutions

I agree that hiring a professional is in your best interest. And with that, hire a professional with experience and knowledge in the desired or special circumstance.

Feb 28, 2020 07:59 AM
Karen Climer

Great point.  Don't just hire anyone with a license - particularly if you have a unique situation.

Feb 28, 2020 08:53 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Home is where the hearth is.

There is no legal requirement to hire a real estate agent to buy or sell a home.  And, no suprise, if you ask a room full of Realtors if you should use an agent that their response will be a resounding "yes".

When I was much younger, before I became an agent... I thought about selling my home without an agent... and in researching it, I realized that I knew enough about the transaction to know that I didn't know enough... and wasn't going to take the chance without putting a professional in place.

And for many years, I hired a CPA to handle my business tax filing (as well as my monthly accounting)... but my tax situation has become much simpler, these days... and my knowledge base has increased... so now I just use TurboTax and I've been very happy with it.

I guess my short-term recommendation would be "If you feel comfortable with your base of knowledge regarding the transaction" (whether it be filing your taxes, or buying & selling your home) "you may not need a professional". 

Apr 13, 2020 07:32 AM
Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 602.710.8161 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

Great points, Karen, and well explained.

And I agree with the points Alan May , Krystin Mitchell, CPA CFE , Kat Palmiotti and Gwen Banta made.

Today's home Buyer or home Seller has a lot more knowledge about the market, the process, the tools and techniques, and for some this may be enough. Other people may value the insight, the thoughtful judgement of a situation that a practicing professional will provide. That's why art museums hire curaytors, and not just hang the paintings in a room. 

May 02, 2020 09:25 AM