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With modern technology that we have today and the abundance of information and accessibility, buyers are able to go online to find a house, find out how long the home was on the market, check the history of the home in the comfort of their home or office. Although it is just that easy, it is not always wise to try to purchase a home on your own. There are a few reasons why you do need a Real Estate Agent to help you from Contract to Close.
Buying a home is a part time job, really. Your real estate agent helps you determine your buying power – that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give an agent some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders, banks and mortgage companies offer limited choices. Agents have access to a wide inventory of properties to search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.
There are a lot of negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete the appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended and/or required.
Agents negotiate well because, unlike most buyers and sellers, they can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction and because they are skilled. It’s part of their job description. Good agents are not messengers, delivering buyer’s offers to sellers and vice versa. They are professionals who are trained to present their client’s case in the best light and agree to hold client information confidential from competing interests.
Even the best transactions that close without any complications can come back to haunt. For example, taxing authorities that collect property tax assessments, doc stamps or transfer tax can fall months behind and mix up invoices, but one call to your agent can straighten out the confusion. Many questions can pop up that were overlooked in the excitement of closing. Good agents stand by ready to assist. Worthy and honest agents don’t leave you in the dust to fend for yourself.
The basis for an agent’s success and continued career in real estate is referrals. In today’s market, agents can not survive in real estate if they were dependent on consistently getting new business. This emphasis gives agents strong incentives to make certain clients are happy and satisfied. It also means that an agent who stays in the business will be there for you when you need to hire them again. Most successful agents will periodically provide you with relevant market updates to you to keep you informed and to stay in touch.