Many industries have been disrupted and even sometimes replaced by the rise of new and innovative technology. Uber has all, but replaced taxis. AirBnB is used just as often as hotels. Expedia and other similar sites made travel agents a thing of the past. And the list goes on.
Some people have predicted that it would only be a matter of time before this paradigm shift would make its way into the world of Real Estate. On the surface, it seems that the internet would have caused Realtors to go the way of the travel agent. But when we dig deeper, we see that the real estate agent is a much more immovable force. Although the role of the Realtor has certainly shifted in the face of many challengers, here are a few reasons why you should still use a Realtor to buy or sell your home.
1. Your Realtor Works For You
Simply put, your real estate agent works for you as a full-time liaison to help you accomplish your goals. If you're selling a home, they can respond to any call or inquiry regarding your home instantly. People will move on very quickly if they are having difficulty seeing a home, particularly in markets where many similar homes are for sale. Your Realtor's job is to be ready and available to field these calls. If you're buying a home, your Realtor is busy reviewing new listings that fit your search criteria and networking with other agents to find properties that haven't hit the market yet.
2. Your Realtor Negotiates on Your Behalf
If you're selling your home, although you are paying commission, using a Realtor usually nets you more money in the end. They are trained, expert negotiators and work hard to make sure your interests are well represented in the deal. Their professionalism and code of ethics allows them to present your needs in a way that makes sense to the buyer and the buyer's agent. Negotiating can be a long process and it pays off to have a professional on your side.
The same holds true if you're a buyer, but with one, awesome caveat: using a Realtor doesn't cost you anything!
3. Your Realtor Helps You Navigate the Contracts
Needless to say, contracts can be confusing to those who don't deal with them on a regular basis. It can be hard to navigate the legalese. Your Realtor not only knows what paperwork needs to be completed, they also know how to read the contracts and ensure that you're not signing off on something you could regret. Paying for this piece of mind is often worth the cost.
4. Your Realtor Has a Fiduciary Responsibility to You
Realtors have fiduciary responsibility, meaning that they are bound by law to act in their client's (your) best interest. For most people, your home is your largest financial transaction. Great care should be taken with the process of buying or selling a home and your Realtor is bound by law to serve as your trusted advisor.
5. Your Realtor Saves You Money
Many people's main motivation for forgoing an agent and trying to do it themselves is to save money by not paying an agent's commission. If you're a buyer, your agent's commission is paid by the seller. If you're a seller, using a Realtor nets you more money in the end by helping you negotiate with the buyer. On both sides, your Realtor ensures the contract you sign most likely won't turn into a headache down the road. By doing it yourself, you may end up going to court with the other party later on, an expense and headache that could have been avoided by using a trained professional in the first place.
6. Your Realtor is Your Consultant
With so much information about the real estate market online, your Realtor is extremely valuable to you in other ways. They have the pulse of the neighborhood. They know what's happening with schools and businesses. They have great recommendations for local restaurants. As Realtors, they also have access to quality contractor referrals right at their fingertips. Need a painter? No problem. Looking for a pool guy to take care of your new saltwater spa? Consider it done. Whatever your need, your Realtor can point you in the right direction. They're your own personal Yelp!
Overall, although some people COULD sell or buy their own home, your home usually represents your largest financial transaction and is rarely worth the time and effort to handle it yourself.