With all of the real estate tools you can access via computer and smartphone, you might get the idea that a real estate agent is becoming obsolete. While Siri and Cortana can help you find and buy most everything else, they certainly can’t replace the services of a real estate agent. Do your research and searching online, but you should have a real estate agent for the more important stuff. 

Here are 5 reasons why you need a real estate agent to help assist you with selling a home or buying a home – or both!

1. Convenience. A real-estate agent's full-time job is to help you buy or sell a home. They really act as a liaison between buyers and sellers, doing a lot of the work that you would have to do otherwise. If you’re buying a home, without a real estate agent, you’d be the only one searching for homes that meet your requirements, contacting the seller (of their seller’s agent) and making appointments so you can tour the home. If you’re selling a home, you will have to solicit calls from potential buyers, answer many questions, make tour appointments, and be available for people to tour your home on their schedule. What then if the interested party doesn’t show? A real estate agent takes care of all of these tasks for you. 

2. Negotiating skills. When it comes to buying, all sorts of factors can contribute to how much you make off a sale or how much you’re going to have to pay for your mortgage. Real estate agents can help you negotiate a deal that looks out for your best interest. For example, if you’re buying a house and you’ll have to do some work on the home, the agent can help negotiate whether the seller will perform the work, or if the as-is price should be reduced so you can do the work. If you’re selling a house, it’s nice to have someone else deal with all the stress of negotiating on prices and your real estate agent can do it in a way that is calm, cool and professional.

3. Handling the contract. The offer-to-purchase contract protects you should certain conditions occur or if requested accommodations aren’t met. For example, if you plan to purchase the home with a mortgage, but your mortgage isn’t approved and you neglected to make financing one of the conditions of the sale, you could lose your deposit on the home and leave yourself open for a lawsuit. An experienced real-estate agent knows the ins and outs of these contracts and conditions so you can protect your best interests.

4. Bound by the law. Real estate agents are licensed professionals, which means there are actually more repercussions against them if they break the law than for a private buyer or seller. When you have an agreement with a licensed agent, the agent is bound by law to be honest and act in your best interest. Beyond being required by law, real estate agents love referrals and repeat business. That means doing what is best for the client is also in their own best interest for more repeat and referral business in the future. 

5. Worth the cost. One of the main reasons why people try to go it alone without a real estate agent is because they think they can save money. That probably isn’t the case. Sure, you could potentially save on commission, but what if you end up paying too much for the house? That mistake could cost your for the lifetime of the mortgage. Or you sell your home for too little? You could be selling for more, which would mean more to spend on your next home.

The Bottom Line

While there are those who want to sell their own homes, and indeed some who are qualified to do so, the process isn't as simple as many people assume. When things get complicated, it’s really worth it to have a professional on your side, looking out for your best interests. 

Want to find the right real estate agent for you, who can offer the best chances of a successful home purchase or sale? HomeVisor does all the research and can recommend the best real estate agent for you.