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Clients are often quick to ask, “Why should I hire a real estate agent?” That’s a great question. It may seem easy enough to buy or sell a home without a real estate agent. But in reality, there is a lot involved in the process that you may not be aware of. So, here are 10 reasons why you should consider hiring a real estate agent.

Education & Experience

By hiring a real estate professional, you won’t need to know everything about buying and selling real estate. Find the right agent. One who will assist you in determining how much house you can afford and get you a pre-approved loan. Simply searches, update you to new homes that match your criteria, and always keep you informed. Henry Ford once said that when you hire people that are smarter than you are, it proves you are smarter than they are.

Neighborhood Knowledge

Agents either possess intimate knowledge or they know where to find the industry buzz about your neighborhood. For example, you may know that a home down the street was on the market for $350,000, but an agent will know that it had upgrades and sold at $285,000 after 65 days on the market and after twice falling out of escrow.

Professional Networking

Real estate agents network with other professionals, many of whom provide services that you will need to buy or sell. Agents can give you a list of references with whom they have worked with and provide background information to help you make a wise selection.

Handling Volumes of Paperwork

One-page deposit receipts were prevalent in the early 1970’s. Today’s purchase agreements run 10 pages or more. Which does not include the federal and state-mandated disclosures nor disclosures dictated by local custom. One tiny mistake or omission could land you in court or cost you thousands. In some states, lawyers are the ones that handle the disclosures.

Develop Relationships for Future Business

The basis for an agent’s success and continued career in real estate is referrals. Few agents would survive if they had to depend on consistently depend on new business. For this reason, it gives agents strong incentives to make clients happy and satisfied. An agent who stays in business will be there for you when you need to hire an agent again.

Agents are Buffers

Agents take the spam out of your property showings and visits. If you’re a buyer of new homes, your agent will whip out their sword and keep the builder’s agents at bay, preventing them from biting or nipping at your heels. If you’re a seller, your agent will filter the phone calls that lead to nowhere and try to get serious buyers to write an offer immediately.

Price Guidance

Contrary to what some people believe, agents do not select prices for sellers or buyers. However, an agent will help to guide clients to make the right choices for themselves. For example, if a listing is at 7%, an agent has a 7% vested interest in the sale, but the clients has a 93% interest. Selling agents will ask buyers to weigh all the data supplied to them and to choose a price. Then based on market supply, demand and the conditions, the agent will devise a negotiation strategy.

Market Conditions Information

Real estate agents can disclose market conditions, which will govern your selling or buying process. Many factors determine how you will proceed. Data such as the average per square foot cost of similar homes, median and average sales prices, average days on market and ratios of list-to-sold prices, among other criteria, will have a huge impact on what you ultimately decide to do.

Negotiation Skills and Confidentiality

Top producing 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.

Answer Questions After Closing

Many questions can pop up that were overlooked in the excitement of closing. Good agents stand by ready to assist. Because even the smoothest transactions can come back to haunt you. For example, taxing authorities that collect property tax assessments, document stamps or transfer tax can fall months behind and mix up invoices, but one call to your agent can straighten out all the confusion.