A Good Realtor is an Insurance Policy
While you may feel like you can just do it all yourself - and maybe you can - chances are you will eventually throw up your hands and start calling local real estate agents. This is because from the legal realm to the myriad of hidden costs and/or unexpected situations that arise, a good realtor has the experience and wisdom to help you make the best decisions regarding your transaction. Here are some examples.
- Legalities. Real estate law is not simple and straight forward. Not only that, it also changes. If you aren't thoroughly educated regarding real estate laws in your state, or you aren't an expert at reading "legalese" it's not going to take you very long to realize the documents you need to understand and execute are beyond the abilities of the average adult professional. Plus, should you make any mistakes along the way, you can either be liable in court later on (if you are the seller) or you can be severely taken advantage of if you are the buyer. A real estate agent will be able to navigate potentially choppy waters, and s/he will be on the line if things go awry.
- Neighborhood Knowledge. If you've been living in an area for a while, you may know the ins and outs of every neighborhood. Otherwise, an experienced realtor will be able to steer you in the right direction. You may have found the house of your dreams only to learn, thanks to your realtor, that there is a fire station one block away that has noisy engines coming and going at all hours. Or that the neighbor to your left is notorious for having late night parties and get-togethers. This kind of knowledge is crucial when you are making the important decision to buy a home.
- Hidden Costs. Buying a home is more than just qualifying for a loan that matches the purchase price. There are closing costs, taxes, and insurance fees. There may be things that come up during the inspection which require repair work or remodeling to bring the house up to code. These costs add up quickly. Without a realtor on your side, you may be left paying thousands of dollars more than if your trusty realtor negotiates with the buyer/seller's agent to get the best possible deal.