Why Hire a Real Estate Professional in a DIY World? – Part 2

Why Hire a Real Estate Professional in a DIY World?

In an earlier post, I talked about the disastrous home buying and selling experience my husband and I had the first time we bought a house. We did many things wrong and nearly lost our shirts. Ever since, I have been true believer in the value of a good buyer's agent instead of going it alone. Here's why.

Why Not DIY?

Today, you can find homes for sale and look up many things you need to know online. With all of the internet tools available today, there's a lot of debate about whether a buyer needs an agent. Why not DIY? Is it really necessary to have your own buyer representation? In my experience, the answer is emphatically yes! Here are eight great reasons to hire a buyer’s agent:

Great Reasons to Use a Buyer's Agent

Dedicated to Working for YOU

  • A buyer’s agent works for you and only you. Our big mistake was assuming that the agent we called was working for us. She was so nice and helpful! Except, she wasn’t actually working for us at all. By contract, she was working for the seller. That was her job and her responsibility. Back then, the agent had no obligation to explain that to us.
  • Your agent can recommend a good mortgage broker who will also have your best interests in mind. A good loan officer will confirm whether you are shopping in the right price range. More importantly, she will assure that the loan process goes off without a hitch.

Good Financial Advice

  • A good buyer’s agent will help you determine if you are getting the best deal you possibly can. He will help you avoid paying too much or jumping at the first thing you see regardless of its value. Had Mike and I looked at other homes in the area, we likely would have found a much better home in substantially better shape.
  • A buyer’s agent will help you construct your best possible offer. A well-written will help you get the home under contract, while protecting your right to terminate if necessary. We paid full price because we didn’t know any better.

Helping You Evaluate the Home

  • Once the home is under contract, a buyer’s agent will guide you through all the steps to safely evaluating the home. She will recommend appropriate inspections for your area and make sure you don’t miss any contract deadlines that protect your interests. Then, your agent will help you negotiate inspection items with the seller, so you don’t get stuck with a money pit like we did.
  • A buyer’s agent will verify that the title documents are complete and make sure there is nothing there that could cause you ownership problems down the line.
  • If the home is governed by a homeowner’s association, your agent will make sure you get all the association documents to review. With any HOA, you want to know just what you are getting into.

Help with Understanding Documents

  • Your buyer’s agent will review closing documents with you before the closing so that all your questions can be addressed to your satisfaction. No one wants to feel pressured at closing to sign papers they don’t understand.

You Need an Expert on Your Side

While all of these are excellent reasons to hire a buyer’s agent, you shouldn’t overlook the intangible benefits of having an expert represent you. The home buying process can be emotionally charged, especially when you have outside pressures to buy. A good agent can help you navigate this emotional minefield by injecting logic, experience and sanity into the process. He or she can act as a buffer between buyer and seller when a good negotiator is needed. Bottom line, why should you hire a real estate professional? You would never face a lawsuit without representation from your own attorney. More importantly, you would never ask your opponent's attorney to represent you. It makes no sense to negotiate one of the largest financial purchases you’ll ever make all by yourself. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know until it’s too late. This is one project you shouldn’t DIY. Trust me. For more information on how a buyer’s agent can help you safely by a home, see our reference library section called How We Help.
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