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By Michael Corbett | Real Estate Pro in Los Angeles, CA

What a Realtor Can Do That You Can’t

Here's my advice: don’t try to buy a house without working with a Realtor! If you don’t believe me, read on to understand why it’s so important, and to your smart home-buying advantage!

When it comes to buying a house, you don’t need to know it all. In fact, it’s better that you don’t. You have heard the expression: a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Well, if a little bit of knowledge gives you the false impression that you don’t need to be surrounded by professionals, then, yes, it is dangerous. It’s so important to “know what you don’t know.” To be a successful homebuyer, you need to rely on the expertise, knowledge, and professionalism of the experts.

Realtors know the business inside and out. They have experience with each and every step of the home-buying and selling process. They are the experts in a number of areas critical to the process, whether you’re buying your first house, or your fifth. I always work with a Realtor. Always. Even if by some chance I have come across a property on my own or heard about one, the first call I make is to my Realtor to put his professionalism into action and to put the deal together. 

Here’s what a Realtor’s got that we don’t:
  • Access to every home that’s on the market via the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and all other sources, including ones that may not be listed publicly
  • Inside track to the deals before they even hit the market
  • The ability to combine your "Dream House Checklist" with your price range
  • Knowledge of recent comps (comparables)—what similar properties have sold recently and for how much
  • Knowledge of neighborhoods
  • Ability to negotiate with the sellers on your behalf
  • The inside scoop from the sellers’ agents
  • Expertise to negotiate and close the deal
  • Experience to manage the legalities of foreclosures or other distressed properties
  • Muscle to get a deal through the escrow or “under contract” period
  • A litany of referrals for inspectors, mortgage brokers, and even tradesman for renovations
  • Objective professional advice when you have your buyer’s remorse meltdown

Keep in mind, too, that today’s home purchase agreements can span ten pages or more, so your agent will need to handle lots of paperwork. That doesn’t even include the federal and state mandated disclosures, and any documents required by local custom. One little, seemingly innocuous mistake or omission could cost you thousands.

Need a realtor but don't know where to start? You're in luck! You can find a great Realtor with expertise in your area right here on Trulia. 


For more great tips: check out Michael's 3 Bestselling Books: 
Before You Buy!  Find It, Fix It Flip It! and Ready, Set, Sold!


By voices member,  Thu Apr 12 2012, 10:39
Well put!
By Tracey Hicks,  Thu Apr 12 2012, 11:13
Ditto, Well Put!
By Charity Emerich,  Thu Apr 12 2012, 13:17
Awesome article!
By Renee Drumm, e-PRO, REALTOR,  Thu Apr 12 2012, 13:37
Awesome post, Michael! Thank you for the "vote" of confidence!
By Rob and Kerry Anderson,  Thu Apr 12 2012, 14:30
Thank you, Michael. Great article!
By John Souerbry,  Thu Apr 12 2012, 15:02
You forgot that we dress stylishly, are well mannered, and open doors for ladies.
By Georgia Weaver (712) 291-0118,  Thu Apr 12 2012, 15:24
Totally agree, great article Michael. Too many people try it alone and get in trouble, thank you for the very informative post.
By Morello,  Thu Apr 12 2012, 19:03
Many homeowners try it alone out of pure desperation. I too once believed in the real estate professional. I now equate the real estate professional as a used car salesman - only interested in making their commission. Sadly, they avoid full disclosure by either changing the subject or artfully phrasing a partially truthful answer. Looking for a honest professional- to sell my home for a fair price- to give advise and comp's that are not 2 years old and not show comp's that are 6 months because the sale price was higher - and they suggest I list mine lower- why? More sq ft - better interior- hardwood fl- new boiler and air conditioner- The answer to why mine should be cheaper. Taxes- I am asking for a honest assessment of the market value of my house . so if my neighbor's smaller house sold and has cheaper taxes my larger more improved house with higher taxes should be priced the same? I don't get it????????
By Shelly D'amico,  Thu Apr 12 2012, 19:13
Thank you Michael for recognizing good hard working realtors. Great read!
By Brenda Feria,  Thu Apr 12 2012, 19:19
Great job. Thanks.
By Angela Carlson,  Fri Apr 13 2012, 04:34
Thank you for recognizing our value. -- Good article!
By Stephen Weber,  Fri Apr 13 2012, 07:50
That's a great article. It was a good "pick me up". Thank you
By Barbara A. Reagan,  Wed Apr 18 2012, 05:27
I agree with all comments above! A good reminder of what we do and gives a great way to explain our value to buyers to remind them that being their Realtor is more than just opening up the doors to the houses they want to see and filling in the blanks on a contract form!
By Annette Lawrence,  Wed Apr 18 2012, 06:35
I can almost feel the skepticism in your words. They are however understandable. After nearly 20 years embedded in the residential and commercial segments of real estate.... I don't get it either.
The logic a bank uses in the short sale process. Do they or don't they want the home sold? I don't get it?
Why FHA does a background check on real estate professionals when doing a foreclosure sale (in some states). Do they want to sell the home or not? I don't get it?
Why are the Republicans and Democrats so unwilling to find common ground for the good of the people? I don't get it!
Why is the Mayor of St Petersburg Florida unwilling to acknowledge the homeless as real human beings? I don't get it!
Why the USA has abandoned the ability to put an astronaught in orbit? I don't get it!
In any environment where the things we observe are not fully understood due to their complexity, the citizen becomes skeptical. W
hen the perception of non-disclosed motives are in play, there are no words that will convince the citizen otherwise. They will put in play a circular logic that is a real waste of everyones time.

Real estate, is a highly complex business. From the strategic marketing of a home, value positioning, to the hierarchical negotiations, there is purpose and strategy in play that is fluid and agile depending on the conditions and players involved. Even if a pro spent the time to show all the cards, you still would not believe. I don't get it?

Fortunately, the home owner and home buyer has a plethora of choices regarding how they wish to sell or acquire a home. With so many choices available, why would you still be critical? I don't get it?

Maybe, the citizen has an undisclosed objective. Perhaps they are so accustomed to getting everything FREE from real estate professionals, they just want more and more and more. This expectation, I admit, has been created by the very folks of whom you are so skeptical, but at some point, we all need to realize this is a business not a hobby. Perhaps the owner is expecting validation of their own conclusions, right or wrong, and expect the professional to execute that plan. It's a my way or no way mentality. Most professionals will acknowledge these stresses and will accommodate 'your way' for a season. However, there must be an agreement that the program needs to get on the right way at some time. I can tell, you already disagree.

As long as you have choices/options, should you not be fully satisfied? Often we wish things to be that never will. It's not a grand scheme to subvert civilization, it's just the way it is. For the open mind, more information can be beneficial, but for many, they will believe only what they have always believed. I don't get it!
By Nc,  Fri Apr 20 2012, 11:45
Just so you know, a local columnist at New Canaan Patch reposted your blog post, only crediting "a Trulia blog": http://newcanaan.patch.com/articles/draft-new-canaan-real-estate-is-just-a-little-knowledge-a-dangerous-thing
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