What can an agent do that a home buyer cannot do for themselves?

Asked by Trulia Houston, Houston, TX Tue Apr 2, 2013

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Catherine Mallia’s answer
Catherine Ma…, Agent, Houston, TX
Wed Apr 3, 2013
Well, probably nothing...IF the Seller is knowledgeable about pricing, marketing, finance, negotiating, real estate law in general and real estate vocabulary in particular, navigating the closing process, qualifying buyers, and has a gut instinct about people. Seriously, what sellers see are the actions of an experienced agent making it seem effortless; what they don't see are the countless hours of education and preparation, and the endless phone calls from nosy neighbors and unqualified buyers that consume a lot of non-productive time. The benefits offered by having your property listed in MLS and available to show at any time is priceless. The benefits of having every agent in your community having detailed, accurate information on your property at their fingertips, provided in a concise format they are accustomed to viewing, is invaluable. There are a million reasons to engage a professional to represent you in a real estate transaction....not the least of which is the safety of you and your family by having prospects pre-qualified before interrupting your family life.
In addition to the above, there have been numerous surveys done which show that a licensed agent can sell your home for more than owners can generate themselves. CAN you do it yourself? Maybe. The real questions might be: SHOULD you do it yourself, and what is there to gain by trying?
0 votes
Susan J Penn,…, Agent, Weston, FL
Thu Apr 4, 2013
Why would a home buyer not want to use a realtor to help them through this process? Does a home buyer know how to write up an offer or what questions to ask when purchasing a short sale?Does a home buyer know how to find the correct comparables?
Does a home buyer have great sources to use for a mortgage depending on the circumstances? Does a home buyer know a great inspection company? Does a home buyer know the Seller pays for the realtors commission and the buyer does not incur this expense?

Susan Penn, PA, SFR
Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Inc
2000 Main Street
Weston, FL 33326
E-mail: penn.s@ewm.com
1 vote
Leslie Gueva…, Agent, Houston, TX
Thu Apr 4, 2013
An agent can usually walk you through the process of home buying.
-Ususally, agents work with different lenders and can recommend good lenders that know what they are doing and can take you to the finish line. In our industry we see lenders that pre-approve people and once it comes down to closing on their dream home, issues arise.
-Recommend inspectors during the inspection period and help with negotiations of repairs or even adjust price.
-Pull comps on the last homes sold in the subdivision/area in the last 3-6 months to make sure the buyer is not over paying
- If price is negotiated for repairs, an agent can recommend different vendors after closing (roofers, plumbers, electricians, etc)
-Also there is a big and common misconception that the buyer can get a better deal if going to the selling agent directly. This is false since the seller's agent is ultimately and orginally looking out for the sellers best interest so without a buyers agent to protect those interest a lot of time the buyers don't know what they are getting themselves into.
-During the home search the agent can eliminate all the homes that the buyer doesn't qualify for. For example, if buyer qualifies for FHA that means they are only putting 3.5% down, so some homes don't qualify for FHA, they are CASH ONLY, or Conventional so agents try not to show properties that their client can't qualify for.

One of my clients that qualified for FHA for $150,000 saw some potential houses she liked in the $105,000 and wanted to see them since it was under what she qualified for, the problem with the house was it was under priced becaue it had foundation problems so it would only qualifiy for a cash buyer or someone that was putting 20% down.

Hope this information is helpful.

Leslie Guevara
RE/MAX Broker Associate
1 vote
Suzanne MacD…, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Tue Apr 2, 2013
You've seen 'do it yourself' home improvements, right? Well, a licensed agent is a professional. The difference between hiring a home improvement contractor and doing it yourself.
0 votes
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