A real estate practitioner adds more than "value," if you define value as a monetary outcome. Value, by any other name, is a reassurance that all is in order, and that your rights are duly considered, etc.. This is akin to the question why should I pay for insurance, versus, does insurance add value. You and anyone that thinks about this question knows that it doesn't add value, but does give you a sense of security in knowing that you are covered/protected should the need arise. An agent will help with this sort of thing, and more. If you work directly with a seller or a private party in any respect, you run the risk of unknowingly getting in over your head on matters unfamiliar to either. On the other hand, some savvy owner(s) take advantage of the naivetÃ© of unsuspecting buyers. So, I would recommend that in such a big and important investment it make sense to get a representative -- even if you have to foot that bill (when a seller is unwilling to retain an agent).
Angela, if you would like direct access to any type of information you may not find here, I'm just a phone call away, 415-850-4361.