In an age of technology and instant information, many fields that were traditionally ruled by experts are now considered to be “do-it-yourself” jobs – photography, taxes, and travel agents, to name a few. Estate agents seem to have joined this group, as home owners search for short cuts in their transactions, and self-teach themselves information about the market, finances, and real estate. However, though this approach might seem cheaper, in the long run it might cost more in energy, time, and even money. Here are three reasons you should consider using a real estate agent.
1. Fielding the Market
Hiring an estate agent means not having to worry about hunting down sellers who are unlisted or difficult to reach. An estate agent is familiar with the market and knows how to contact the owners or agents of homes that meet your criteria. They save you time in trying to call and set up appointments with sellers, and screen them to ensure that the property would be suitable.
If you are selling your home, an estate agent will field calls and weed out the serious buyers. An agent will set up appointments for you and keep track of your interested buyers. If you are busy and don't have time to organize your time and call back potential buyers, it might be best to have an estate agent handle the process for you. Also they will be available to do the viewings 6 days a week, where as you may find it difficult to fit them around your schedule and other peoples.
2. Negotiating takes experience
Dealing directly with a seller might sound easier, but the reality is that there might easily be clashes over timing, house décor, and more. A real estate agent can express your desires to the seller without making it personal – for example if you want the homeowner to upgrade their interior before making the purchase, your agent can express your contempt without insulting the homeowner’s taste. And if the homeowner does get insulted, it will be a frustration directed towards the agent, not you. Any bad blood between buyer and seller can kill a deal.
An estate agent has experience and training in dealing with difficult sellers, and knows how to handle difficult negotiations without hurting a sale. This will help you get the house you want with the features you desire.
3. Working with contracts requires expertise
Let's face it; paperwork is a pain. Wading through documents and figuring out mortgages and finances can be tedious and difficult work. If you are selling, an estate agent understands what conditions need to be in the contract to make a smooth sale. If you are buying, an agent also knows what conditions to look for in a sale. For example, when buying a home with a mortgage, you need to make financing a part of the contract – otherwise if your mortgage claim isn't approved, you could lose your deposit on the home, or even be sued.
Estate agents understand the nuances of contracts, as they have worked with them and have experience creating and amending them.
**These were three reasons you might consider using an estate agent to save time, money, and heartache. Next time you want to represent yourself on the housing market, stop and think that if you get into a sticky situation, it would really pay to have a professional around.
By Natalie Elms. Senior Sales & Lettings Negotiator at Property People. Estate agents in Wimbledon Park
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