Top 10 compelling reasons to hire a Realtor or real estate agent

Realtor gives clients house tour

Content

Buying and selling a home are likely two of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime, and yet some buyers and sellers will consider navigating real estate transactions on their own with little to no knowledge of the process. This can be a financially risky and unnecessarily stressful choice.

Of course, it’s tempting to sell or buy a property on your own to avoid the cost of a real estate agent’s commission, but is that small savings worth how much money you may leave on the table without an experienced agent guiding the process?

Here are just a few reasons why it’s still best to hire an experienced real estate agent to help you with your home sale or purchase.  

Why you should hire an experienced real estate agent when planning to sell or buy

Hiring a real estate agent comes with several benefits. Not only do full-time real estate agents know more about the real estate industry, but they also have all the knowledge and skills needed to make your buying and/or selling process easier.

Here are the 10 reasons to hire a realtor or real estate agent to help you:

1. They have knowledge and experience

An experienced real estate agent will be your most important ally during your home sale or purchase. Their knowledge of current buyer activity and seller expectations will give you an advantage during negotiations, and their knowledge of the multitude of complications that can arise during a real estate transaction will help you avoid making risky decisions or mistakes throughout the lengthy process.

The real estate market is fluid and ever changing

Only a full-time real estate agent can stay up to date on how changes to federal, state and local laws, the economy, federal interest rates, and local buyer demand will affect your market. Though the internet is overflowing with all sorts of opinions and advice about real estate, you can’t simply find all your answers on how real estate transactions are done in New York in an internet search.

Knowledge of local processes

For starters, the New York real estate transaction process is unlike how it’s done in the vast majority of the US and Canada. And Long Island has a different process than New York City and upstate.

One example is that real estate agents in New York work with attorneys to draw up contracts, and the terminology used in the contracts differs from what is standard for most other states. You’ll want to work with an agent who is familiar with standard contract contingencies, conditions and clauses in your area to make sure you are best represented.

2. Real estate agents know the laws and regulations

Every region within New York state has different rules and regulations regarding building codes, septic/sewer systems, utilities, etc. Having a knowledgeable local agent who is familiar with local codes and common building items is important.

It may seem silly that your agent knows which areas in Nassau county have cesspools, and that most homes in Suffolk county have cesspools or a septic system, but when you consider each county has new, different rules about cesspool replacement that could be quite costly, you’ll want an agent who can clearly explain your risks before you purchase a possibly problematic home.

Real estate agents must also be up to date on the federal, state, and local fair housing laws you must abide by when buying, selling, and renting a property. These laws pertain to you whether you hire a licensed real estate agent or are going about the process on your own. Your agent will also be sure to have all the required state mandated disclosures that need to be provided.

3. They have a network of trusted professionals

At the start of my real estate career, a veteran broker once told me, “there will be complications during every real estate deal, but I will either know how to solve the problems or I will know who to call to get it resolved.” And boy, was she right.

There are so many complications that can come up in a real estate sale or purchase. Whether it’s a major structural issue found during an inspection or a complicated title and unexpected probate issue days before closing, I have made it my second job to make sure I have a trusted team of real estate lawyers, home inspectors, mortgage loan officers, insurance agents, title companies, appraisers, expeditors, contractors, accountants, exterminators, and every other property sale-related experts to call whenever something comes up.

At the very least, your real estate agent’s connections will save you time looking for reputable professionals needed for your standard, problem-free transaction, but these connections can be invaluable when you find yourself with a rare complication.

4. They have intimate knowledge about the neighborhood

An experienced agent can compare homes in your neighborhood street by street. They will have all the data to know how many days on market you should expect and may even project how many offers you will receive on your property based on neighborhood research.

Your agent will not only provide you with the average sales prices of similar properties just like yours, but they will explain the current trend in home prices and what to expect based on data and future projections. This allows you and your agent to come up with the best pricing and marketing strategy to get top dollar for your home.

A knowledgeable real estate agent will also know the specific benefits of living in your neighborhood, such as beach and mooring rights, a resident-only town park, or HOA privileges.

5. They know how to save you time

Time is money in real estate, and selling a property can be very time-consuming. That’s why hiring a real estate agent can save time and energy. It is your agent’s job to handle everything from ordering and preparing marketing materials during the pre-listing process, to showcasing the home to individual potential buyers and/or to crowds at an open house during the listing process, to negotiating terms and accompanying inspections and appraisals throughout the closing process.

Your agent will also handle the endless phone calls and questions from buyers and agents about your property, as well as schedule appointments for showings. Your real estate agent will also help you qualify serious buyers when getting offers to ensure you don’t waste time and money on an unqualified buyer.

6. They possess knowledge about current market conditions

Sometimes the real estate market is so hot that any house will sell itself. Sure, it might, but at what price? Are you willing to leave money on the table by not hiring a real estate agent to market and negotiate an optimal price?

A real estate professional knows what most buyers are looking for and what sellers are expecting today. When selling a home, marketing tactics change as the local market changes, and outdated methods will cost you money. Your agent will adjust their marketing and negotiation tactics based on the current market to get you the maximum price for your home.

7. They provide the right price guidance

Pricing a home for sale is its own marketing strategy. A good agent can analyze all the data needed to suggest the right price for a property in order for the seller to reach their goal, whether it be selling quickly, receiving multiple offers, netting a certain profit from the sale, etc.

Ultimately, the seller chooses the list price, but a professional real estate agent will explain how the average price of similar properties, the average per square foot cost, and how list-to-sold prices affect your pricing strategy.

8. They have expert negotiation skills

The negotiation process is psychological and personal, but should not be emotional. There is a reason doctors do not operate on their family members—it’s too close to home (pun intended) and emotions can cloud your otherwise good judgement.

The home buying and selling processes are stressful. When you hire a real estate agent, you are removing your emotional attachment from the entire process. Your agent will still have all of your best interests in mind, and you will get way more from the negotiation process.

Most real estate professionals know that even in the most extreme seller’s or buyer’s markets, negotiating is not about being hard-headed and combative. Those are usually the least successful negotiators. Skilled negotiators know that in order to get their client the best deal, they must consider how to make the opposing party happy to give their client everything they want.

9. They can handle all the paperwork

Back in the day, a one-page deposit receipt was enough to make a deal with another person. But, we don’t live in the ’70s anymore. In fact, most purchase agreements today run from 10 pages or more, depending on all the data and exhaustive paperwork both parties need to close a deal.

That’s why you need to hire a professional real estate agent who can make things easier and smoother for you. Real estate agents can handle all the paperwork so you don’t make mistakes that can land you in court.

10. They give expert advice during the closing process

Most people think that finding potential buyers is the only long procedure during a real estate transaction. But the closing process is also a lengthy process where problems can occur. These can include requests or costs of repairs, home inspections, title issues, roofing problems, furnace issues, appraisal issues, walk-through issues, and so on.

As I mentioned in reason #3, problems will arise, but your real estate agent will help you identify any possible problems before they occur and guide you through resolving them.

Your relationship with your agent after closing day

Your relationship with your real estate agent doesn’t end at the closing table. Yes, real estate transactions are financial decisions, but they are also very personal, emotional experiences. Moving forward, your real estate agent will know your likes, dislikes, communication preferences, and many aspects of your personal life.

So if you have questions about your current home, property taxes, refinancing, potential renovations, or if you decide to move again, your real estate agent will be able to provide customized service. Most top agents grow their business through referrals made by their satisfied and happy clients, so they are happy to help whenever it’s needed.

Choosing the right real estate agent

There are thousands of real estate agents available around you, especially on Long Island. But choosing the best agent to be your trusted advisor to guide you throughout it all can be very challenging.

A real estate agent will explain the buying and selling processes to you, and guide you throughout each of the twists and turns of the real estate transaction. Not all agents have the same amount of knowledge, so it’s important to interview your agent before hiring them to ensure you will have a stress-free experience and net the most out of your sale or purchase.

At the very least, make sure your agent is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and follow up by asking them if they are familiar with the ten items listed above. You need an agent who is knowledgeable about the real estate market and current practices, a strong negotiator, motivated, respectful, patient and who has the communication skills to give you the best real estate transaction and services they can offer.

Conclusion

Real estate agents are not just experts. They are skilled negotiators without an emotional stake that can help you get the best deal possible. They have the market knowledge needed to make a real estate transaction a smooth and successful experience.

Maximizing a property’s exposure is the best way to encourage multiple offers on a property, and only real estate agents can place a listing on the multiple listing service, which syndicates your property’s listing to hundreds of ancillary sites.

Real estate agents will handle the not-so-exciting tasks of scheduling showings and walking you through all the exhaustive paperwork, but they will also be a knowledge resource for you. They will explain the selling and buying process. They will also help you make the best-informed decisions each step of the way.

Author

Cristina Morizio

Long Island real estate agent Cristina Morizo
As an experienced REALTOR® and Long Island native, I know the ins and outs of the real estate market. I help home buyers, sellers, investors and homeowners navigate and negotiate. Questions? Ready to buy or sell? Let’s talk!

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