With so much information readily available online, people sometimes ask themselves, "Why should we hire a real estate agent?" They wonder, and rightfully so, if they couldn't buy or sell a home through the Internet or through regular marketing and advertising mediums without representation, without a real estate agent. Some do OK; many do not. If you've wondered the same thing, here are 10 reasons why you might want to consider hiring a professional real estate agent.
- Education & Experience
If you hire a real estate professional who does, you don't need to know everything about buying and selling real estate! It has been said that when you hire people who are smarter than you are, it proves you are smarter than they are. The trick is to find the right person. As they all cost the same for the most part, why not hire a person with more relevant education and experience than you?
- Agents act as Buffers
Agents take the tedium out of your property showings and visits. If you're a buyer of new homes, your agent will stand between you and the developer’s agents, preventing them from hounding you to see their properties. If you're a seller, your agent will filter all those phone calls that lead to nowhere from people who masquerade as buyers but have no real intention of buying. Agents try to induce serious buyers to immediately write an offer.
- Neighborhood Knowledge
Agents either possess intimate knowledge or they know where to find the latest industry word-on-the-street about your neighborhood. They can identify comparable sales and present these facts to you. In addition, they can point you in the direction of where you can find more data to assist with making an informed decision.
- Price Guidance
Contrary to what some people believe, agents do not select prices for sellers or buyers. However, an agent will help guide their clients to make the right choices for themselves. If a listing is at 5%, for example, an agent has a 5% vested interest in the sale, but the client has a 95% interest. Based on market supply, demand and the conditions, the agent may suggest a negotiation strategy.
- Market Conditions Information
Real estate agents can disclose market conditions, which will govern your selling or buying process. Many factors determine how you will proceed. Data such as the average per square foot cost of similar homes, median and average sales prices, and average days on the market, among other criteria, will have a huge bearing on what you ultimately decide to do.
- Professional Networking
Real estate agents network with other professionals, many of whom provide services that you will need to buy or sell. Due to legal liability, many agents will hesitate to recommend a certain individual or company over another, but they do know which vendors have a reputation for efficiency, competency and competitive pricing. However, agents can give you a list of references with whom they have worked and provide background information to help you make a wise selection decision.
- Negotiation Skills & Confidentiality
Unlike most sellers and buyers, top producing agents negotiate well because they can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction. And, because they are skilled -- it's part of their job description. Good agents are not messengers just delivering buyer's offers to sellers and vice versa. They are professionals who are trained to present their client's case in the best light and agree to hold client information confidential from competing interests.
- Handling Volumes of Paperwork
Plot plans, photographs, Town & Country Planning Permission, covenants, Residential Development documents, Condominium Association By-laws and related documents – these are all samples of documents needed to be on hand in order to answer relevant questions pertaining to a property.
- Answer Questions After Closing
Even the smoothest transactions that close without complications can come back to haunt one or both parties involved. For example, taxing authorities that collect property tax assessments, document stamps or transfer tax can fall months behind and mix up invoices. But, one call to your agent can straighten out the confusion. Many questions can pop up that were overlooked in the excitement of closing. Good agents stand by ready to assist. Worthy and honest agents don't leave you in the dust to fend for yourself.
- Develop Relationships for Future Business
The basis for an agent's success and continued career in real estate is referrals. Few agents would survive if their livelihood was dependent on consistently drumming up new business. Agents have a strong incentive to make sure that clients are happy and satisfied. It also means that an agent who stays in the business will be there for you when you need to hire an agent again. Many agents will periodically mail updates and/or newsletters to you to keep you informed and to stay in touch.
With over 36 years experience in the Barbados Real Estate Industry, Ron Karp Realty Ltd. has an intimate knowledge of the local property market. Contact Ron Karp Realty Ltd. today and let one of our professional, friendly sales associates assist you with your current real estate needs!