On any given day, you can drive around and see “For Sale” signs and advertisements for open houses. You can literally walk into almost any property and make a bid. So why would you hire a Realtor?
We’ve got four answers to that question, in terms of how a Realtor helps you as a homebuyer. But first, let’s clarify one thing that many homebuyers are not aware of: Realtors provide their services to you, a homebuyer, absolutely free.
Realtors are paid commission by the seller of the home…the homebuyer pays nothing. So why wouldn’t you use a Realtor? If that wasn’t a convincing enough argument, here are four valuable ways that Realtors can actually save you money during the homebuying process.
1. Realtors can help you find homes that fit your budget
Hopefully you’ve been Pre-Approved for a mortgage by now, because many Realtors require buyers be Pre-Approved before taking them on as a client. Pre-Approval is also helpful because it lets you know exactly how much you have to spend on a home.
One thing Pre-Approval can’t help you with is planning for all the associated costs that come with buying a home, which are sometimes hidden. Things like utility bills, the price of insurance, homeowner’s association fees, and other costs vary from neighborhood. You may not be intimately familiar with the area, but a Realtor is. They’ll help you find homes that fit comfortably within your budget.
2. Realtors can find you savings
It’s a seller’s market right now, which means you’re going to struggle to find a “bargain.” If you want any chance of getting a better deal, a Realtor is your best bet. They’re experts on buying and selling houses, so they know exactly what to look for when touring a home.
The driveway? That dark corner of the basement storage room, under the steps? The average buyer might not notice a crack or a leaky spot where mold might form. Realtors have sharp eyes for these details, and will point out factors that could justify you inquiring about a lower asking price.
3. They’ve got a Realtor…why shouldn’t you?
Two realtors are involved in most home sales. The homebuyer’s representative, and the seller’s representative. The selling Realtor receives a higher commission the higher the home goes for, so you’ll want someone in your corner, making sure things stay reasonable. Don’t bring a knife to a Realtor fight!
4. Realtors keep the closing process running smoothly
Realtors aren’t legal representation, but they’ve been through enough closing processes to offer you advice and clarification, on things such as the conditions to be met before closing. By keeping you on the right path during the creation of contracts, they keep the closing process running smoothly, helping to close on time. This is important to homebuyers, as most Pre-Approvals for financing are locked in for a limited period of time. If you fail to meet the deadline, you may be out of luck!
Aside from helping you financially, Realtors can also show you unlisted properties. Did we mention they do this all for free? This is potentially one case where you literally cannot afford not to get a Realtor.