If you’re looking for a new home, hopefully you’ve also done some research into Realtors, and the benefits they can bring you as someone looking to purchase property. Everyone will tell you that Realtors have great knowledge of the surrounding neighborhoods—where the best schools are to where the best coffee shops are.
Unfortunately, there’s not nearly enough attention given to how a Realtor can help you when it comes to the financial elements of buying a home. As Brandon states in our video on the benefits of using Realtors, our smoothest transactions occur when the client has an agent working on their behalf.
But why? Check out this list of reasons how a Realtor can be both a borrower’s and a lender’s best friend when helping to buy a home.
Get A Better Price
This is obvious: A Realtor can help you get a better price on the home you desire. But how does this help you get a mortgage? The less you need to spend on the home, the less you need to borrow to afford that home, and the easier it is to get financing at a great rate.
This can be a huge deal, depending on what you qualify for. Perhaps your dream home is listed at $275,000. However, you’re only pre-approved for $260,000. One solution is to suggest that you offer more as a down payment, but another enticing option is to see what your Realtor can do for you. These professionals are skilled negotiators, and they might be able to get you through the door, while also within your spending limit.
These negotiations can also come in handy when working with improvements around the property. Maybe the home is perfect…except for a driveway that’s seen better days. Your agent can haggle, either to get you a better deal because of the issue, or to get the seller to repair the driveway as part of the purchase price.
Understand True Cost of Buying The Home
We already mentioned that Realtors are helpful sources of information on any given neighborhood where they work. But their knowledge of “backstage” information can be even more valuable than their expertise on the local park system.
This information deals with the additional costs that come along with buying a home. These are things such as property taxes (which can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood), average utility and insurance rates, as well as whether Homeowner’s Association Fees will apply. Many people use their pre-approval to budget out what they can afford in a home. Unfortunately, they forget these hidden costs and are disappointed in the long run. Use a realtor to get the most accurate understanding of how much home you can afford.
Let Them Worry About The Paperwork
Believe it or not, buying a home is a lot more complicated than buying…well…anything else. Because of all the titles and other legal ramifications that come into play when you buy a home and the property that it’s on, it’s beneficial to have someone on your side who can handle the paperwork.
A qualified lender will help you through the mortgage process, and a realtor will be beneficial when tackling the contract on the home, as well as HOA paperwork (if necessary). Having an expert handle your contract will help protect you and your purchase during this process.
This helps you both manage stress and close on the home in time. Often, you want to close on a property as efficiently as you can, just so that you can move in as soon as possible. In some instances, however, closing on time ensures that you get the best rate. Some borrowers will want to lock down their mortgage rate, usually for between 30 to 90 days, to protect themselves from potential rises in rates. This is great, but if you fail to close within that timeframe, you’ll be forced to take what the market gives you. Realtors make it easier to close quicker.
Relying On Selling Agents Is Problematic
In a traditional real estate transaction, the seller will also be represented by a listing agent (also a Realtor). A common thought for independent buyers is to have the listing agent also represent them as a buying agent, theoretically “removing the middleman.” Although legal, this situation puts the agent in an uncomfortable position.
A listing agent is professionally committed to selling the property for the highest price possible for their client. A buying agent has a similar commitment to their clients, except they’re dedicated to getting the best deal on the home. In short, it’s tough to represent both teams in the real estate game. You’ll benefit from bringing on your own Realtor to represent your interests.