Buying a home is a big deal.
It may be the most significant transaction you ever deal with. If you’ve been thinking of purchasing a home, chances are you have asked yourself whether you need a real estate agent or not.
Most people would not consider going through the home buying process without a real estate professional. In fact, in any given year, only a small fraction of the home buying sales are transactions completed without the services of a real estate agent.
Trying to buy a Charlottesville VA home without an agent can carry risks and lead to costly mistakes. Here are some disadvantages and risks of buying a home by yourself.
1. Limited knowledge of the neighborhood
Without an agent, you will not have a neighborhood specialist to help you with your decisions.
When buying a home, knowing how to pick the right neighborhood is crucial. The neighborhood you choose will have an impact on the quality of life and resale value of your home.
One of the biggest advantages of working with a Charlottesville real estate agent like me is my knowledge of the neighborhoods in the area you are buying. I can provide you with information regarding school districts, property taxes, HOA rules, commutes, property values, and more.
2. Inspection problems
Without the guidance of a real estate agent, you’ll be on your own to determine the types of inspections that should be done. If you miss the necessary inspection, you may wind up with a home with real issues.
A home inspection is an examination of the overall condition of the home. It is important to conduct one to avoid costly mistakes by purchasing a home that is in need of major repairs. However, a home inspection report can be difficult to understand. It will contain every potential problem and may include 20-50 points of concern.
As the top real estate agent in Charlottesville VA, I can help you understand which inspection reports are necessary and which ones are unreasonable. I look at these reports all the time, so I know how to pick out the important stuff.
3. Negotiation and paperwork
Without an agent, you’ have to do your own negotiation. Negotiating a home purchase is quite challenging. Sellers want the highest price and buyers want the best possible deal.
As a qualified and experienced real estate agent, I can help you negotiate the tricky process of buying a home. I negotiate for my clients and I know every factor that influences home values, and every pressure point that is likely to deliver a response.
In addition, real estate law is complex. You also need to complete all necessary paperwork correctly and accurately, submitting them by deadlines.
Having an agent helps you understand what you need to sign. The odds of making mistakes can drop substantially when you’re working with someone who knows the paperwork inside and out.
The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Agent
With so much information readily available online, many homebuyers think that hiring a real estate agent is no longer essential. Homebuyers, including you, may wonder if you can actually buy a home through the Internet or marketing your property yourself through different advertising channels without representation.
While some homebuyers do fine on their own, like I said, it’s risky. Here are the reasons why you need to consider hiring a professional real estate agent when buying a home in Charlottesville VA.
We are experienced
If you are buying a home and you do not know a thing about home buying, you are taking a huge risk. But if you hire a real estate professional, you do not need to know everything about buying and selling real estate.
Once, Henry Ford said that when you hire people who are smarter than you are, you are only proving that you are actually smarter than they are. For a successful home purchase, the trick is always to find the right person to help you with the transaction process. For the most part, they all cost roughly the same, so what’s wrong with hiring someone who is more educated and experienced in real estate than you are?
Buying a home takes time, especially if you do not have a representation. Since you are looking for more precious time your life, hiring a pro gives you that time.
We offer buffering help
Through the help of a real estate agent, you can tak the spam out of your property showings and visits. Especially if you are buying a new home, your agent will help keep the agents of builders at bay and prevent them from taking advantage of you and your lack of experience.
On the other hand, if you are a seller, your real estate agent will help filter all the phone calls that lead to nowhere to make sure that only serious buyers who are ready to write offers immediately can reach you.
We are knowledgeable about your neighborhood
Real estate agents like us usually possess intimate knowledge when it comes to the neighborhood. You can depend on us to know where to find the industry buzz about your area and identify comparable sales and hand these facts to you.
If you are not yet familiar with your target neighborhood, you can expect us to point you in the direction where you can find more data on schools, crime or demographics. For instance, if you are interested to buy a home down the street, your agent may know if it had upgrades and can give you an estimate of its value.
We can give you price guidance
Contrary to popular belief, real estate agents like us do not choose prices for our clients. However, we help guide our clients to make the right choices for themselves. Your agent will devise a negotiation strategy that will work best for you.
We will tell you the current conditions of the market
If you choose me as your agent, you can count on me to disclose the true conditions of the market to you so it can help you govern your buying or selling process. There are several factors that usually determine the success of a home sale of purchase, and most of these factors have to do with the market.
Data such as the average per square foot cost of similar homes, median and average sales prices, average days on market and ratios of list-to-sold prices are the most common market factors that have the hugest bearing on what homebuyers or sellers like you ultimately decide to do.
We have a network of professionals
As a real estate agent, I network with other professionals in the industry. Many of these professionals provide the services that you will need throughout your home buying or selling transaction. While some agents hesitate to recommend an individual or company due to legal liability, I know which vendors have a reputation for efficiency, competency, and competitive pricing and I will not hesitate recommending them to you.
I can also give you a list of references with whom I have previously worked, as well as give you some background information to help you make the right choice.
We are expert negotiators
As top producing agents, we are able to negotiate well because we are able to remove ourselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction. Not to mention the fact that we have good negotiation skills. Unlike buyers and sellers, we make decisions not based on emotions but on actual factors.
If you hire me as your agent, expect me to be more than just a messenger who delivers your offer to the seller and vice versa. As a professional, I am trained to present your case in the best light and agree to hold your information confidential from competing interests.
We can handle volumes of paperwork
When you buy a home, you will find that purchase agreements usually run at least 10 pages, excluding the federal and state-mandated disclosures and non-disclosures dictated by local custom. If you hire an agent, you will not have to deal with all those paperwork and run the risk of losing some important documents and landing in court.
We will answer questions after closing
There are instances when even the smoothest transactions that close without complications come back to haunt the buyer. It’s possible that after closing, taxing authorities will come knocking on your door to collect property tax assessments, doc stamps or transfer tax. Especially if you are a new homebuyer, you may not be able to deal with these things.
One major benefit of having a professional agent is that you have someone to call to straighten out such confusions and complications. Several questions may pop up after closing, so it’s good to have an agent on stand-by to assist you. Remember that worthy and honest agents do not leave you right away.
We can develop relationships for future business
Most of the time, the basis for an agent’s success and sustained career in the business is referrals. Only a few agents survive if their livelihood solely depends on consistently drumming up a new business. This fact keeps us more motivated to make our clients happy and keep them satisfied.
Qualities to Look for In Your Real Estate Agent
There are many different players in the residential real estate industry, but the workhorses of every real estate transaction are the people who coordinate the process—the real estate agents.
By nature, a real estate agent is similar to a conductor of symphony who coordinates the different players for a successful transaction. She becomes a salesperson, a buyer’s advocate, an analyst, a business manager, a negotiator, and a marketer.
Here are the qualities and traits to look for in a successful real estate professional:
- She’s a problem solver
Find someone who enjoys coming up with creative solutions to problems. A house for sale may not have the features that attract buyers, but if a real estate agent knows how to properly showcase a property to make it more marketable, she can attract the right buyers.
- She is self-motivated
A successful real estate professional has a desire to control her own professional destiny and be her own boss. Only successful real estate agents have such a high degree of self-motivation and drive.
- She is honest
Find an agent who considers her professional reputation as crucial in her real estate career. You will know that she applies only the best practices and high ethical standards in her profession is if she’s a member of the National Association of REALTORS. Agents who are members of this association pledge to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
- She is tenacious
Top-producing agents do not only have a great work ethic but also the tenacity to pursue every lead. They have the hustle to market your properties to achieve success and they work smart in doing whatever is necessary to close a deal.
- She’s interested in houses
A true real estate agent is passionate about houses and architecture. If you are looking for an agent, find someone who can give you that advantage. The best thing about having an agent who has interest in houses is that you know she really cares about the industry and she can give you the advice that you need as you go along the home buying or selling process.
- She has an engaging personality
Remember that a good real estate agent does not only sell properties—they sell themselves. Find someone who has a great attitude, is personable and honest, and has confidence in her abilities to help you.
- She has attention to detail
The ability to pay close attention to detail is crucial to become a successful agent. Hence, look for someone who is attentive to your needs and is organized enough to follow up with leads, communicate well with you and is willing to go the extra mile to attend to your needs.
- She understands the local housing market
Make sure that your agent also utilizes the nuances that make your housing community’s housing market and pricing strategy unique. She must also be able to identify and develop a niche in your local market.
- She has connections
You know a real estate agent is experienced enough to assist you if she has a vast network of contacts within the market she serves. These connections include other real estate agents, potential buyers and sellers, appraisers, home inspectors, and mortgage loan officers.
- She is knowledgeable
Your agent must also be up-to-date with the latest topics in real estate and in the local market, so she can service you more effectively. You may also choose someone who considers continuing education and professional development as doors to opportunity which she can utilize to stay at the forefront of the industry.
Let me help you find your dream home in Charlottesville VA!
Call me, Pam Dent, at 434-960-0161. With my extensive knowledge of the Charlottesville area and the real estate market, I can help you find the best home that suits your lifestyle! Let’s get started today!