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How to Do It: 5 reasons you need a real estate agent

Whether you’re selling or buying, every real estate transaction follows a multi-step process involving various legal and financial documents, inspections, appraisals, negotiations and more. This is where your real estate agent comes in: As a licensed professional whose main role is to serve as a liaison between buyers and sellers, your agent is there to guide you through every step of the transaction. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you need an agent, here are five reasons why working with an agent is always a good idea. 

1. Market insight

Agents have a deep understanding of the markets they work in, meaning they’ll be up to date on things like recent sales in the area, current trends, what buyers are looking for and how to stage your home to make the best impression. They are aware of the impact of a buyer’s market versus a seller’s market and will advise you accordingly. An agent’s access to market data can also help you with pricing strategy — agents help sellers determine the optimal list price for their home and help buyers decide on an appropriate offer amount, based on market conditions and similar homes in the area.

 

2. Local expertise

An agent’s job involves getting to know you so that he or she can better understand your individual wants and needs. Knowing these things allows your agent to find you a home and neighborhood that fit your lifestyle and budget. Because agents know the ins and outs of their city and each of its neighborhoods, they can offer the kind of insider insight you won’t find in an online search. And, if you’re relocating to a new city or state, your Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty agent can connect you with an expert agent — who lives and works in your new community — at one of our affiliate brokerages in the Sotheby’s International Realty network. 

 

3. Marketing strategy

Selling your home requires a lot more than simply placing a “for sale” sign in the front yard. Your agent can provide you with a customized marketing plan based on your individual needs, which can include print and digital ads, email marketing, direct mail, social media promotion and more. Agents use their network of industry contacts as well as online tools to market your home to the right people. 

 

4. Negotiation skills

Understanding your home’s value is one thing, but getting the best possible price is another. Real estate agents are seasoned negotiators who will help you get the most money for your home. If you’re buying, they will help you determine the conditions to include in your offer as well as a fair offer amount that aligns with your budget, leaving room for further negotiation according to your mortgage pre-approval.

 

5. Paperwork

The process of buying or selling a home is complex and time-consuming. An agent will take care of the paperwork for you, which not only saves you time, but also helps you avoid delays and costly mistakes. Even after an offer is accepted on a home, it can take more than a month to complete the legal paperwork. The seller’s disclosures and purchase agreement are not to be taken lightly, as the seller can be legally liable for any failure to fully disclose a defect or hazard. In this scenario, an agent is more than an objective pair of eyes on a home’s fitness for sale: He or she serves as a valuable safeguard against potentially devastating legal action. In addition, a seller’s agent can determine the financial fitness of a buyer and evaluate any attached conditions.

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