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Old Northwest Land Co inc. © All Rights Reserved.
(815) 777-1776 office (815) 880-7827 fax
Wendie Horton, Realtor®
Licensed in Illinois
4359 Industrial Park, Suite 101
Galena IL 61036
A Galena Illinois and Jo Daviess County Real Estate Company
Office Hours 7 Days a Week
Ten Reasons Why Buyers Should Hire a Realtor
By Blanche Evans, Editor, Realty Times
The purpose of a home is one of the most complex, high-risk, and expensive transactions most people will ever go through, yet approximately 40-50 percent of home buyers go to the closing table without a representative or advocate on their side. This startling research performed in separate studies by the National Association of REALTORS and the National Association of Exclusive Buyer's Agents, shows that many buyers do not understand the importance of having an advocate. Without someone representing their interests, how will these buyers ever know if they found the right home at the right price?
Are you an un represented buyer? Like half of all home buyers in the nation, according to REALTOR.com you may be searching the internet for information to save you time and money, including shopping for loans and other services. Yet, you may not be using the one tool that can help you get into the home of your choice at the price you want to pay - a REALTOR. Why should you hire a Realtor? There are ten good reasons and many more why a real estate professional can make an important difference when you buy a home:
1. Realtors Are Real Estate Specialists.
Realtor is commonly used as a generic word for real estate broker or agent, but only a member of the National Association of Realtors can be call a Realtor. The association provides advanced educational opportunities to its members, enabling them to offer accredited sub-specialties such as buyer's representation (ABR) residential real estate expertise (CRS) or Internet readiness (e-PRO) to the public. Many excellent Realtors do not have extra certifications and designations, but if you notice letters next to an agent's name, be sure to inquire about its meaning. For their own reasons, many real estate professionals choose not to join the professional organization. If you would like to work with an agent who is not a Realtor, ask about the agent's experience and specialties.
2. Realtors Lower Your Risk.
When you have a Realtor as an advocate, you share some of the risk of home buying. Otherwise, it's buyer beware. You are paying the agent to assist you, advise you, and help you to navigate the transaction legally and safely. Your agent will make sure you take appropriate steps to protect yourself. Incredibly, many states do not have laws or regulatory bodies in place that protect all aspects of home buying. Only 20 states currently license or certify home inspectors, for example. Further, these and other professionals are only liable in civil suits for the amount of their fees, not for any costs incurred by the buyer for problems or repairs that were undetected before the closing. If your agent suggests that you get a structural inspection, do so for your own protection. She or he will know how an inspection should be performed and will attend the inspection alongside you.
3. Realtors Work For You At Their Own Risk.
It is hard to name any other profession whose members work on a contingency basis. Even attorneys charge by the hour except for some high-risk lawsuits. You don't typically pay for any services up front with an agent. That means your agent incurs the costs of doing business on your behalf until you find and close on your home. Therefore, it's in your agent's best interest to work quickly, diligently, and use all his or her resources to help you meet your goals. Some agents will ask you to sign a buyer's representation agreement which allows him or her to represent your interests. Be sure to ask what the advantages are, and what your release options are. Interview several agents before making your choice and compare their representation styles. Make sure you understand how the agent you choose will work with you, according to the laws and regulations of your state.
4. Realtors Understand The Current Market.
Real estate professionals have house-by-house, street-by-street, and market-by-market experience. Their experience is invaluable and can't be learned overnight. Realtors who have weathered the pendulum swing between buyers' markets and sellers' markets know that the real estate market can turn abruptly. Rising and falling interest rates affect the number of available homes for sale and their prices within weeks or days. All it takes is the entrance or exit of a major employer, and thousands of homes in a neighborhood can be affected. As neighborhood experts, experienced brokers and agents can help you with home buying strategies and proposals that will get the price and terms you want.
5. Realtors have inventory.
Do you want to find a home quickly? With a Realtor by your side, you will. According to The National Association of Realtors, over four-fifths of existing homes in the United States are represented by real estate brokers. So are 70 percent of new homebuilders and their products, according to NewHomeNetwork.com. Realtors cooperate with each other through an organization call the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The MLS has the current broker-represented properties for sale in its database. Your agent can also show you homes outside of MLS inventory, including for-sale-by owner homes, new builder homes, and institution-operated homes. However, no Realtor can be expected to show you this additional inventory without a representation agreement and an assurance of being paid at closing.
6. Realtors Have Up-to-the-minute Information.
MLS data entry can take from one to 10 days, depending on the listing agent, his or her broker, and the MLS. By the time the home is posted on the Internet, it could already be sold. Clever agents don't wait that long to find a home for their buyers; they network with each other. Your agent will tell other agents about you and your wish list in exchange for information about upcoming homes for sale. That's how many are bought and sold in a hot seller's market, without a sign ever going into the yard. If you want to be the buyer positioned to make the first and best offers on these homes, hire an agent.
7. Realtors Understand The Complexity Of The Transaction.
Less than a decade ago, a home could be bought with a two page contract. Now consumer mandated seller's disclosures, environmental and structural reports, and other liabilities have turned the home transfer into a complicated minefield. Realtors work with contracts daily, and can fully understand which points are harmful and beneficial to you. From helping you make a reasonable offer, to providing for the discovery and disclosure of material facts, your agent can also interpret information for you. If you found out that the neighbor next door to the house you are buying just built a new fence, what does that mean? You won't have to replace the fence on that side for a long time. To your agent, it means something else. She or he will quickly get a survey ordered, to assure that the new fence doesn't encroach on your new property.
8. Realtors Work For You...And The Transaction.
Your agent not only represents your interests but also works on behalf of the transaction. Does that seem like a conflict of interest? It isn't. Buyers and sellers are natural adversaries. You want to buy for the least price, and seller wants the best price. Agents must be skilled negotiators to keep bargaining chips from turning into deal-breakers. As the buyer, remember that you are the one in control. You can instruct your agent how far to go in negotiations on your behalf. One day, you'll be glad your agent talked you out of walking away because the seller wouldn't leave the chandelier.
9. Realtors Offer Flexible Services.
Realtor's services are somewhat negotiable. The more risk you ask your agent to take, the higher the fees will be, so the more your broker serves as your advocate, the more you can expect to pay. New ideas are coming to the real estate industry, which allow the consumer to pick and choose real estate services based on what brokers offer in the market place. Some offer only full service brokerage services. Others offer menu services and are paid accordingly. If you want to save some money, be prepared to pay more up front and shoulder some of the responsibility yourself. Perhaps you found the home you want to own, and you only want an agent to represent you on the contract and at closing. Some agents will accommodate you, but keep in mind that their liability may only limited to the actual job performed.
10. Realtors Are Homeowner Advocates.
Do you like the idea of deducting your mortgage interest from your income tax? Paying no capital gains when you sell your home up to $250,000 if you are single and $500,000 if you are married? If so, you can thank the only lobbying group in the nation that looks out for the interests of homeowners - The National Association of Realtors. Every year, the Realtor PAC perches on Capitol Hill and swoops down to legislators who try to overturn these generous government-sponsored homeowner benefits. The result is well worth it. These initiatives keep housing more affordable, enabling home buyers than ever before to move into a home of their own. Thanks in part to Realtors, more than 67 percent of the population are enjoying the benefits of owning a home. One of the greatest endorsements you have for using the services of a Realtors is from your lender.
Lenders are willing to finance agent commissions for buyers in the mortgage loan. That should tell you how important it is that you get proper representation. Many lenders agree you many get a better price for your home and better terms by having an advocate.
Put a Realtor to work for you today. You'll soon be in the home of your dreams!
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