'Why do I need an agent?' 7 quick answers for doubters

Real estate agents still play a valuable role in the age of algorithms and DIYers

Many people believe that if you have the right algorithm, you will find the perfect property or that a transaction is as simple as what is shown on reality TV shows.

What most don’t realize is the negotiating expertise required, what it takes to overcome transaction problems (and they can be numerous) and that you must know and coordinate the best service providers (as many as 25) to get the deal closed.

All these aspects of expertise can save homebuyers or sellers thousands of dollars, or make them thousands of dollars, while ensuring that they are legally protected in all the steps to closing.

If you’ve ever been asked why real estate agents are necessary, here are many of the answers you can provide to those who don’t yet understand your invaluable service.

1. Major money on the line

First and foremost, this will be the largest personal financial transaction that most will ever experience. It’s a good idea to have a professional to guide buyers through the potential minefields associated with such a big transaction.

2. Financial issues

Financing contingencies that include prepayment penalties, appraisals not meeting the sale price, interest rate increases, inability to qualify and a host of other issues that can be managed by the agent.

3. Requirements and regulations

Government requirements and disclosures on the federal, state and local levels that can be overwhelming and costly if you don’t know about them.

These include foreign investment taxes, lead-based paint, flood zones, agency documentation, environment, asbestos, radon, installation of gas shutoffs, low-flow toilets, and the list goes on and on!

4. Inspection problems

Inspections that could include incorrect findings. You can find resolutions of these findings through other professionals such as geologists, roofers and quality repair companies. Termite inspections and home owner association (HOA) inspections and their requirements could also impact the entire sale process. Real estate agents can help to navigate through all these challenges that will protect clients, their money and their property.

5. Exposure

Open houses are advertised and marketed to clients’ advantage — plus they ensure your safety and save you time. This is great for clients whether selling or buying a home, for it gives them more exposure than they could have had on their own.

6. Affiliations

Real estate affiliates that include quality appraisers, title, attorneys, moving services, repair services and a host of other real estate professionals. I have seen appraisals that weren’t accurate and could have cost either the buyer or seller tens of thousand of dollars.

One transaction couldn’t be closed by any title company, but my title company was able to not only close the deal but saved $35,000 on an incorrect lien on the property.

7. Dispute resolution

Almost every real estate transaction includes differences, disputes and required negotiations by a trained real estate agent. In addition to coordinating all these complex and numerous aspects of the sale, an agent can help get to a resolution.

At some point during the transaction, both parties usually believe that the deal won’t close. Yet, only 1 percent of these of real estate transactions result in litigation — due to the experienced real estate agent who can get the deal closed.

You are a valuable and necessary resource when people are buying or selling their home!

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