When the real estate market is overheated – or slows up — many buyers and sellers figure that they can save money (or make more money) by “cutting out the middleman.” The truth is that transfer of real estate may LOOK simple, but can easily become one of the most complicated legal issues anyone will ever have had to endure.
But let’s address the biggest complaint – ‘Real estate companies get an x% commission.”
What do you get for your money? There are many things that agents do.
- Experience and knowledge – what price should a seller price ask? /what price should a buyer pay? It’s very tough for a homeowner to be objective about when evaluating their own house.
- Buffering – agents deal with their clients and their agent counterparts so the buyers and sellers don’t get involved in direct discussion, removing the emotional stress from BOTH buyers and sellers
- Negotiating – Again, Realtors are going to be all about business, and will do their best to remove any anger or fear from the discussion. They are professionals trained on how to represent their clients to the best advantage AND will hold ALL information in confidence. Buyers or sellers are emotionally involved, and may get frustrated enough to feel that they are better at dealing with price than their Realtor. They need to realize that trying to “beat someone up on price” may cause what should be a good deal to go sour.
- Working with the Lender and Title Insurance companies on paperwork – If any financing is involved – namely a mortgage of some type – the federal government requires anywhere from one to three INCHES of paperwork to be filled out, correctly. Any errors or omissions can cause the deal to blow up AND/OR for either a buyer or a seller OR lender to call a lawyer and file suit.
- Deal with post-closing issues – Even a “simple” transaction that closes without any seeming complications can come back to haunt one or both parties to a transaction. Sometimes a taxing authority – the folks who collect property tax – can get behind OR make mistakes. Agents can work with title insurance professionals to clear up the problems WITHOUT fallout to buyer or seller.
- Providing resources – A buyer may request remedies or “fixes” and the seller will have to find a resource that can quickly and economically handle them. Realtors have access to all kinds of trustworthy individuals and companies who can handle those issues without problems.
The fact is simple – DIY is fine for refinishing furniture, but real estate transactions are much more complicated. Given the potential for hard feelings, expensive-to-fix mistakes and even MORE expensive and time-consuming lawsuits, most people would say that using a Realtor will save them from complications that they are not trained to handle.