Buying a home is a big deal. In Northern Virginia the excessive price tag compared to most other regions adds to that commitment. So as a buyer, why should you engage a Realtor? You may ask what a Realtor can see that a buyer cannot when searching for a home. After all, with a quick Internet search and a mortgage calculator consumers have all they need to know, right? That works great in Monopoly, but when it comes to real life the stakes are high. If you are investing $200,000 to $800,000 (or more!) you need the guidance of a professional. A skilled agent will bring significant value to your search and help you in decision-making, thus bringing value to your future in this long-term investment.
Here are 8 great reasons why you should engage a Realtor to represent YOU when purchasing a home.
(Contact us HERE to start touring homes!)
1) The cost of a buyer’s agent. Did you know that in Northern Virginia, when a seller lists their home in our MLS, they are paying our fee when we represent you as a buyer? That’s right. Your professional representation is already paid for! Do you need to know more?
2) You need someone to translate a seller’s real intention. Listing agents and sellers sometimes have emotional responses. A good buyer’s agent can help you land the plane and be a buffer for unnecessary drama. You need that. Why? You may not know it now, but there is a chance you will be emotional as well. You are moving your life, your family, your future, and a whole lot of money in one transaction. An agent can help you see through a lens you may not always have in your toolbox.
3) You need to know the real cost of repairs. A home inspection contingency typically allows you to void a contract without penalty. But before you run away from a home because of a deficiency, know the cost. Hopefully the seller will repair it for you when you ask, but if not, reference a licensed contractor. Depending on other needed repairs, maybe it’s best to deal with a known expense on a home that you love as opposed to canceling the contract and starting over. But if that repair is 10 times what you expected, then maybe it’s time to run while you have the chance. You should be able to rely on your Realtor to introduce you to qualified contractors. They can help you move a repair from the unknown category to the known category, thus giving you what you need to make an informed decision about your investment and future.
4) Location, Location, Location. The house is amazing, but what about the neighborhood? Is it worth it? Are there elements surrounding the home or inside the home that will make resale a challenge? An agent that needs you to be satisfied more than they need a paycheck will give you an honest answer. You should ask before you buy.
5) Finding a lender. Your lender can make or break your chances for that dream home. Does your favorite banker or credit union have the ability to close on time? Are you sure? Will your bank get you a pre-approval letter or answer a phone call on a weekend? The lender is working for you and YOUR earnest money is on the line for their work. I always recommend interviewing your Realtor’s lender options. Real estate agents recommend lenders that get it done. If they want to sell homes then they will not send you to a bad loan officer with excessive fees. Just ask!
6) Writing a winning contract. In a seller’s market you need an edge. Price is a large piece of the pie, but it’s not the only way to gain an edge in writing a winning offer. Also, an offer can be 25-30 pages, or more! Go with a pro that knows their way around these documents and can help you develop a strategy to submit an offer that is attractive to a seller and reasonable for your pocketbook at the same time.
7) Negotiations. You may still be thinking about the sales price as the only part to negotiations. Negotiating price is important, no doubt. But you also should consider home inspection negotiations, negotiating potential appraisal issues, meeting timelines in the contract, and not letting a seller or agent take advantage of you with a misleading interpretation of the contract. This is just to name a few.
8) Private tours. If you go it alone, you won’t have access to a home unless there is an open house or the listing agent agrees to meet you there. You also need some space and time to see the home without other potential buyers around. Schedule a time with your agent to get a private showing!
Contact Jason and Bonnie HERE to begin your home search today!