For those looking to save time and money, buying a house without an agent may seem appealing. Considering the complexities of the home purchase process, a knowledgeable real estate agent is, in fact, a great asset, especially for first time buyers. A skillful agent can save you money by negotiating a lower purchase price or bringing potential issues to your attention prior to settlement.
Finding the best home for you
With thousands of real estate listings on the Internet, many potential buyers believe they can find a house online without the assistance of a real estate agent. However, filtering these searches according to an individual’s specific requirements can be extremely time consuming. An agent with expert knowledge of the Atlanta market will be able to execute a much more focused search. The agent will take into account home features that may not appear on a Web listing, such as a busy road running behind a property or a family friendly neighborhood. Search fields that agents have through their multiple listing services are far more sophisticated than what the general public has at their disposal and that can lead to a more focused and less time-consuming search. And the agent database is in real-time, so great buys at awesome bargains aren’t more likely missed.
Before tackling price negotiations alone, ask yourself how comfortable you’d feel in a bidding war against other buyers. Real estate agents are extremely adept at dealing with seller’s agents and are experienced at negotiating deals. They can also advise you on ways to increase the attractiveness of your offer without increasing your bid price. For example, a real estate agent might recommend putting down more money upfront or foregoing certain sale contingencies that other potential buyers might want. A real estate agent who is familiar with the Atlanta market will also know recent sales prices and be able to advise you about the initial bid. An expert agent can normally coach a buyer to make a good clean offer at first and then will ask for more concessions once in the negotiating process.
Protecting the buyer’s rights
Buyer’s agents work under a code of ethics requiring them to act in the best interest of buyers. If you have never signed an agreement of sale before, you will want an agent who understands the intricacies of Georgia’s standard real estate forms to point out any items of concern before you submit an offer. Agents can also help you during the home inspection process. A smart real estate agent will know which items a seller might be willing to correct prior to settlement, and the agent can ask for repairs on your behalf.
Buying a house without an agent can leave inexperienced homebuyers open to unknown risks. Many of today’s real estate firms have agents who specialize as buyer’s agents. Working with these expert agents, who are hired via written agreement, will help to streamline the buying process from initial search through final settlement.
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