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  • Writer's pictureHoard Law

Do You Really Need to Hire A Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a valuable resource for both home sales and purchases. In today’s fast-paced real estate market, buyers seem to need to act quickly to secure an accepted offer on a home. The Charlotte metropolitan area’s real estate market has been expanding for the past three years. In fact, Charlotte has ranked in the top 10 for the hottest markets for several years now, and according to Zillow, is on target to be the #1 market for 2023 - finally edging out Austin, TX and Nashville. In 2022, sales grew almost 12% and while there is slated to be a slow down, 2023 will likely still see phenomenal growth.

Buyers and sellers are taking the opportunity to cash in on this trajectory. The involvement of real estate agents in the region has been crucial in these deals. The first decision that homeowners or potential purchasers make when considering their next move is whether or not to use a real estate agent for their transaction. The naysayers might opt to sell their home as a FSBO, or For Sale By Owner.

The number one stated reason is the cost of using an agent. 8 in 10 sellers pay both the listing agent's and the buyer's agent commission from their net proceeds. This is often upwards of 6% of the total sales price, which for many seems a bit lofty. But... is it really?

Because of the resources available to real estate professionals, homes that are listed with an agent consistently sell for an average 26% MORE than a FSBO. So, to save the 6%, most FSBO sellers will lose 26% on price, if they close at all. FSBOs have a very low success rate, with almost 90% eventually using an agent to list their property.

Buyers, on the other hand, are at an even greater disadvantage when opting to forego the use of a professional. They often end up spending more money, not less. Even when purchasing new construction, using a builder's preferred lender, it is still recommended to use your own agent for the transaction. Your agent will have fiduciary duties to you and you alone, meaning they are required to look out for your best interest. That is not a mandate for builders, who have their bottom line to think about.

The Benefits of Using a Real Estate Agent

The average person buying or selling a house may be unaware of the amount of effort that goes on behind the scenes in such transactions. A few years ago, the realtor association published a thorough list of 180 potential acts involved in a real estate transaction. These steps are divided into many groups, including the ones listed below:

  • Researching neighborhoods based on client needs

  • Scheduling/managing showings and open houses

  • Detailed property analyses

  • Managing the database entry for the multiple listing service (MLS).

  • Promoting the property, both online and via other mediums

  • Analyzing and managing contracts and offers

  • The loan application procedure, house inspection, appraisal, closing, and follow-up are all tracked.

Even with all of the technology that is easily accessible in the 21st century, the services list provides a clear image of the difficulty of the business of purchasing and selling a property.

Beyond the many steps, real estate professionals are held to a high ethical standard. The state regulates the practice of agents, unlike most other sales professionals. This should give buyers and sellers peace of mind, knowing that strict norms of behavior are being followed and that there are harsh penalties when they are not.

Finding the Best Real Estate Agent for You

As with most things, you have options. When selecting an agent, there are full-service brokers and limited-service brokers. While limited-service brokers typically offer reduced commissions, as the name implies, they may not provide all of the benefits of a full-service broker. When listing a home, for example, they may confine their service to merely entering the property in the MLS, but not undertake a market analysis, advertise the property, or negotiate on the seller’s behalf. The seller would have to speak directly with the buyer’s licensed agent in this circumstance, which could put them at a disadvantage.

Finding the appropriate agent can be difficult given how saturated the market has become over the past few years. A friend, family member, or colleague’s recommendation is usually a fantastic place to start. It’s feasible to learn how many homes an agent has sold, their area of expertise, and their level of experience by conducting online research. It’s a good idea to interview multiple agents and verify their references before signing a contract to pick one who is a good fit for you.

A real estate agent assists with what may be the largest purchase or sale in your lifetime. Why not aim for a smoother transaction?


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