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5 Benefits of Using a Realtor When Searching for a New Home

If you’ve decided the time is finally right to look for a new home, you’ll certainly have no shortage of choices. It’s a buyer’s market right now, with more homes available than people who can afford the mortgages. Even though the recession has dropped interest rates to near record lows, it’s still a difficult proposition these days, which puts those who have taken the time to properly prepare for the financial leap in a very good position. Yet that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get taken for a ride. If you’re a novice in the real estate market you could certainly use some guidance, but truly anyone who is in the market could use the expertise of a realtor. Still undecided? Here are five benefits of using a realtor when searching for a new home.

First and foremost, realtors understand the market in their region. If you’re considering moving to a new area they will be a crucial fount of useful information. And if you’re moving across state lines working with a realtor is truly a necessity. A quality real estate agent has years of experience in your area, and will know things about each neighborhood that you might not be able to research online. They’ll know if there are new construction plans in the works that will alter a community, or if a school system is about to receive a ranking that will lower property values. You’ve got to have every edge possible, which makes working with a realtor a very good idea.

Realtors will also have access to listings you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Realtors in different offices work together. After all, quality agents represent both buyers and sellers, and it pays to have a good relationship with your peers. Your real estate agent will know about houses that have yet to officially hit the market. They might even know about homes that won’t be listed at all. You could miss your dream property if you only look into houses listed online, so expand your search with their assistance.

A good realtor will also help you negotiate down the seller’s asking price. The realtor wants to set up a long term relationship with his clients. Perhaps you won’t be buying another home any time soon, but you most likely have friends or family that will be looking. It’s always cheaper to generate repeat business than to advertise for new clients, so it serves the agent’s best interest to help you get the house you want at the price you want to pay. If he can save you ten or twenty thousand dollars today, he could well be locking in more business through recommendations in the years to come.

When you work with a realtor you’ll also have certain guarantees that the properties you see are truly ready to show. There are horror stories of families being scammed out of their down payment money by con artists who listed a home online they didn’t actually own. Realtors who want to have a long career in the industry cannot take a risk on a shady deal. They’ll be able to thoroughly vet the listing and the property, and will uncover any issues with the title that could impact the ability of the sale to go through.

Finally, a realtor can help you on both sides of the transaction. Unless you are moving from a rental into a purchase, chances are you also need to sell your current home in order to afford to purchase the new one. You could try posting your house on any number of real estate listings, but then you’re simply rolling the dice that you’ll find a buyer in time at the asking price you need. For one low rate an agent can represent you as both buyer and seller, and insure the entire process goes as smoothly as possible.

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