In today’s day and age, it seems that you can find almost anything you need to know online. You can research neighborhoods, find your credit score, and even file important documents for your home sale or purchase. But when it comes down to it, buyers and sellers are still turning to real estate agents for information on homeownership—and it’s easy to see why!
A new study from NeighborWorks America revealed that 70 percent of Americans are still very likely or somewhat likely to consult with a real estate agent for information on homeownership or the buying and selling process. The study also found that real estate agents were the highest ranked source compared to other sources of information regarding homeownership (friends and family, web searches, mortgage lenders, housing counselors and social media were the other, less popular options).
These results convey a clear message from home buyers and sellers: real estate agents are still helpful and important resources, even in today’s technological, social-media heavy age. But what makes real estate agents so popular? There are a few big ways we’ll be looking at today:
Your real estate agent can offer you a realistic look at home sales, purchases, or projects.
Too often, those looking to purchase or sell a home underestimate the cost of projects such as kitchen remodels, room additions, and other big-ticket tasks. Similarly, you may not understand how additional fees can impact the ticket price of a home you’re interested in. There’s nothing quite as disappointing as finding your dream deal and pursuing it… then realizing you don’t have the money or resources to carry it out (whether it’s a home improvement project or purchase). On the other hand, overestimating the cost of a project—like many of the survey’s respondents did—can cause you to lose out on the home of your dreams. Your real estate agent can help you understand every financial decision before you make it, so you always have a clear idea of what to expect.
They can help you understand and overcome obstacles.
Student debt, poor credit or insufficient funds for a down payment are all things that can intimidate first time buyers—which is completely understandable. But these factors don’t necessarily mean that you can’t purchase the home you want. Real estate agents can help you understand this and overcome any obstacles that may be in your way on the path to homeownership.
Almost 40 percent of respondents in the NeighborWorks America survey didn’t know about the existence of down payment assistance programs that could potentially help them purchase a home. There’s no reason this number should be so high! When you have an experienced real estate agent on your side, you can confidently handle any obstacle you may be presented with.
They provide you with resources you may not even know exist.
First time players in the real estate process may not know about title agencies, inspectors, real estate attorneys or other professionals (or the roles they play). Similarly, the average Joe doesn’t have access to the same listing services and expertise real estate agents do. Even if you’re independent and prefer charting your own path, your real estate agent can provide you with the resources and professional connections you need to do so.
They can help with your specific case, and may have even seen it before.
Finally, your real estate agent’s most important role: they know how to deal with your specific case! You may think that your home sale or purchase offers such a unique problem that no one could have possibly seen it before—but chances are, your real estate agent has. Agents are equipped with years of experience and plenty of industry expertise and are able to respond to virtually anything your case throws their way.
The real estate process can be tricky, but you don’t have to tackle it alone! Friends, family and online resources can provide you with supplemental help, but nothing compares to the experience and dedication of a real estate agent. If you have questions about an upcoming home sale or purchase, or simply want to know more about the real estate process, please feel free to call me at 352-729-5597 today.