Real estate agents are paid by commission. If you are selling your home, chances are this will factor into the listing price. If you are buying a home, chances are this cost will be, at least partially, passed on to you. In today’s market and economy, every penny counts, so, is it really necessary to hire a real estate agent to buy or sell your home?
To begin with, it is not required in the state of Arizona to have a real estate agent assist you with buying or selling your home. However, there are some practical reasons having an agent may be helpful. Those will be discussed further below. Additionally, agents can help with some semi legal work such as preparing the contract and other necessary documents. Finally, agents often have good connections to title companies, loan officers and home inspectors that can make the process less stressful.
Buying or selling your house is an exciting process, but can also be complex and stressful for some. Many people find the benefit of having a knowledgeable agent eases that burden and keeps the process running more smoothly. Often times transactions will also happen rather quickly and can be paper intensive, having an experienced agent can also lessen the stress you might miss or forget part of the process. As stated above agents also have good connections with vendors, and they are generally keen as to similar properties in the area and what comparable properties might sell for. One of the best reason to hire an agent if you are buying is that they can do all the leg work of finding a property you like for you. Many people are simply to busy to drive around town looking for houses they like. However it is much simpler to provide your requirements to an agent and let them do the work for you. Agents have access to lists of real estate for sale that are not accessible to those without a license. This greatly simplifies the process.
Another good reason to hire an agent is because often times the other party will also have an agent. While that agent may be friendly, it is important to remember they are not working for you, they are representing what their client wants, and that may be at odds you’re your own best interests. Although an agent can represent both parties, it is best to be wary of this type or representation a there are some agents who would exploit this to the benefit of their seller. This is by no means the norm, however it is a better idea to have your own agent looking out for your best interests.
If you decide to use an agent, it still best to become as informed as possible about all aspects of the buying or selling process. Not only will this make the process go more smoothly, it will allow you to better communicate with your agent about what your needs and interests are in buying or selling. It is always best to do some research on comparable prices in the area so and to set your limits ahead of time so you know what process your comfortable buying or selling at. This can greatly reduce pressure to sign on the dotted line if you already know your tolerances and have expressed those to your agent.
In most transactions may not be necessary to hire an attorney to buy or sell real estate. However, if you feel your agent hasn’t been representing you, or if you believe the other agent has been acting inappropriately, it may be necessary. It is important to remember that agents are not lawyers and even a “simple” transaction involves a significant investment. Moreover, an agent’s main goal is always going to be matching potential buyers with potential sellers. There is always an inherent conflict of interest because, as described above, marrying a buyer and seller is how agents make their money. If you have questions about an agent or transaction, call our office and speak with a knowledgeable real estate attorney to determine if getting legal representation is appropriate for your particular case.