Certainly there are pros and cons to having an agent represent you when buying or selling your home. But to answer the direct question of whether an agent is needed is simple. In Arizona you do not need a real estate agent to buy or sell your home. While an agent is not necessary, there may be some practical reasons why someone would want to hire one.
Agents can often assist with preparing contracts and counteroffers that most people may not be aware of. They may be able to assist with appropriate time frames for responses and discuss what reasonable requests can be made or should be expected in the transaction. Agents often times have connections to other professionals who can assist in the process. These connections might include mortgage lenders, contractors or home inspectors to name a few. It is certainly possible to find these individuals on line, but sometimes helpful to get a personal referral.
While the above reasons are important, the most helpful thing an agent will do is to save you time. A good agent will know what you are looking for ahead of time and they will be able to narrow down the houses available to find a group of houses that fits your needs. This is certainly possible to do on your own, but with an already busy schedule many buyers simply don’t have the time. Of course, this is one of the main reasons agents get paid. To be sure it is a valuable service and your agent will be paid by taking a commission out of the sales price.
Often times a buyer or seller may hire an agent because the other party already has an agent too. Many people feel comfortable negotiation on their own but for those who don’t an agent provides a good alternative. Agents owe a fiduciary duty to their own clients. So if you are negotiating on your own with another person’s agent, it is important to know that agent is not representing you. The agent has an interest in selling the home to get his commission and to do so in a way that benefits his client.
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.
If you are someone who is comfortable doing your own negotiating, and have the time available to do the necessary leg work, there is no need to get a real estate agent. In fact, it could be cheaper to hire an attorney to draw up the real estate contract rather than paying commission. This is especially true if the commission on the property will be several thousand dollars. Platt & Westby has offices in Phoenix, Arrowhead, Litchfield Park, Scottsdale and Gilbert Arizona. If you are interested in discussing buying or selling your home, and whether or not you need an agent, contact our office by calling 602-277-4441 or www.plattwestby.com for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.