With a wealth of online tools available for home buyers, it can be easy to assume there is no longer any reason to use a real estate agent to help you buy a home. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Not only can using a real estate agent make the process far smoother but doing so can actually save you more money than they cost you. If you are looking to buy a home in Houston, TX, here are 3 reasons you want to use an experienced real estate agent.
1. They can find homes you can’t
While there are dozens of websites these days with real estate listings, some of the choicest real estate offerings never make it to online listings. Most communities have a limited number of real estate agents that all work together. When a seller’s agent knows they have a great property to offer, they will often contact other agents first to offer the property to their clients. Not only can this sometimes lead to getting an offer very quickly for the buyer, but it can also curry favor between agents. If you want to know about the very best properties before they are even listed, use an agent.
2. They can keep you from paying for a diamond and ending up with cubic zirconia
When home buyers are looking for a home, they are often focused on the cosmetic details of a house or on aspects of the location such as what school district it is in and how far of a commute it is to work or a downtown area. Before a buyer buys the house, they should always get an inspection which will turn up any issues that need to be fixed, but there are also a number of other issues a real estate agent may spot that a novice home buyer might not. An inspector can tell you whether or not an addition to the home is sturdy, but not whether it had the right permits to be built in the first place. Construction that was done without a permit can be denied insurance coverage, which subjects homeowners to additional liability. Good real estate agents will do a great deal of additional research on a property that many potential buyers may not even think to do.
3. They are worth their weight in gold at the negotiating table
Real estate agents can help shepherd you through any number of pitfalls and hurdles on the way to buying a home, but nowhere does a seasoned real estate agent shine like at the negotiating table. Not only are there are great number of potential concessions to be made that can save buyers thousands of dollars, but certain concessions can actually lower the costs to the buyers without costing the sellers anything. While you may have to pay a real estate agent a few thousand dollars in commission, what they can save you on closing costs and the total purchase price of the house can sometimes more than make up for it.