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Are Real Estate Agents Still Necessary?

I recently heard someone say, “Buyers can find homes on their own now, so agents aren’t really necessary.”

I had to pause and regret the mistake many of us have made for making you, the consumer, think that all we do is find the house. Real estate reality TV has fed into the myth, and we haven’t done an effective job of educating everyone on why we secure our hard-earned money.

Most people assume the fun part of the buyer’s agent job is searching for and touring homes, and that is certainly true. Actually though, this part of the home buying process takes a ton of time and it’s actually a very small part of the much bigger work that goes on behind the scenes.  

Agents do a lot to make sure deals go smoothly. We help buyers avoid problems like sellers not doing repairs, having issues with utilities, or leaving a mess behind. There are so many things that can go wrong during a home sale, and we’re there to help navigate through them.

Think about it—how do you handle over 50 different things that need checking during a home purchase? What if your lender messes up and you miss a deadline? Or you get surprised by closing costs?

Do you know all the different prices involved—like what the house is worth compared to other recent sales, what you should offer, how to negotiate with the sellers, and all the other data pieces you should know in order to make a sound decision on what you should pay?

What happens if your lender drops the ball? What if you’re blindsided by closing costs because they weren’t properly disclosed? You might end up not knowing what you’re responsible for and what the seller should cover. It’s a real headache that could catch you off guard during the final stages of the home-buying process.

What about home inspections. Who should I call, what type of inspections should I be doing, how long do I have to complete my inspections, and what happens if I want to back out afterwards?

Do you understand about restrictions and covenants that could hinder your quality of living and/or ability to resale the home one day in the future?

I could go on and on about all the things agents handle, but the point is, real estate is complicated. It’s not something you can just figure out with an app or a website. Agents spend a lot of time learning and training to help buyers and sellers through the process.

It’s painfully clear that a buyer paying a buyer’s representative to assure their safe navigation and landing is money well-spent. Without a buyer’s agent, I cannot imagine the legal mess and bills that would be everywhere. 

I hope you understand why we get paid what we get paid. It’s not about the cost we incur. It’s about the knowledge it’s taken us years to perfect and the years it will take us to stay on top of an ever-changing human marketplace. 

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