Many people have wondered what the advantage is to working with a realtor as opposed to selling or buying their homes themselves. The advantages are quite apparent when all things are considered. That being said, perhaps the most distinct advantage in working with a realtor is having the expertise and experience of someone who is "in the know" regarding the local real estate market.
The real estate market can be a interesting place, full of dips and peaks and fluctuations. For an individual who is not used to interpreting these peaks and valleys, the process can become frustrating. It is the mandate of a professional realtor to be educated and knowledgeable in all aspects of a given real estate market. A realtors education comes into play numerous time in both the buying and selling process. Let's consider the buying process first.
In buying a home you are likely making the single largest investment of your life. You will want to know what kind of market you are buying into. Are you buying at a bad time? Will the market even out if it is currently in a state of flux? A realtors expertise also comes into play when looking at homes. Having been a part of numerous home transactions a good realtor will have an eye out for any "red flags" that crop up during the viewing. They will be able to point out some imperfections and aspects of the home that you may not notice. However, never allow that word to take the place of a professional home inspection. Your realtor should be able to recommend a good inspector who knows the homes in your area.
In selling your home a realtor's advice is invaluable. In order to maximize the profit from the sale of your home there are several aspects of selling that are best seen to by a professional. The marketing of your home is one of the most important services that a realtor can provide. Their established presence in the local market can give your home attention and coverage that cannot be equaled. Also consider that realtors network with each other on a regular basis to keep each other informed of new listings. By this practice your listing will get showcased to other realtors, and by default to their buying customers. There is also the simple fact that homes listed with a professional and competant realtor sell quicker and for a better price than homes sold by the owner. Let's face it, when selling your home speed and ease of closing speak volumes.
Research local schools, including rankings, state report cards and school websites.
Gain expert insight into your home's true market value.