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Frugal Homeowner®



The Pros and Cons of Working with a Real Estate Agent

It’s great that you’ve decided to purchase another home.  Big decision. Big challenge.

But there's an equally important decision left to make--whether you will go it alone, or choose the professional services of a real estate agent to assist you. Before you take a wrong turn early in the road to home buying, here are the pros and cons to help you decide.

It may be wise to use a real estate agent when you purchase a home if you:

  1. Are somewhat inexperienced about real estate and/or business in general and/or know that you need a professional assistance in the sales process. The services of an agent can prove invaluable since he or she can provide information regarding neighborhoods, community services, help you complete the purchase agreement---even explain closing costs and types of financing. And should you decide to have the agent represent you as a client, he/she could additionally negotiate on your behalf.
  2. Engage the services of a real estate agent if you are concerned about how the real estate sales process works and know you may need help troubleshooting. The agent will coordinate the transaction including arranging for access to the property for the appraiser and the home inspector, setting the closing date, and answer your questions about the closing process. You'll be kept up to the minute on what's going on, time frames involved, and decisions that need to be made in your home purchase.
  3. Engage the services of a real estate agent when you want to maximize your time and financial resources available. Time is money and it's certainly true in the home buying process. Why waste precious time going it alone when an agent can assist you (and maximize your resources) every step of the way?

Perhaps working with a real estate agent isn't as vital to your purchase if you:

  1. Are an expert on current market values and sales prices of properties similar to those you're considering, are capable of gathering information on schools and services and can process it on your own, can arrange to view homes you're interested in, negotiate effectively face to face with the seller and then fill out the myriad of paperwork once you decide to make an offer, including all the required disclosure forms;
  2. Know the real estate transaction process inside and out, and have the time (and ability) to follow the sale through its many paths to closing---including locating the best financing, setting appointments for the necessary inspections including the appraisal, termite inspection and others as required, negotiating the most cost-effective loan fees, and reviewing documents like home inspections, warranties, and the stack of other paperwork pertinent to your purchase;
  3. Can afford the risk of losing out financially by making a misstep where price and terms are concerned--overpaying or perhaps not negotiating trade-offs that can end up costing you money.

As you can see, working with a real estate agent can help you safely navigate through the home buying sea of options and decisions. Call a real estate professional before you make a move!


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