FIND A REALTOR
Working with a licensed realtor is a must. They will make sure you find the home of your dreams, negotiate on your behalf, and serve as an expert guide through your entire homebuying process.
APM has established partnerships with the best real estate agents across the country. So whether you’re looking to buy a home locally here in Visalia, California, or are buying a second home, vacation home, or investment property in another part of the state or country, fill in the FREE Find a Realtor form below so you can access a list of the best real estate agents in the area.
TOP 10 REASONS TO WORK WITH A REALTOR WHEN BUYING A HOME
Searching for and purchasing a home involves a lot of steps and potential hurdles along the way. So going through the homebuying journey without the assistance of a licensed realtor can cost you time and money—and may even lead you to lose out on the home of your dreams.
Here are 10 reasons why working with a real estate agent is the best thing you can do when buying a home:
- Realtors have access to professional resources.
Searching for a home on your own means you’re limited to what you see for sale online or by driving around a neighborhood. Free home listing websites are often missing crucial information, and many homes sell before they even officially hit the market.
If you work with a realtor, they’ll have access to a database called the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The MLS is the first place homes get listed when they’re put up for sale, and it has the most accurate, up-to-date details on every property. It’s also a members-only service, so only agents and other housing professionals have access to it.
- Real estate agents can save you lots of money.
Members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) have to adhere to a strict code of ethics that requires them to act in their clients’ best interest. So think of your realtor as your advocate, as they’re obligated to protect you from bad deals. They know where the fair pricing falls for each property, and they have the negotiating skills to make sure you’re not overpaying for a home.
- Realtors save you a ton of time.
Touring multiple properties takes up a lot of time, and when you add in all the back-and-forth correspondence with sellers, it can become a part-time job. Working with an agent means you won’t have to waste your time. Arranging for showings that work with your schedule is part of your realtor’s job, and they will show you only the homes that fit within your budget and meet your list of property must-haves.
- Real estate agents provide their professional expertise.
Showings can be overwhelming—you have a lot to consider about a home that you’re only viewing for a short period of time, and your initial impressions of a property don’t give the full picture.
Realtors can see beyond a home’s staging. You might think the living room looks too small, but your agent can help you visualize how a different furniture setup can provide more space. You may dislike the outdated kitchen, but your agent can give you some remodeling ideas. With a professional set of eyes, they can help you see a home’s potential that you might not have been able to visualize on your own.
- Realtors spot red flags.
Sometimes a home that looks perfect can be hiding some secrets. Sellers use staging to conceal or detract from problems like structural damage or faulty electrical or plumbing. Such issues can pose safety risks and cost a lot of money to fix. Realtors know what problems to look for in a home and the right questions to ask.
- Real estate agents are experts on the local area.
A property’s location is the one thing that cannot be “fixed.” Even the most flawless home may not be worth buying if it’s located in an unsafe or undesirable neighborhood. Your realtor can give their input on the home’s surrounding area, including crime rates, school rankings, ease of transportation, and other location considerations.
A realtor is especially helpful if you’re making a long-distance move to a brand-new area. They can provide recommendations on the best places to shop, eat, and enjoy recreational activities, making it much easier for you to settle in after your move.
- Realtors can provide valuable referrals.
Buying a house isn’t a one-person job. Both before and after closing, you’ll likely need the help of other housing professionals. Realtors can point you in the right direction, whether you’re looking for a mortgage lender, a home inspector, movers, repair people, contractors, and more. Their referrals can save you hours of time researching these services on your own and protect you from scams and poor service.
- Your real estate agent handles all the paperwork.
There’s a lot of paperwork involved with buying a home, and unless you’re an expert in legal jargon, sorting through it all takes time and presents opportunities for misunderstandings and potential mistakes. Luckily, it’s a realtor’s job to handle the paperwork for you and make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
Plus, if you happen to lose any documents during the moving process, your realtor should have backup copies. Most states require agents to keep any records involved with closing for three to five years, and some realtors may even hold onto them for longer.
- Realtors know the best time to buy.
The real estate market is constantly changing. Sometimes it’s a buyer’s market and sometimes it’s a seller’s market, and these look very different in terms of home prices, inventory, and competition among other buyers.
Choosing the right time to buy can save you a significant amount of money, but you’ll need some guidance when it comes to timing. Realtors live and breathe real estate and know the area’s housing market inside and out. Therefore, they can help you determine the best time to start your home search.
- Real estate agents offer much-needed support.
Finally, a good realtor isn’t just a professional you hire; they’re also your mentor. Buying a home is a major life milestone, and it comes with lots of emotional highs and lows. It’s easy to get swept up in those feelings and make decisions you may regret later, but your realtor is there to help you make all the right moves.