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When should a home buyer enlist the help of a real estate pro?

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 2.14.12 AMThe popularity of online real estate listings means consumers are now armed with information very early in the home shopping process. A decade ago, folks who needed to get listing information had to connect with a real estate agent from the get-go, but thanks to technology, today’s home buyers can do a lot of the research themselves online. Still, all the access to information does not mean home shoppers can do it all themselves, without the help of a local, experienced real estate buyer’s agent.

Below we have listed just some of the reasons to find and enlist a real estate professional:

You find the home of your dreams—now what?

Anyone who has spent a considerable amount of time searching for a home to buy is likely to have established a good feel for home values. So, once you find the home of your dreams, you’re motivated to act. it becomes a part-time job. Enlisting a real estate agent will move you in the direction of actually buying your dream home.

You’ve find a home that seems too good to be true, but you can’t find any obvious problems.

In the course of home shopping, you’re probably going to come across a house that appears to be a great deal. The price is on par with market value for the neighborhood, but it’s been sitting unsold for more than a few weeks. If you reached out to the homeowner’s listing agent to view the place in person, or asked the agent some questions, you have to remember the agent represents the seller, so you can’t be sure what the story is. Now what?

Your uncertainty, combined with your curiosity about the home, is a great reason to enlist a qualified local agent, someone who may know the house and its market history, or have access to information about the house that you’ve been unable to find. A house that sites for a while, particularly one that looks like a gem on the outside, may have structural issues, location problems (undesirable school district), a notorious history—these are the important things that a real estate agent can discover for you.

Life-changing news—a job relocation or a change in your rental unit ownership—means making a decision in a short amount of time.

Unexpected news can change your life overnight; you are offered the job or promotion of a lifetime in another state, or your landlord has decided to sell the building in which you live. You may even decide to move from a rental to home ownership for the tax and investment benefits.

Anytime you need expert real estate-related information fast, the most practical thing to do is to go right to the source. One 30-minute meeting or phone call with a local real estate agent can provide all the practical information you need on a particular market, pricing, timing, and what to expect from your home search. Once you’re up to speed, you can quickly put this information to work and begin to put together a plan of action

Real estate agents are still an integral part of the home buying process, even though today’s buyers can hold off a bit longer—at least until the time is right to enlist some expert help.

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