According to the National Association of Realtors, 42% of home-buyers start their home search online and 92% use the Internet during the home search process.
While the Internet can be a good place to start, nothing can take the place of a seasoned, professional realtor to help you buy or sell a home. Here are a five reasons why you should work with a licensed agent.
1. Neighborhood Knowledge
Agents either possess intimate knowledge or they know where to find the industry information about your neighborhood. They can identify comparable sales and hand these facts to you, in addition to pointing you in the direction where you can find more data on schools, crime or demographics.
2. Pricing Your Home
When setting a listing price, agents consider scores of factors, from local and national market trends and neighborhood development activity to the latest buyer preferences for kitchen appliances and landscaping. Every home is unique, and an agent with a track record of success knows how to price it attractively in the market.
3. Marketing Offline
While online marketing can certainly be valuable, agents have networks of contacts and years of experience to round out their marketing plans. And, for buyers, agents often can tap into their network to learn about great properties before they hit the real estate websites or even the MLS.
4. Transaction Process
If you find a home you love online, the website won’t be there to guide you through a mortgage application, find a home inspector or advise you what to do if an inspection reveals issues – a realtor will.
Having an experienced, professional negotiator drive your transaction can be vital to reaching a fair price for the property you are buying or selling. Yes, a website can give you an estimate of how much a property should cost, but it can’t evaluate whether that’s a great price or not.
Bottom Line: The Internet offers buyers and sellers a wealth of information, but what it cannot offer is the human touch that is so critical when embarking on the considerable financial investment as buying or selling a home.
How to Find, Interview and Hire a Real Estate Agent – The Balance
What You Should Know About Hiring a Real Estate Agent – Kiplinger