Buying a new home is an exciting time. Whether you are buying a home that has been in existence for 30 years, 30 days, or a home that has not yet been built, you can save time and money by having a licensed Realtor representing you and your interests. Here are some the things a Realtor will offer you:
Exposure to Total Market – When beginning your search, a Realtor will help you look through a variety of sources to find the home that best fits your needs. If you are certain you want a new home, your Realtor might begin by showing you houses that have been built in the last five years; then homes that have been built by builders but not yet occupied, called “spec” or “speculative” homes. Finally, your Realtor will help you find local builders for possible homes that can be built from scratch. Your Realtor always seeks to offer you the most appealing and negotiable options, and will help you work with Houston’s most reputable and knowledgeable builders.
Estimation of Market Value – Evaluating the fair price of a new home can be difficult and requires the experience and expertise of someone who has worked with the real estate market for a period of time. A Realtor also can crucial advice on a new home’s resale value and negotiate appropriate builder upgrades to the property. Choosing one lot instead of another, for example, could make a difference of thousands of dollars when you sell the property in the future.
Negotiation – The most important difference between a Realtor and a builder’s salesperson is that your Realtor represents you – not the builder. In a study conducted by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, researchers found that the number one source of a Realtor’s business is referrals. This means that Realtors want you to be satisfied with their service from the beginning of the search process to the closing and even 10 years after you have moved into the property. Realtors have the experience and the objectivity to serve as an effective negotiator for you and your hard-earned dollar.
Knowledge of Financing Options – Because Realtors work with a variety of clients, they may know about financing options that you have not discovered. Learning of various mortgage programs might help you find a better deal.
Education and Experience – In order to become a licensed, or maintain licensure as, a Realtor, a person must study college-level courses on real estate and the related areas of law, marketing, and business. Realtors continue to learn new ways to save you time and money through mandatory continuing education. Realtors also are sworn to uphold a strict code of ethics regarding their professional behavior and service to you.
Those who choose to buy and sell real estate without a licensed Realtor do so at considerable risk. Real estate market trends, laws, and contracts are complex; and the impact of poor decisions can be devastating to a person or family’s finances.
Re-printed with permission from HAR — Houston Association of Realtors.