Did you know that home sellers who used a real estate agent are 50% more successful at getting their homes sold than unrepresented sellers (Statistic from researchers at HomeGain.com)?
Well the same is also true for homebuyers, especially given the painfully low inventories we’re currently experiencing in San Jose and the greater Santa Clara County. So, in an effort to save some buyers unwanted troubles, I have quickly listed some of the top reasons that homebuyers should choose to work with a qualified real estate professional, preferably a REALTOR® when embarking on their home journey.
Getting a purchase closed in today’s market is complex and filled with buyer traps.
Today’s buyers face many more hurdles including stricter financing and a confusing marketplace of listed homes, such as for-sale-by-owner homes, foreclosures, short sales, investor flips and off-market listings. Added the incredibly low inventory and many buyers, due to the fierce competition when submitting offers, will undoubtedly “throw caution to the wind” by waiving some or all of their purchase contingencies in order to gain an advantage over other competing offers …something that just 12-16 months ago would have been unnecessary and incomprehensible. So having a professional looking after your best interests, assisting you in reviewing seller disclosures and property inspection reports, will improve your chances of both having an offer accepted, and more importantly, help to avoid unwanted surprises during escrow.
Finding inventory is tough.
Gone are the days when a would-be homebuyer was being solicited every five-minutes to purchase a home. Now there aren’t enough houses available to meet the insatiable demand created by the low mortgage rates and high affordability. In fact, we’ve got less than 50% of the inventory available than we did 12 months ago, and homes are selling three times faster, sometime in just days after being listed.
So how can your Realtor® help you find a property when homes are selling so quickly? Many experienced agents have built a vast network with their fellow real estate professionals, and most communicate with their networks, or participate in social events in order to identify upcoming listings. Although most of these properties will make it to the market before being sold, the benefit of working with a well connected real estate professional means that they are more likely to get the real inside scoop on how to get an offer accepted.
Real Estate Agents will navigate you through the home buying process.
To my knowledge, no one walks into their own surgery and operates on themselves…so when buying a home, why would it be any different? Once you find the house you want, the work for your Realtor® really begins as you’ll need help navigating negotiations, loan approval, seller’s disclosures, inspections, repairs, and much more. As your agent, I have a fiduciary duty to protect you from foreseen risks and defects in the property, so knowing that I will also share your risk you can count on me making sure that you go into any home purchase with your eyes wide open.
A professional is more likely to help you close on the home of your dreams.
In order to take advantage of today’s near-record low interest rates, attractive affordability levels, and still lower than record prices, its more important than ever to work with a professional to help you win the bidding war without opening yourself to unwanted liability or risks. This is where an experienced real estate professional that understands the current market conditions, as well the people skills to get your offer accepted at the best price and terms….even in this market, I’ve been able to successfully save my clients tens of thousands of dollars off the final sales price by presenting the picture of a more stable and committed buyer.
Best of all, real estate professionals work primarily on commission.
In most instances it won’t cost you anything to hire a professional to assist you with your real estate purchase. In fact, your real estate agent is paid a commission from the sales proceeds of the home, which comes from the seller’s pocket. And since your agent won’t be earning any income until they have found your dream home, they will be motivated to assist you with all aspects of your purchase transaction.
But, it also means that if the deal of the century is about to come on the market, who do you think your agent will tell? The buyer who thinks he’ll get a better deal by working every agent, or the buyer who is loyal? And it’s common courtesy to work with only one agent per area that you are looking; and if it’s customary in that area, don’t be reluctant to sign a buyer’s representation agreement with your agent once you have chosen the right agent to represent you in your transaction.
A buyer representation agreement (which is always an option) will help spell out the specific duties that your buyer’s agent will perform, meaning you will receive a higher level of service since the buyer’s agent has a formal commitment that you will utilize their services should you purchase a home in their market area. Just be sure to discuss the agreement at length so you and your agent have a clear understanding on expectations…and most agreements allow for the termination of the contract should you become unsatisfied with your chosen agent’s performance.
And lastly, be sure to stay in contact with your agent. If you want to look at open houses or builder homes, invite your agent to come along. If they happen to not be available, show your loyalty by telling the salespeople you meet that you are already represented.