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Why You Need A Realtor - Buyer

By Lisa Buth Published 11/29/2007 | Real Estate

Okay, yes, admittedly an article entitled "Why You Need a Realtor" written by a Realtor might seem a little suspect on the surface, but if you don't know all the facts, you can't make an informed decision. So sit back, kick your feet up, and decide for yourself whether or not you need a Realtor.

I'm always a little surprised to find that buyers think they are the ones that pay the Realtors' commission, but I think that's much like a rocket scientist being astonished that people don't know the difference between orbital and celestial mechanics and how Kepler's equation can be used as a fundamental technique in both fields!

Though some Realtors now charge buyers a fee (call it an administrative fee or doc fee or whatever), it's nominal. Basically, buyers get free representation. What that representation entails is this: everything! Our services fall just short of holding your hand while you go to the toilet.

We've got "connections" you wouldn't believe, and we can give you the name of at least two reputable lenders were sure won't give you the runaround too late in the loan process.

As your Realtor, we'll meet you at your convenience and talk with you about the process and the steps involved in buying a home. If you have any questions or concerns, we're there to answer them. We'll help you develop criteria to make your search efforts more effective. We know the neighborhoods, the best route and drive time if you live here but work there, the benefits and drawbacks of older versus newer homes, whether or not they have plans to build a Super Wal-Mart where that old grocery store used to be, what area is best for resale, and more.

Once the criteria has been established, we'll start sending you homes, whether as an automated search on the MLS or hand-delivering them to you one batch at a time. After picking your favorites and a day you want to see them, we'll really get to work. We have to put the homes in the order best traveled, figure out how long it's going to take to view each home and what the driving time is between properties, then call the listing agents and set up the appointments.

As licensed Realtors, we're required to have Errors and Omissions insurance, but that insurance does not cover clients sitting in our car as were blasting through a guardrail while eating, talking on the phone and writing down directions, so many Realtors are now encouraging buyers to follow them in their own cars instead.

At each home is when our senses go into overdrive. We are constantly on the lookout for water stains and foundational cracks and our noses alert to mildew and pet odors. On a beautiful spring day, you may not notice that the sunroom has no HVAC, but we do. You may miss the fact that there are no noticeable laundry hook-ups, but we won't. Experience has taught us to look closely, and we do.

Once you've found your dream home, your Realtor will do some research. How long has it been on the market? Why are they selling? What did they pay for it originally and what updates or renovations were made since then?

Based on the information revealed by your Realtor, you'll write an offer. More accurately, your Realtor will write the offer for you. We've got all the documents you will ever need to purchase a home. Contracts, addendums, addendums to addendums . . . and we know how and when to use them. We will ask you all the questions necessary to make the offer valid and legal, specifying where to initial and on which dotted line to sign. We'll go over each and every paragraph, encapsulating them for you into bite-size pieces. We'll present the offer to the listing agent, who will present it to the seller. Then we'll negotiate on your behalf.

Negotiating is a fine-tuned instrument. Everything factors into play, from nuances in a voice to how the property is presented. An added bonus to having representation at this stage of the game is that if you want to play good cop/bad cop, we'll be the bad cop!

Once your offer is accepted and becomes a full-fledged contract, we've got both home and pest inspectors that we can recommend and you can trust. We'll schedule the inspections based on your availability. If we can't be there for at least some portion of the inspections, we'll go over the inspection reports with you to determine which repairs to ask for. Again, it's a negotiation.

Then we wait for closing. You have a problem? You have a question or concern? You want to find a good painter? You want to view the home one more time to take photos and measurements? Call your Realtor.

About a week or so before closing, your Realtor will remind you to have your utilities either turned on or switched over to your name. Your Realtor will also be in touch with the listing agent and lender to see that things are running smoothly on those ends.

Sometime before closing, your Realtor will receive the settlement statement from the closing agent and be able to review it for accuracy. If you've already paid the pest inspector but it shows up as a closing cost, we'll take care of it.

At closing is not when our job is done. It never really is. We are always available to answer questions and help solve problems.

And when it comes time to sell your home, we're there for you too!