How a Real Estate Agent Can Help You Buy Or Sell Your Home

A real estate agent can take a lot of the stress out of buying or selling your home. They know the local market inside and out, can help you set realistic expectations and negotiate on your behalf.

When it comes to finding a real estate agent, getting a recommendation from someone you trust is a good idea. But you can also find an agent by searching online or contacting your state’s real estate licensing website to verify their license and any disciplinary action. A licensed agent must have completed courses on the real estate industry and passed a licensing exam. Some agents have additional certifications or accreditations, such as being a Certified Condominium Specialist, that can make them especially knowledgeable about specific types of properties.

They market your home: Your real estate agent will promote your property to potential buyers through the MLS (multiple listing service), online listings, open houses and yard signs. They may also hire professionals to take photos and videos, or even use a drone. In addition, they’ll be able to give you tips for staging your home to sell. Must check:

A good real estate agent will also have connections to home loan brokers and can put you in touch with contractors for inspections, appraisals or other needs. Agents can also help you determine whether you’re eligible for first-time buyer programs or other incentives, which can make the difference when it comes to securing a competitive offer on your dream home.

They act as go-betweens: During negotiations, your agent can relay offers and counteroffers between you and the seller or their real estate agent. They can also point you to mortgage lenders, title companies and escrow agents. Plus, they’ll help you schedule and conduct a final walkthrough of your new home before closing day.

Vet buyers: If you’re looking to buy a home, your agent can screen out lookie-loos who just want to guzzle free wine at an open house or lowballers who might not qualify for the loan you need. They can also advise you on the best offer to present, including contingencies and earnest money requirements that can sweeten the deal.

If you’re moving out of your current home due to a job relocation or other reason, they can recommend rental or short-term housing options. Plus, they can connect you with movers and other professionals to help make the transition smoother.

When you’re ready to move, your real estate agent can coordinate with the other party’s real estate agent and mortgage lender to schedule the final walkthrough and close. They can also provide guidance on transferring utility services and assist with securing any necessary permits for a moving van. Finally, they’ll review all paperwork before you sign to ensure accuracy and to catch any problems.

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