1) Professional Advice - Real Estate agents are trained in the very thing you are looking to accomplish, Finding the right home. They can offer professional advice on Style, Location, and Price. They also have knowledge or professional contacts to make sure the structure, floor plan, area are all up to your standards. There is no substitute to Professional Advice.
2) No Cost to You - As a buyer you do not pay the commission of your selling agent. They are paid by the seller for finding you and selling the sellers home to you. It does not cost you anything. Their time they spend with you, the advice they give you, and all the additional benefits come at no expense to you until they find you the right home and you agree to buy it.
3) Negotiation - Realtors are skilled negotiators. A large portion of the job that they do is negotiating the right price and terms of your purchase. This can be the difference and to me very well could be the number one benefit.
4) Expanded Search - Agents not only have access to the local MLS but they also have access to a network of other agents that have inside knowledge on upcoming properties. This extends in most cases above and beyond their own company. Overtime Real Estate agents build strong relationships with colleagues. It is like water cooler talk. In the end you may be the beneficiary.
5) Knowledge of the Area - You may be familiar with the area that you are buying in and you may not. Agents are generally connected with the chamber of commerce, local churches, school associations and restaurants through their farm. Many agents concentrate on specific areas and know everything there is to know about that area.
6) Determine overall value to insure appropriate price - Agents have knowledge of values and sale prices that are accurate in your market. It is their job to stay current with market values and sales in today's market. There are two markets going on today: The normal market and the distressed REO market. Realtors can help you navigate the two markets and help you to determine the appropriate value or price you may offer.
7) Limit Liability - An agent can limit your liability and make sure that you are protected as a buyer. There are time frames, contingency periods that a buyer must meet and there are contractual obligations to meet. Your agent will guide you through this process and help you to make educated decisions regarding your liability.
Emotion Manager - The market today can be very stressful for a buyer. It is essential to control your emotions. You cannot get attached to a property. If you write an offer on a short sale it is essential to understand that you may be waiting for a long period of time and your agent will help set that expectation keeping your emotions in check.
9) Simple Explanations to Complex Issues - Your agent will break down complex situations so that you can understand them fully. It can be very overwhelming upfront but your agent will break down a complex process and help you to understand the little pieces. This will be a major life-changing event and the Real Estate agent will help simplify it.
10) Experience only time and transactions can provide - Your agent has seen nearly all the situations that you may encounter during your purchase. From uncovering a hidden defect, loan issues, property not appraising, title defects, zoning, septic, well, inappropriate disclosure, and many more. They are there to help you understand the concerns that may arise and help work through any situation they may not have experienced.
If you are in the Sacramento Area or Sonoma County Area I recommend the following Real Estate Agents. I have worked with each and everyone of them at some point. In my opinion each of them comprises everyone of these benefits described above. Please contact me for their contact information as out of respect for them I will not post it.
Sacramento Area - Dayna Neuse Remax Gold Roseville , Peter Bond Remax GoldRoseville, Karen Wallace Lyon Real EstateRoseville, Robert Wallace Lyon Real EstateRoseville, Kevin Nakano Nakano Realty Elk Grove, Bryan Hill Pacific Coast RealtyRoseville, Nathan Novelo Connect Realty Antelope, George Snyder Lyon Real Estate Roseville and many others. I am sorry if I missed you here are there are too many of you too mention.
Sonoma County - Brook Terhune Platinum Real Estate Santa Rosa, Delia Nieto Coldwell Banker Santa Rosa, Larry Mitchell CPS Real Estate Santa Rosa.
In summary, it is imperative that you use the services of a qualified Real Estate agent. It is up to you to interview each and every Real Estate agent that you may want to work with. Determine who is a good fit for you. Communication is the key to every relationship and it is a two way street. Qualified Real Estate agents will help you have a successful buying experience.