I've already found the home I want...why do I need a Realtor®?

By
Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Redwood Realty, Arlington Virginia

Or you might think of using an internet agent who offers a rebate since you've presumable done all the legwork by finding a home for sale in Northern Virginia.     Well believe it or not, finding the home is not the most important part of the process!

How can that be?  Well think of it this way - finding the home does you no good if you cannot close on the home.  What happens between contract and closing is when the full time dedicated agents earn that full commission.

Think of these questions before you go with a rebate agent or alone:

Is that internet rebate agent going to put your interests first?  Ask how many clients they work with at one time. They love to tout their unusually large volume of sales.  Seems impressive on the surface, but how do they sell 40 houses a month?   They have different people assigned to different parts of the real estate purchase process.  One or more agents to show (who ever is available will show you the homes), another to schedule inspections, another to communicate with the lender, another to communicate wtih the listing agent.   If you work with a full time agent, typically full commission agent, odds are that person will have YOU at the top of their priority list every day with perhaps an assistant covering the administrative end.    But that agent is your point of contact, and the person making sure all parties are communicating and getting your home to closing.  I typically work with no more than 7 clients at one time, leaving me plenty of time to shower them with focus, attention and guidance during the very complex process of buying a home.  You can ask me the status of any of my listings or buyer's loans and title work during the process and I will know it.  I won't have to ask someone else or call you back later.   In fact, if you are my client, you probably won't even have to ask me because I will have already told you.   

Do you want one agent to show you a home, and another to write the offer?   This again, increases the chances for errors, and frankly takes so much joy out of the process.  It is exciting to have an agent show you a home, and then sit down and write an offer with you for it.  When I write an offer, we usually talk about our favorite features and write them in a cover letter for the seller.  We recall the conveyances, numbers of ceiling fans, if the fridge had an icemaker etc.  These things are not always listed in the MLS, and it helps to have the same agent show and sell it to you.

Would you rather have a one dedicated "project manager aka buyer's agent" working to bring your transaction to closing or 3-5 different ones?  Mulitple points of contact, will increase the chances of communications mishaps and critical information slipping through the cracks.  For example, once when I was working as a listing agent, with a rebate agent on the other side, the buyer's lender had rejected the loan, after the financing contingency had been removed, one week before closing.  They were not giving a reason why to the "primary" agent.  Why?  He'd talked to the "coordinator" and the communication between lender to coordinator to client to agent to listing agent had lapsed. That buyer was exposed completely by removing their financing contingency when the loan was not approved.  And there was a real tangible reason for it, but the communication was lost between too many cooks in the kitchen. 

multiple wheelsWould this have happened with one dedicated agent being the hub for the wheel?  Look at one of the the wheels.  Imagine the spokes are the buyer, lender, listing agent, title company, termite inspector, appraiser, home inspector, contractors, home warranty company,insurance agent, underwriter, processor... and the hub is the buyer's agent in a traditional model.  The buyer's agent touches each party.  Do you want each spoke flying out there with no central hub with which they can connect?   If you go with a rebate agent or none at all - you have multiple spokes and multiple hubs that potentaily never connect.  It increases your chances of default, missing deadlines and opportunities for a smooth and safe closing. 

It's a strong seller's market in Northern Virginia (for the most part) and the type of agent you work with will affect your chances of getting an offer among multiple bids.   Remember that as a listing agent, we know how difficult it is to work with multiple agent and coordinators on the other side to get the information in order to close, so going it alone or with a rebate agent could negatively affect your chances.   

A home is the most expensive thing most people ever buy - do you want to go the discount route on something so important?  "You get what you pay for", is a popular quote for a reason.

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Topic:
Home Buying
Location:
Virginia Arlington County Arlington
Tags:
do i really need an agent

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Ambassador
1,518,582
Christine Donovan
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Donovan Blatt Realty
Coral - It's important to have an agent who is involved in the transaction. Though many agents have assistants, and it's helpful, agents still need to know what's going on.
May 19, 2012 09:35 PM
Rainer
234,162
Doug Bullwinkel
NMLS #281609
Vitek Mortgage Group

We're not in your fathers Real Estate Market anymore.  Things used to be much simpler and sometimes you could get away without having an agent represent you.  These days, you really need an agent to represent you or it could cost you dearly.

May 19, 2012 09:49 PM
Rainmaker
1,143,313
Cheryl Ritchie
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com
I like the expression that it can be expensive being cheap.
May 20, 2012 02:56 AM
Rainer
55,360
Teresa Tedder
Carolina Realty of Wilkes Inc

I want to say "If all you want to do is find the home, then you dont need a Realtor. However, if you want to buy it and actually live there, then you may need some help".

May 20, 2012 07:59 AM
Rainmaker
312,685
Sandy Acevedo
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale
951-290-8588

Hi Coral, You have really explained this one well! Hopefully the buying public gets this very important message.

May 20, 2012 03:27 PM
Anonymous
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Rainmaker
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Coral Gundlach

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Additional Information

Looking to buy or sell real estate in Arlington, Virginia and surrounding areas? This blog is a great place to get advice, tips and market information on Arlington, Alexandria, Annandale, Falls Church, McLean, Fairfax, Vienna, Oakton, Chantilly, Reston, Herndon, Springfield and Loudoun County Virginia Real Estate. I am a Top Producing Realtor servicing both buyers and sellers in all of these areas. If you are looking for a different kind real estate experience, then give me a call or email. Buyers: My goal is to give my clients the tools and information they need to find their best home. I will give you honest, sound advice, based in reality of the market, and never pressure you. I also will guide you through the complicated process of contracts, mortgages, inspections and negotiations. Sellers: I do extensive comparable research, and will know the best features of our home to market, blanketing the internet and surrounding area with news of your listing. I will blog about your listing, tell my colleagues about it, and make sure its best features reach the appropriate target audience.
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