Real estate has seen a lot of change over the years. From the way spaces are found and papers are signed, buying or selling a home looks markedly different than it used to. It wasn't too long ago that sites like Zillow and Trulia didn't exist at all--if you wanted to get an estimate, search available homes in your area, or take a tour, you had to work with an agent for access. And while the scope of real estate has been changed vastly by the internet, we'd like to remind you of a certainty that hasn't changed, especially in these wild times of market highs, earthquakes, and pandemic lows...
The ways in which a real estate agent brings value to buying or selling a home haven't changed one bit.
- Details matter: Every real estate transaction is riddled with details, and every contract full of legally binding language. If you're not already well-versed in the process, it's tough to comprehend just how many i's need dotting and t's need crossing. One missed detail--be it a deadline, an addendum, or a failure to negotiate the proper protection--can have serious consequences (and even a minor faux pas can lead to a situation wherein the buyer or seller misses out on (or loses) thousands of dollars). Agents know these potential pitfalls, and we can help to ensure that nothing is overlooked.
- Experience = knowledge: Even for those who have sold a house or two of their own, it is hugely helpful to have a trusted advisor. An experienced agent has likely been part of dozens (if not hundreds) of transactions. Translation: we've seen a multitude of scenarios play out, and we know the risks and rewards that come with each of them. Online articles about taking on the process yourself can be helpful, but experience is impossible to match.
- Question everything: Having someone who understands the importance of asking the right questions makes a huge difference in where you end up. A good agent can be akin to a therapist--their inquiries should help to flesh out what it is you're really seeking in a home. The perfect space isn't perfect because it has 2.75 bathrooms or high-end light fixtures. Your agent can help you to understand your deeper, long-term goals...then help find or create the space to match.
- Emotions run high: When emotions run high in real-estate transactions, things can escalate quickly and a lot can go wrong. Though buyers and sellers may find themselves on the same page with price, for example, they may part ways where the closing date is concerned, making the transaction difficult to navigate. In situations like this, an experienced agent can help navigate the tricky territory of negotiation or mediation. Personalized care from a trusted agent can keep a situation from getting litigious or falling apart altogether.
- The ol' Rolodex: A good agent is always in contact with past clients, and oftentimes, this puts us in the unique position of being the first to know when they are selling a home or on the lookout for a new one. As such, we can help to make connections before homes are publicly listed, thereby providing an early heads-up to other clients or the possibility of an off-market sale (an invaluable opportunity when the market is ablaze).
- Marketing chops: Self-marketing one's home has never really been easier--you post/find homes of every price point on myriad real estate websites, Facebook, or Instagram. But it's tough to mimic professional marketing efforts, and statistics prove that said efforts have a measurable effect on buyers. There's a marked difference between images taken by a professional photographer in a well-prepped, perfectly lit home and those snapped on a phone of an unmade bed in a dim basement bedroom. In a competitive market, the first impression is everything (and--from photography to property descriptions--we happen to nail it).
All told, the purchase or sale of your home is simply too big a deal to risk. Companies have been trying to automate the real estate process for decades. And while we know that sometimes it works out just fine, we've seen countless situations where it doesn't. There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all where real estate transactions are concerned. You and your home (or the home you hope to find) are unique, multi-faceted, and deserving of some undivided attention.