Anyone can buy a house without necessarily involving a real estate agent. The process is quite daunting though and one may opt to use the services of a real estate agent. They have however been painted as an unscrupulous lot who misrepresent information regarding properties for their benefit. While this may be true, there exist ethical Estate Agents Registration Board (EARB) registered and licensed realtors who put the needs of the client first and act professionally.
Here are some of the benefits of purchasing a home through a realtor:
- Knowledge of the market. A real estate agent is well conversant with the market and has information of properties being sold. They usually know the prevailing market rates and advise you accordingly to avoid overpaying for a house. In addition, they are privy to properties that are on sale but are not necessarily being advertised on newspapers and other platforms. Thus, purchasing a house through a real estate agent gives one access to a large database of properties which may meet one’s needs.
- Time-saving. By using a realtor to purchase a house, the buyer will have saved the time that he/she will have spent looking for houses. A professional realtor will establish what your needs are in terms of size, location and other specifications then provide you with options to ease your decision-making.
- Knowledge of the neighborhood. When buying a house in a new locality, a buyer may not have proper knowledge of the surroundings. A realtor, however, has visited the area and maybe sold some properties before and thus they may be in a better position to inform you on matters such as drainage, security, alternative access routes and even your potential neighbors.
- Tackling paperwork. A lot of paperwork is involved in purchasing of a house. The process is tiresome and time-consuming. The paperwork includes the written offer, the written and signed counteroffer and other details required while making a deal. A realtor will assist in tackling paperwork and smooth deal closure.
- Record keeping. Realtors keep a record of the homes as well as clients they’ve handled before. With well-kept records, they are in a position to tackle any post-sale problems that may emerge. The records will act as a point of reference regarding any deals that were made in the past. In so doing, a homeowner will be safeguarded in case of any future or unforeseen trouble.
- Tackling deal closing problems. When a sale deal is being closed, some issues might occur which will be detrimental to the acquisition of the property. Such issues include title deed, pending loans by the homeowner, family tussles concerning the property. Since realtors are familiar with such issues, they will advise their clients accordingly on whether to purchase or not purchase a property.
- Professional indemnity mainly by registration and licensing. By working with a licensed real estate agent, the agent will be bound by law to act in their client’s best interests. In the event of exposure, the realtor is charged with disclosure of all material facts of the client. Thus, doing what is best for the clients will be their priority.
On the flip side, some of the limitations of purchasing a house through a realtor include;
- Overpaying for the home. A buyer might end up paying more than the market price when the purchase of a house is done through a realtor. Realtors may include hidden charges which include insurance cost and maintenance fee which might not be quoted in the deal-making process. The buyer thus pays more than they would have, had they bought on their own.
- They are driven by commissions. Most realtors are driven by the commission they will get from the proceeds of selling a property. In so doing, they may value their own self-interests rather than the interests of the client and thus not deliver client’s needs.
- Unregistered realtors who may defraud clients. Unregistered realtors might defraud their clients through change of details, extortion or even dishonest parties posing as property professionals.
In conclusion, purchasing a house may be considered a long-term investment that needs careful consideration. A prospective home-buyer therefore ought to weigh the benefits of using a realtor against limitations before decision making.