So many times, the general public has asked me, “Why do we need to use a Realtor?” Big industry for years has been trying to eliminate our jobs! What they have found is there is nothing like local knowledge and expertise.
In this day and age of the Internet, buyers who come knocking on the door are very sophisticated. They have researched the neighborhoods, schools, looked at the Zillow pricing and viewed the virtual tour. With all that knowledge, why then do we receive the call?
First and foremost, the primary reason a qualified realtor understands and knows how to communicate the ramifications of the paperwork to the client. From the agency disclosure to the 10-page residential purchase agreement and all the attached addendums, it becomes overwhelming to anyone.
Another critical reason to utilize a Realtor is the art of understanding the market. Realtors understand and can explain to clients simply and efficiently what these headlines mean. It is our job, plain and simple. Many times we hear Zillow stated our house is worth X and you are saying it is worth Y. We have the exact data to back this up. Zillow is great but they have not mastered pricing like your local professionals can.
Negotiations are critical. You need your local Realtor to advocate for you through negotiations. This is not always an easy task. And sometimes depending on the inventory, pricing, etc. and what the market conditions are, there is no room for negotiation. However, this is again why you have the realtor on your side. If you keep writing offers below list price and there is no inventory and your agent is not advising you about this condition, you will be priced out of the market and be very frustrated.
I can go on and on about this topic but I believe these three points are paramount to our profession. My caveat is in every profession there are good and bad apples. As you can see, I have been utilizing the word "Realtor." The word means this individual is a member of the National Association of Realtors and has a Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics to uphold. The real estate agent has passed the required courses for their individual state.
This link will allow you to see all titles defined: http://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/whats-difference-real-estate-salesperson-broker/
It is worth your time to review and understand the differences.