In today’s real estate market, a home shopper can find loads of information online about homes for sale in Montclair, Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, Livingston, Summit, West Orange, South Orange, or any other town. He can stay up all night making spreadsheets and calculations about homes, watching virtual tours, scanning through all the pictures and then go to a slew of open houses.
So what does he need a real estate agent for? Just call the listing agent to get details not written, instead of forming a partnership with one real estate agent to represent him. For the value, or lack thereof, some real estate agents provide, I agree. But if you know your personal time is truly a valuable commodity and can count yourself amongst the lucky home buyers who worked with one of the many professional real estate agent around the area, you would never ask yourself this question.
Sure, you can just call the listing agent. I like getting those calls. But, if you’re not meeting with me for a home buyer consultation, then your call is like going to see a teacher. You can go from class to class and each teacher is good at that particular subject (or two) and can give you expert opinion and insight construed to what she’s trying to accomplish in class or towards a grade/score she’s trying to meet.
But when you’re talking with a guidance counselor that’s a different story and relationship than with a single teacher; the guidance counselor may not know the motives of the teacher but knows more than enough about the subject and took the time to understand you and what you’re trying to do. Now, she can take all that knowledge together as a whole, along with her years of experience, and provide you direction to how a class or activity will help you achieve your goal. She can interpret the meaning of how the subject will advance your future. She can, without bias to what the teacher is trying to accomplish, represent you and fight for what you want. That's a professional real estate agent, too.
When you take the time to have a home buyer consultation with a professional real estate agent, it’s the same as meeting with an expert guidance counselor. You save yourself time by having a confidant; one who understands exactly what you’re trying to accomplish in your life and will work hard to find the perfect home to make that happen for you. You save loads of time, resources, effort and headaches because you found someone you can depend on. Someone who can perform many tasks like preview homes for you. What a home looks like online may not be reality and you can be crossing something on or off your list haphazardly and missing your perfect home.
Even more important than taking back hours in a day and performing tasks, your real estate guidance counselor is also your negotiator and sounding board. This is the other key important purpose of a real estate agent -- even more than just being a task agent. It’s not to be a door man to let you in a house or to give you the gossip or reason why a homeowner is moving; it’s to come ready and able to negotiate on your behalf with the other agent, the attorney, the mortgage broker, the vendors, and anyone else needed to get you the home you want. It's to impartially interpret all the data you are being bombarded with to help insure you make the most educated decision possible.
Do home buyers need real estate agents today? Not when you are window shopping, but when you are ready to trust a professional, save some time (isn't time, your money?) and make sure you spend your money wisely, then teaming with a professional real estate sales consultant is nothing but net.
There are many useless real estate agents out here, just like there are many useless sales reps, bankers, teachers, contractors, dentist, etc. Don’t let that prevent you from having a great experience with a true real estate professional. There are many great ones to choose from.
This year is going to be fraught with multiple offers, mortgage changes, concessions, and so much more. Partner with a real estate agent because of the depth and breadth of what she has between her two ears; because of her innate ability to know when to be a pit bull or a pussy cat; because of her trustworthiness as your confidant, not just because of a home your eyes see online.
Get someone good on your side today.