When you buy or sell your home, the question of working with a real estate agent will come up sooner or later. Should you go through the transaction yourself, or work with a professional?
As online tools have made the house hunt more independent, home buyers are beginning to engage with Realtors later in the process. According to research by the National Association of Realtors, 2016 was the first year in which a majority of home buyers found the home they eventually purchased online first.
This group still tends to work with professionals eventually. In fact, the same research found that 88 percent of individuals purchasing a home used a real estate agent at some point in the process.
The shifting priorities, though, show that the perception of Realtors is changing. Perhaps due to a number of prevailing but debunked myths about the profession, home buyers are doing the research themselves and considering a partnership with real estate agents purely transactional.
In reality, the benefits of working with a Denver real estate agent go far beyond closing on your home. The earlier the relationship starts, the more beneficial it will be in helping you find the best possible fit for the needs of you and your family. Below are the underrated benefits of establishing that relationship from the moment you’re ready to look for a new home.
Understanding the Capacity of Your Budget
Many home buyers go into the buyers’ journey with a specific budget, or a budget range, in mind. But do you know how far that budget will actually reach? How do you keep variables such as property taxes, closing costs, and even ongoing costs such as potential flood insurance in mind?
In other words, the home sticker price doesn’t tend to be the only one-time or ongoing cost associated with a new home. Especially for home buyers who haven’t gone through the process before, the costs beyond that initial listing price may come as a shock.
When you work with a Realtor, on the other hand, you can alleviate that issue. Realtors follow a set code of ethics, which places helpfulness and information sharing with the buyer at the forefront. For you, that means a better understanding of the actual capacity of your budget and the type of home you can actually afford.
Finding the Right Neighborhoods For Your Home
You probably already understand that knowing the general area in which you want to live is only the first step in finding the right home for your needs. The neighborhood you choose can have a major impact on your daily life, from the quality of the local school district to property taxes and access to a wide range of conveniences.
Working with a Realtor from the start helps you hone in on the right neighborhood for your needs. A real estate agent in Denver will know the differences of the various neighborhoodS, and how your goals for a new home fits into each opportunity.
Within the Denver suburb of Lakewood, for example, you can find neighborhoods and housing plans that range widely depending on the specific home you are considering. Working with a professional ensures you get not just the general area right, but also the immediate surroundings of your potential new home.
The Dangers of Online Listings
What happens when you choose not to engage with a real estate agent early in your house hunting? Chances are that instead, you rely on online listings. But be warned: that approach can come with some potentially significant downfalls.
To start, some open listing sites simply don’t properly vet the individual homes for sale. In the worst case, that can lead to deceptive and misleading advertising, belying the actual home on the market. But even if that worst case scenario doesn’t occur, inaccurate data can lead to outdated listings that have already been sold, wrong price tags, and more. For example, I’ve seen many homes listed for sale on Zillow after they were either Under Contract or Sold.
Of course, you can alleviate many of these issues when actually touring your potential home. At the same time, this type of inaccuracy can lead you to miss potential homes that would actually fit your needs better but seem to be out of your price range.
That’s not to say that all online listings are bad. In fact, many of them can be helpful in narrowing down your initial search. It does make sense, however, to talk to a professional about these listings, asking for their professional opinion. In the process, your real estate may also reveal some potential homes to you that are not actually listed online.
Buying a Home With the Future in Mind
Ultimately, you are probably not buying a home only with the coming year in mind. It might be the biggest investment of your life, so it helps to be sure that the decision you make will be beneficial not just now, but for years to come.
Working with a Denver real estate agent early on can help in that regard. Some of the above points are perfect examples: even if you don’t have children, the right school district may become an important consideration a few years down the road, and it might be very important to the buyer you sell to in the future.
In addition, your real estate agent should have a general idea of the neighborhood, and can point you in the right direction for specifics like crime stats, population age, and other variables that can help you determine if the neighborhood is right for you.
Armed with this type of advice and information, you can make a more informed decision on the right home for your needs not just now, but potentially for decades to come.
Building Trust Toward the Transaction
By the time you have found a home that seems to work for your needs, the complications start. Now, you need a home inspection, and the price negotiations begin. If you only involve a real estate agent at this point, you will be working with a professional you know little about.
If, on the other hand, you have already established a working relationship with a Denver area Realtor, the existing trust level will lead toward better decisions. For instance, you can rely on the Realtor to recommend a reliable home inspector. If something needs fixed, chances are they know professionals who can accomplish the job. And your Agent may know a mortgage lender that provides great customer service to help you start the home buying process.
You will also get help in the negotiation itself, which can be a complex process. Finally, your real estate agent will ensure all contracts and finances are in order, either directly or through an intermediary.
Working With Your Denver Real Estate Agent to Find a Better Home
Of course, working with a real estate agent in Denver is no magic bullet. Ultimately, you still have to make a decision that works best for you and your family, based on your own educated opinion.
At the same time, that opinion has the potential to become significantly more educated through an early relationship with a Realtor. Because of the additional information you gain, the homes you find, and the traps you avoid, your chances of finding and buying a home that actually fits your needs both now and in the future increase greatly.
Are you looking for a home in the greater Denver area? If so, now is the time to work with a rockstar Denver Realtor. The benefits you will gain from relying on a professional’s opinion and customer service have the potential to be immense. To get the process started, simply contact me today…