With endless house-hunting apps and information online, some potential home buyers or sellers might wonder whether it’s really necessary to work with an agent. First things first: did you know there’s a difference between a Real Estate Agent and a Realtor? A Real Estate Agent has passed courses and an exam to earn their state license to practice real estate, but a Realtor belongs to the National Association of Realtors and adheres to their strict code of ethics.
While you aren’t required to use one, a good agent will know the market, prepare your property for sale, advertise your listing, and get it sold for top dollar. They will educate you so that you can make informed decisions, and they will loop in other professionals (lawyers, inspectors, etc.) when necessary.
On average, an agent will spend 9-10 hours working behind the scenes for every hour spent with a client. A seller's agent takes a financial risk every time they list a property, since they pay for all the marketing and advertising themselves. It is one of the only professions in which the client does not pay any money in advance for services rendered.
When buying a home, a Real Estate Agent/Realtor can access properties through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that you might not see in your own search. They will take your wants and needs into consideration and present you with homes best suited to your needs. They can also suggest simple, imaginative changes that might make a home more suitable for you and improve its value.
The best way to hire an agent is to ask a friend for a referral. Ask if the agent was trustworthy, assertive in negotiations, made the transaction as convenient as possible, and did what they said they were going to do. Look for a Realtor who will negotiate a win-win agreement that will satisfy both you and the seller.
Another option is to get pre-qualified with NOVA and then ask your Loan Officer for agent recommendations. Each one of our LOs has built meaningful professional relationships with Realtors they know are trustworthy. Reach out today!