Working at an Open House in the Upper Oakmore last Sunday, I was struck by the number of parties that came through the home with NO designated agent in place.
The Internet has made it so easy for Buyers to search the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that for many of you, it seems more natural and much easier to shop on your own . . . However for most of us, our home represents our single largest investment. Add to that, the potential liability that surrounds every home sale and you have a complicated transaction at best.
Given the potential risk involved, doesn't it make more sense to research and select your representative up front?
Yet with real estate, Buyers often embark on the process alone, pulling in a REALTOR as an afterthought - once the property has been identified.
My point is this: Would you walk into the hospital and let the on-call doctor perform life-saving surgery without so much as a consultation? (I didn't think so.)
The earlier one connects with a qualified Broker, the better. Aligning yourself with an experienced REALTOR to oversee the entire transaction from beginning to end makes good sense (and good cents) with so much at stake.
From mortgage brokers, to lenders, to escrow officers, to title companies to insurance brokers, to home inspectors (the list goes on and on . . .) a successful outcome requires thoughtful and directed collaboration.
Since you will ultimately require a REALTOR to get into contract, aligning yourself with a seasoned professional from the get go, makes for a more symbiotic relationship; a relationship that is far more satisfying and successful when it begins early in the process!
Utilize your agent's skill set early on and you will be ahead of the game!
If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the next few years - or have a friend who is considering a move - please feel free to give me a call.
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 500 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.