Do-it-yourself home projects are often fun. There is the fact that you may save money, and also the satisfaction and pride you feel when the project is complete. There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment when you do something yourself, and you stand back to admire your own work.
Sometimes, however, the project may not go exactly as planned. Whether you install a new plumbing fixture, spackled the wall, or merely cleaned out your garage with a 40 yard dumpster, there are many times when the job just does not turn out the way you expected. The project may take much longer than expected, or you do not have the right tools, or, quite simply, the crazy faucet just does not work. What do you do then?
Call an Expert
In the legal profession, there is a commonly-heard expression that “a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.” The same can be said for not using a realtor when you are selling or buying a home or property. Pennsylvania real estate agents are required to have certain training, and in the case of brokers, certain experience. This knowledge can be invaluable to not only seeing the transaction through to conclusion, but also ensuring it is done timely with as few headaches as possible. Not many transactions are completely smooth, but many times you will never know of the problems as the agents will guide you through the process and handle issues as they arise.
For example, your agent is your buffer. He or she will handle showing your home, discussions with the other realtors, helping coordinate title searches and insurance, and be your partner you through the inspection process. This is only a few of the tasks that can be of substantial assistance to your process.
Having an agent also can give you access to market knowledge and information that you cannot obtain from online sources, such as Zillow. Sure, you will be able to get an idea for the value of the homes in your area, or a comparison between your property and others which are on the market, but having a realtor will give you that objectivity that you need to have the job completed correctly from the start. Everyone believes that their home or property is one of the greatest homes in the world, and should sell above fair market value. After all, why would you have lived there if you did not believe it is great? That enthusiasm should not be lost when listing your home, but the agent you select will be able to direct you to property deficiencies that you may not see anymore. No matter how you look at it, you have at least some pride in your property. That emotional involvement is eliminated when you deal with an expert. Your realtor will be able to help you translate your “property attachment” and pride into a business or personal opportunity for a buyer. Conversely, if you are a buyer, a good realtor will take your dreams and mold them into the right acquisition opportunity.
What’s the right price for you? What is the best location to buy a home? Are there amenities in this area that you are unaware of? How has the neighborhood changed in the last few years? These are all questions that you can have answered easily and without worry. While your own due diligence is always recommended, the agent is your partner, your guide.
A statement often heard is “if I don’t use a realtor, I can save the commission.” Real Estate transactions are not completely about money. Coordination with attorneys, title agents, mortgage brokers, other agents, municipalities and inspectors is necessary in any transaction, no matter how big or small. The cost to engage a realtor is minimal when compared to the work that has to go into ensuring your settlement process is smooth. It is important to remember that issues often arise after closing, including tax collection and assessment issues, sewer fees, or even whether that unanticipated leak was disclosed when the property was sold. The term “buyer beware” exists for a reason, and having a realtor on your side will reduce your concerns and give you peace of mind.
When reviewing all that a real estate agent can do for you, there is one component of the process that cannot be objectified when choosing that realtor. Northeast Pennsylvania has many excellent real estate agents, and an equal number of exceptional brokers. Preston Tucker, who created the Tucker automobile in the mid-twentieth century, was a visionary and had people invest in his new car idea because they bought into his dream. Buying a home or selling your property is no different than investing in a new car company like the Tucker. When you meet with your agent, it is your obligation to tell him or her exactly what you are looking to accomplish, and even what you hope to avoid. Communication is key. And when you have chosen that realtor, make sure they have bought into and caught your dream. Once they have, they will work that much harder to achieve it for you.
Remember, you can still do all of your DIY projects – in your current home or your new home. It is recommended, however, that you do not include the sale or purchase of your property in that DIY category.