Friday, April 17, 2015

Why Do I Need an Agent to Buy a Home -- Part 1

A few weeks ago, I wrote about whether sellers really need an agent to sell their home.  It got me thinking about the other half of a real estate transaction--the buyers.

There are two common home purchase scenarios--either the sellers have an agent, or they are DIY sellers.  Regardless of who is representing a seller, a buyer's agent is, in my opinion, a must.  This is a pretty big topic, so I'm going to break it into two posts. Today we'll focus on FSBO (For Sale By Owner) scenarios.

Just a quick conversation between friends, right?

A home is likely to be the biggest purchase you will ever make, so it's natural to be a little afraid and a little excited when you finally find that perfect home.  When it's time to make the offer, if you don't have a buyer's agent, and the home is FSBO, you will have to call the owners directly to make your offer.  It's just a phone call, it isn't that hard, right?

Have you ever seen those Facebook yard sale groups?  Plenty of "for sale" posts devolve into arguments over how much something costs new vs. how much the seller actually paid vs. how much the items cost on eBay.  Someone always comes along and asks "What's the lowest you will go?" The sellers get frustrated, everyone argues, the post disappears, and the bystanders all tell their friends about the drama that was on Facebook today.

Seems fair.

All for a $50 wagon.

Now make that call to negotiate a $150,000 home.

Without the involvement of a professional, the sellers are asking a price that is their "best guess"--and it includes their emotional attachment to the home.  Buyers without an agent may have even met the sellers to view the home, and have heard all about that emotional attachment and how wonderful the home is...all of which go in to the buyers making their "best guess" as to what is a fair offer.

What could go wrong?

Aside from the potential negotiations disaster, there are still the formalities and legalities to navigate.  Offer contracts, title companies, inspections, home warranties, and the final purchase contract are all things an experienced real estate agent can--and should--help with.

If some of the paperwork isn't done properly, it's a mistake that could cost thousands of dollars when it finally comes to light.  Can you imagine finding out years after the fact that the largest purchase of your life may have been made with legal mistakes or missing paperwork?  An experienced professional really is a must to minimize your risk.

Next week we'll cover buyer's agents when there is also a seller's agent.  Meanwhile, stop by our YouTube channel and check out our ongoing "Why Cheyenne?" video series--you might even see a few familiar faces!

Until next time,


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