While house hunting TV shows tour the neighborhood, close the deal and throw a housewarming party in 30 minutes, real life is not as streamlined (and how on earth do they always seem to manage that crazy high budget?!). If you’re in the process of buying a home, here are signs it’s time to call a real estate agent.
1. You believe everything on the internet
While you can view tons of listings online, not all of the information is accurate or up-to-date. Especially with sites like Zillow and Trulia, you’ll see outdated listings and advertisements for agents who paid for the spot but know nothing about the property or area. With access to the MLS and insight on properties about to hit the market, a real estate agent will make sure you’re considering all of the homes in your market that fit your criteria.
2. You’re juggling a hectic schedule
You don’t need to spend time sorting through listings and contacting agents (who don’t always answer their phones!). Your agent will do the browsing so you only visit the homes that best fit your needs and price range, and they’ve got the inside scoop on how best to stalk the agents who are hard to reach and get you in to see the homes you like.
3. The biggest thing you’ve negotiated lately was your kids’ bedtime (and you lost)
As professional negotiators with years of experience, real estate agents know how to create, present, and negotiate the best offer. Remember, you’ll be going up against another professional negotiator: the seller’s agent.
4. You don’t know if a neighborhood is on the way up or down
An agent who knows the neighborhood can give you the scoop about local developments and changes that don’t always pop up in a Google search. He or she will also put them in context of larger market forces that could impact the future value of a home.
5. You’re buying a home
Not even joking here–if you are buying a home, get an agent. In most cases, the seller pays the agent fees and if you “don’t use one,” you’re actually using the seller’s agent and they’re collecting both checks. You want the best protection you can get in the biggest purchase of your life–choose your own agent to bring to the table.
If you’re looking for a caring and experienced professional to guide you through the home buying process, look no further!