Why Hire a Real Estate Agent?
Real estate agents undergo specialized training to do what they do. Statistics show that on average, 50% of the people who take the state licensing exam fail the first time and about 50% of those who take it the 2nd time fail as well. This goes to show that the process is a lot more complicated than doing a google search for homes and shaking hands with a seller to seal the deal.
Agents are better able to point out unnoticed faults of the property and negotiate the best deal for you. They are also more likely than the average person to know important information about a neighborhood, the local market and comparable sales.
Because of their experience in the field, agents often have a large network of other professionals whose services you will need to buy a home. It can be exhausting to have to find title companies, mortgage brokers, home inspectors and contractors all on your own.
With an agent, you will have those connections and a professional opinion regarding their service readily available without having to get to know these professionals and evaluate them yourself.
There is tons and tons of paperwork in the real estate industry! Purchase agreements are no less than ten pages and that doesn't even include the many disclosures mandated at the local, state and federal levels. A completed real estate file could be as thick as 1 to 3 inches of paper. It would be a harrowing task to keep up with (and understand) all that paperwork on your own. So much so that without an agent, you may end up having to hire an attorney because one mistake or omission could cost you thousands or even send you to court.
Federal, state and local laws are in place to keep agents accountable for their actions and to protect you, the customer. The law dictates that real estate agents are to hold your information confidential from competing interests and to represent your best interests. Just to name a few, real estate agents are regulated by
- the Florida Real Estate Commission according to Part I of Chapter 475 of the Florida Statutes and Chapter 61J2 of the Florida Administrative Code;
- the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board according to Part II of Chapter 475 of the Florida Statutes Chapter 475, Chapter 61J1 of the Florida Administrative Code, and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice; and
- the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) according to Chapter 455, Chapter 215, Chapter 120, and Chapter 20 of the Florida Statues.
The main benefit that having a real estate agent provides you with is convenience. With an agent,
- you'll never have to deal directly with sellers or developers who are always out for their best interests,
- you'll have someone to search for homes for you and send you ones that meet your requirements, and
- you'll have someone to negotiate for you with skill and experience.