In the age of apps and updates about new listings straight to your phone, it’s easy to wonder, “Why do people still use an agent when buying a house?”
If the ONLY thing a DC Buyer’s Agent did was email you when the house hit the market and open the door for you, real estate professionals would be more like human push notifications that gave free “Ubers” to houses. Surprisingly enough, a DC Buyer’s Agent representing a home buyer can be an incredible (and virtually free) professional ally to anyone making one of your life’s biggest purchases.
Here are just a few of the reasons anyone buying a home should get representation from a DC Buyer’s Agent:
CNN, The Washington Post, and Zillow can report as much as they like, but the best person to educate you about the market before you buy is someone who eats, sleeps, and breathes the Washington DC real estate market. A competent DC Buyer’s Agent can provide insight on the market conditions in the area(s) you’re considering buying within. Over the life of your loan, this information could be worth $30,000 to $200,000(or more) in equity depending on what and where you buy.
A-Z Advice and Support or “As Seen On TV”
If you don’t purchase your home on HGTV, it may take more than 23 minutes to get through the entire process from start to finish. For those of us that don’t have the magic (also know as editing) of television on our side, the homebuying process can take time. During that time, there are typically a number of challenges and triumphs one may encounter. A strong DC Buyer’s Agent acts as your adviser, offering resources and support cultivated over years of experience throughout the entire home buying process, from ratification to close of escrow and beyond.
Homebuying is a Contact Sport, and You’ve Got a Dog in The Fight
Let’s take a moment and just revel in the fact that we’re talking about buying a house! They make it look so easy these days people tend to forget how many lives are affected by the decisions made during this process where so many things can go wrong. To say it’s “a big deal” is a gross understatement. It takes in upwards of a month on average to get through the transaction once under contract and tensions are often high. Everybody wants things, which means sometimes it’s an outright slugfest. If you have the option to get a Heavyweight Champ to fight for your best interest for next to nothing, do you turn that down?! Heck no! You’ve got nothing to lose and EVERYTHING TO GAIN! Not to mention, if you fall into the category of individuals who need to earn a living to pay for said home purchase, it’s nice to have a DC Buyer’s Agent in your corner, fighting for you while you’re doing what you do best.
A Sure Way To Never Overpay
Everyone wants “a good deal”. While the meaning of this changes based on the current market cycle, the notion remains. A few years ago foreclosures were all the rage in the DC area but the inventory has shrunken up and the banks want near retail prices for their unsightly homes. Today, reasonably homebuyers are primarily concerned with avoiding paying more for a home than it’s worth. This resonates among first-time homebuyers and more experience purchasers alike. While an appraiser will provide an opinion of value towards the end of the transactions, it’s best to avoid any potential “deal killing” surprises up front. Since we’ve all heard most of the good jokes about “Zestimates” by now, we know accurate home sale data is vital and often hard to find. Instead of an algorithm, a DC Buyer’s Agent will do the research before an offer is made to determine whether or not the home’s asking price is too good to be true, too crazy to consider, or “priced to sell”. That alone is PRICELESS.
To Fix Or Not To Fix, That is The Question
When you work with a DC Buyer’s Agent, they’ll tell you when and how many inspections to perform during your home purchase transaction. We all know homes are man-made, therefore service is required from time to time. No home is without imperfection. When it’s time to analyze the results of your inspection(s) and make a decision, expert advice is always welcome. An experienced DC Buyer’s Agent will let you know what repairs are a big deal, who should deal with them, and how to get it all sorted. This is especially important when buying new construction in the DC Area, albeit condos, townhomes, or single family houses.
Making Sure the ‘Ol Switcheroo” Doesn’t Happen To You
If you’re in any business long enough, you see and hear some things that teach you a lesson or two. An experienced DC Buyer’s Agent can tell you when and how to conduct your final walk-thru. While the average agent will do the walk-thru the day or week before going to closing, some of their colleagues do thing a bit differently. As the Team Leader of Entourage Residential Group at Keller Williams Capital Properties, I tell all my DC Buyer’s Agents (and clients) why we basically wait until the last minute to do the walk-thru, and now I’ll share my secret with you: There have been stories of unscrupulous investors and the like who had agents perform the walk-thru the day before closing and after the agent called to say all was well, would go back into the home and switch out stainless steel appliances with white ones, change fixtures, etc. While funny business can hypothetically still occur, we mitigate the risk significantly by performing the final walk-thru 1-2 hours prior to settlement. If we’re late, so be it! Our #1 objective is to protect our buyer.
From HUD-1’s & CD’s, Who’s Going To Check Those Fees?
The Universal HUD-1 has now become the CD (Closing Disclosure) in our area, and it goes by other names these days depending on whom you talk to, including the “Settlement Statement”. The CD details fees to be paid by both parties in the transaction at settlement. Once everyone agrees on the accuracy of such, all parties sign the document. As you can imagine, an error not caught here can be terribly costly. If not caught, a mistake here can be extremely difficult to correct as this signifies the close of the financial transaction. The value of having your DC Buyer’s Agent looking over this and other documents at settlement is much more than words can express.
Are you ready to talk your DC Buyer’s Agent about buying your next home?