There are many Reasons to use a seasoned licensed professional who is looking out for you when buying any type of property in Southwest Florida, whether it is a waterfront home, hi rise luxury condo, townhouse, or a resale or a new construction. As I indicated in an earlier post, the builder sales rep has a fiduciary duty to the builder, not you the buyer when you walk into the sales office of a new construction community.

Below are a few of many reasons why it is wise not to venture alone into a legal transaction:

1. You Will Not Have to Pay Commission- That's right, hiring a buyer's won't cost you a thing. It's the seller ( and developer) who pays the commission, not the buyer. It is written in the listing agreement, & the full commission is paid at closing.

2. It's Convenient -Targeting the right neighborhoods, finding homes that fit your criteria and scheduling showings can be a full time job. If you already work 9-5 it can become daunting and overwhelming very quickly.

3. Market Knowledge - As great as convenience is,  the most important service a buyer's agent brings to the table is market knowledge. Understanding the local market is key to finding the best home at the best price possible. And market knowledge is something that isn't easily attained in a short period of time.

4. Professional Negotiation - Making an offer and negotiating with a seller is by far one of the most specialized parts of the home buying process. Look at it this way :

Imagine sitting at a poker table, and there's $500,000 in the center of the table. You're emotionally involved, nervous - get the idea? Rather than risk making a mistake, find representation! A Realtor® is a professional negotiator, with a fiduciary duty to act in your best interest.

5. Professional Connections - Getting to the closing table requires the expertise of a number of professionals. Lenders, inspectors, surveyors just to name a few. Buyer's agents have worked with a number of providers, both great and not so good. When you hire a buyer's agent you get access to their network rather than having to research and build relationships from scratch.

Buyers agents have a pool of professionals they can call on or recommend to buyers, people that will get the job done, like the best home inspectors in the area.

6. Insider Knowledge - Wouldn't it be great to know about a home that's going up for sale before it's listed? A Realtor has access to many properties not yet on the market!  Many transactions happen behind closed doors - before the property ever hits the market.

7. Access to Comps/Sales Info - Comps, or comparables, are extremely valuable when you're considering how much to offer on a home. Agents have access to the latest sales prices of comparable homes and can help you submit an offer that will be acceptable to both parties, A real estate buyers agent researches and conducts a Comparable Market Analysis for the property type, market and neighborhood to ensure that you do not overpay for the property.

This is just one way that an agent can save you money during the home buying process.

8. Help Identifying Your Needs - A buyer's agent will help them [buyers] prioritize their needs. Most people have so many wants that it is very difficult for them to narrow it down to a place where they might actually find a home that fits at least their top needs."

As mentioned by other real estate professionals, buying based on wants rather than needs is one of the biggest mistakes that buyers make.

9. Mitigator of Emotions - Buying a home stirs up a lot of emotions, which is to be expected. However, if those emotions aren't kept in check it can cause many problems that could otherwise be avoided. As one broker  explains being a mitigator of emotions is one of an agent's most important roles. " A good agent removes the 'emotion' in a transaction and helps all the parties keep on track with their goals and more or less 'neutralizes' most situations."

10. Knowledge of Industry Standards, Legalities and Writing a Contract - "Buyers representing themselves will always leave too much on the table. They don't understand the issue of disclosures, they don't understand negotiating and they don't understand that this is a legal contract. It is probably the single largest purchase they will make in their lives, they need to know they are well represented, legally protected and getting real value for their money,

The two most common causes of lawsuits in real estate transactions are...1. Fraud, 2. Failure to disclose. Don't best-guess through the laundry list of disclosure's mandatory to a real estate transaction. Use a professional.

You may be able to search for homes on your own, but submitting an offer which may become a legally binding contract is not something you want to do by yourself. If nothing else, an experienced buyer's agent can give you assurance that contracts are written up correctly and protect your interests.

I have navigated the whole transaction from start to finish for clients locally and from all parts of the country, protecting my clients with a ton of resources and expertise not available to the average buyer who thinks they can save money on their own. Get in the know, call today 239-293-9434.