Despite the influx of internet articles and do-it-yourself books on selling a home, the real estate industry is not only thriving but booming. And with good reason: A real estate agent is still one of the best investments you can make when you choose to buy or sell a home. 

If you’re wondering how a good agent adds value to your process, read on:

Experience – Not only are realtors educated on the many complicated aspects of real estate transactions, but chances are they’ve experienced some of the unusual scenarios even the most seemingly simple transaction. Buying and selling property can involve bullying tactics, bidding wars, counteroffers, all-cash offers, and tight competition. Realtors know how to handle these situations without losing their cool.

Neutrality – Sometimes a buyer falls in love with a house that is overpriced or needs more work than they realize, or they fail to explore possibilities outside of their comfort zone. Similarly, some sellers hold out too long for a higher offer or are afraid to disclose something about the house. A realtor is a neutral party who can help clients navigate the often tricky line between expectations and reality.

Neighborhood Knowledge – One of the biggest mistakes that Sell-By-Owners make is to overvalue the worth of their home, leading to extra days on the market and more money spent. A good realtor will be able to recommend a listing price for your home competitively so that you get the most money and sell quickly. Similarly they’ll be able to tell you if a home you’re interested in purchasing is priced competitively for the neighborhood. And they usually know about homes not yet on the market or ones that aren’t being actively marketed, very helpful if you’ve honed in on a specific neighborhood.

Selling tips – Buyers often make their decisions within minutes of first seeing a home. For sellers, this means they need to do everything they can to make a good impression. Real estate agents can help sellers determine what work should (or shouldn’t) be done to their house before putting it on the market. Not sure if granite counters or real hardwood floors are worth it? Want to keep photos of kids and grandparents on the wall? A realtor can give suggestions, offer resources, and hire a professional photographer so that your home looks bright and inviting when buyers view it on the web.

Buying tips – A real estate agent can walk buyers through costs and issues to turn a home into a dream home. They’ll be able to estimate the cost involved with a new roof or knocking down a wall or re-doing a kitchen. They can also tell you local variances that would affect putting up a fence or raising chickens in your backyard.

Vendor recommendations – Most realtors have a handy list of service providers they have experience with and recommend. They can’t tell you whom to choose, but if you need a home inspector, general contractor, electrician, etc, chances are they have a list of names and companies along with some background to help you choose.

Legal paperwork – Real estate transactions today typically run ten-plus pages, and that’s not including the federal- and state-mandated disclosures. Someone with experience in the industry can make sure that the contract works in your best interest and that you are fully aware of everything you are signing.

And remember, realtors are dependent on referrals in order to make a living. It’s in their best interest to have a good relationship with their buyer or seller in order to get glowing recommendations for the next transaction that comes their way.

At Gracik-Makinney, we have a combined 40-plus years of experience helping buyers find their dream home, and sellers receive top dollar on theirs. Reach out to us for a free consultation or for more information, (630) 441-5570 or