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Do You Need an Agent?

f you’ve bought or
sold a house before,
it may be tempting to
decide to go through
the process without
the help of a real
estate agent and their
fee. Know what you’re
getting into before
taking on this
responsibility.

For both buyers and sellers, an agent is an important ally who can handle
the paperwork and negotiating, which can get tricky,
and make the process
much less stressful for you.
Here’s what to know when
you’re considering an
agent.

SellerS
Time Magazine reported
that 90 percent of home
sellers use a real estate
agent. The agent understands the market and the
appraisal process and can
provide expert advice on
how to move a home more
quickly, how to market it
effectively and more.
Knowing market trends,
they often are better able to
negotiate the details of the
contract. Your agent handles all of the walkthroughs and open houses
as well, making them particularly helpful for sellers
with inflexible work schedules.

If you’re not sure about
your agent or having an
agent at all, consider signing a short-term contract,
so you can re-evaluate how
well the relationship is
working.
BuYerS
An agent can help you
find a lender, a title company and an assessor and
answer questions about the

types of loans available,
different down payment
assistance programs in
your area, how much house
you can afford based on
your budget and the benefits and drawbacks of different neighborhoods,
although many aren’t
allowed to directly tell you
yes or no about a neighborhood.
Agents also know what

to look for when you’re
walking through the house.
You may not notice a
slight hump in the floor,
but an experienced agent
will and knows to ask the
owner what caused it. They
know possible issues to
look for and questions to
ask depending on the
neighborhood (traffic patterns, persistent noises, if a
family of raccoons lives

nearby, what electricity
usage is like).
Your agent works for
you, so do your homework
and find one you’re comfortable with. You can ask
for recommendations and
check online reviews. The
buyer’s agent is paid
through the sale of the
home, not out of your
pocket.

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