According to the National Association of Realtors, there are about 2 million Realtors with active real estate licenses in the United States. And just in 2018, 87% of buyers purchased their home through an agent or broker and 91% of sellers listed their homes through an agent or broker.
However, some people still don’t see the value in using a Realtor for buying or selling.
According to Paul Blumberg, Realtor and leader of the Paul Blumberg team at Howard Hanna in Pepper Pike; Sharon Friedman, broker, associate and Realtor at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Professional Realty in Moreland Hills; and Peggy Garr, Realtor with Howard Hanna in Pepper Pike, it’s imperative for both sides of the transaction to engage a Realtor.
“It’s partially self-interest, but both buyers and sellers should use a Realtor,” Blumberg said. “And they shouldn’t use any old Realtor, as it is very easy to be one now. They should use someone with experience.”
An experienced Realtor can help a client in many ways, including after the transaction is completed.
“For a buyer, it is certainly a no-brainer,” Blumberg said. “For a buyer, if you have someone who is market-wise and is a good agent, you won’t overpay. And you then have someone who can point out what could be wrong with a house. Then you also have someone to be with you to the end of the transaction to act as a buffer.”
Blumberg added it’s also important to feel comfortable with a Realtor.
“You’re kind of getting married to them, in a sense,” he said. “It’s someone you should be able to communicate with.”
There is a lot to know about real estate, Garr said. The average person wouldn’t even know what they don’t know.
“There are a lot of unknowns and people don’t even realize it,” she pointed out. “There is so much out there and every year I am in business, I learn something new, too. Realtors know what is good and bad, and without one, you’re opening yourself up to a multitude of problems.”
Garr said Realtors bring plenty to the table.
“It’s not just finding a house you like and moving to buy it. There are a lot of variables,” she explained. “It’s a very expensive investment, so you can’t afford to make a mistake. It’s probably the most amount of money that someone will pay on one item in their lifetime.”
Friedman said it’s important to find the right Realtor.
“Every agent brings something different to the table,” she said. “You want to meet with two or three to get a sense of their capability. I worked with a couple and I brought them into my office to do a needs assessment about what they’re looking for in a home and what is important to them. This is all before I even take them in my car.
“Anyone can show houses, but to get someone to be in your corner, to know the financing options and to have all of the right contacts, that’s a whole other story.”
The right Realtor can reduce the stress involved with buying or selling a home.
“I’ve had people send me messages saying everything was easy and not what they thought it would be,” Garr said. “It can be very stressful if you don’t have the right agent. It comes down to that.”
Friedman said she sees a realtor’s role as “trusted advisers.”
“Don’t overthink it though,” she said. “You don’t want to feel forced into a choice. You want someone who is going to listen and tell you the truth, someone who is going to navigate you through the process.”