10 Really Obvious Reasons You Should Hire A Real Estate Agent

10 Really Obvious Reasons You Should Hire A Real Estate Agent

    • Posted: November 21st 2013
    • By: Grace Keister
    • Category: For the Buyer
With Google to answer all of your questions and new real estate listing websites,  it can seem like a great money saving idea to skip the real estate agent and tackle the market on your own. While this can be done, it makes the process of buying or selling a house infinitely more stressful, time consuming and difficult. There are many reasons to hire a real estate agent and here are 10 really obvious ones that you should consider before you decide to take on the market alone.

A good agent will help you buy or sell a home quickly. When you are on your own to buy or sell your home, it will take quite a bit of time to do the how-to research, scouring online listings and neighborhoods, deciding on price, etc. With the help of a real estate agent you can get it all done 37% faster according to a recent study. Agents have the contacts and skills to attract buyers when you’re selling and to locate the hottest buys when you’re in the market.
  1. Get more money for your listing. The right agent and company can impact your financial outcome by as much as 20%. One long term analysis of sale-by-sale performance in the Orange County market showed that sellers who list with First Team can expect their property to sell for an average of 11.3% more than if they work with another broker. That means more money in your pocket when you consider that most agents only take a commission of around 3%. We sell homes for more because we are in touch with more buyers through our Buyer PipelineSM system. Also, if you sell your home without an agent, buyers will expect to pay less. They know you won’t be paying an agent commission and they will price their offer accordingly. And if you’re a buyer, you don’t pay for your agent at all; their commission comes out of the home sale – not your pocket!
  2.  Help in the negotiation process. Keeping your cool through the endless negotiations between buyers and sellers can be difficult. That’s why at First Team, we train all of our agents to utilize the latest and most successful negotiating practices. That means you get every possible advantage in your home sale which is particularly important when it comes to presenting your offer as a buyer. While the industry standard is simply faxing over offers, our agents make every effort to present yours face-to-face, increasing the odds that yours gets accepted.
  3. Agents who work for top companies have the extra resources and tools it takes to succeed. When you buy or sell a home yourself, you are tackling the process alone. Real estate companies however have tons of resources available to help agents buy and sell faster and more efficiently. For example, First Team has tons of amazing resources and tools available to our agents, and in turn their clients, like our Sneak PreviewSM and Buyer PipelineSM programs. Our Sneak PreviewSM program allows you to view homes listed by First Team agents before they hit the MLS so you have first pick at brand new properties. And the Buyer PipelineSMhelps sellers find a buyer sooner by archiving all buyer clients with First Team agents, bringing buyers and selling together more effectively and efficiently than ever. With these tools and our company marketing budget of over $4 million dollars, you know that you’re in good hands with a First Team real estate agent.
  4. Save you hassle with difficult buyers and sellers. If you’re selling and showing you house, an agent can do that for. They will deal with difficult and pesky buyers, ward of lookie loos and help hook serious buyers. If you’re buying, an agent will play hard ball for you when you’re trying to get an offer in, help you negotiate a new home purchase with overbearing builders and act as a buffer between you and the seller if need be.
  5. They’ve got the inside scoop on the market. While most homes for sale can be found and viewed online, sometimes sellers don’t want their home publicized. Only agents will have the scoop on these listings and get you in for a tour. Also, agents who know a neighborhood well will know more details of a home than what is on the listing. A real live agent is a much better searcher than the web when it comes to specifics like good home office spaces or crown molding in a home.
  6. They’ve got connections in the industry. When you buy or sell a home you’re going to be dealing with inspectors, lawyers, movers, mortgage lenders and more. First Team is a part of a family of over 60 company locations30 First Team locations and 1,600 agents. Our agents can recommend professionals with authority because they have connections to the top experts in the industry. It can be daunting to have to research, interview and choose all of these companies and pros on your own. If you have an agent, you can rely on their expertise and connections with your community and the real estate industry to help you through the home buying and selling process.
  7. Getting the price right. Properly estimating home value is vital to home buying and selling in order for you to get the most bang for your buck whether you’re a buyer or seller. That’s why at First Team we use a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) report to determine what your house is worth. Our CMA report pulls in comparable homes in your neighborhood to give a home value range for your property that is a true representation of the current market. If you’re thinking of selling your home, reach out to a First Team agent to do a CMA for you so you know exactly what your home is worth and what it will sell for.
  8. Help with the work load. You already have a job and chances are you don’t have time for the exhaustive paperwork, research, negotiations and appointment setting that goes along with buying and selling a home. There’s a reason people have careers as real estate agents – it’s a full time gig! Don’t drive yourself crazy with tricky contracts, home repair requests, offers and endless counter offers. You will have to learn a bit about these things during the home buying and selling process but it all becomes manageable when you have an agent to lead you through it all.
  9. Help in the closing process. Closing a home purchase now takes on average 44 days. That’s a long and lengthy process with lots to keep on top of. When you have the help of a real estate agent, the closing process will go by quicker and much more smoothly. Again, negotiating skills are imperative in this stage and with an agent you can feel confident that everything is getting done efficiently and effectively with your interests in mind.

If you’re interested in getting a professional opinion and finding out more about our agents, call or email us now. We’re here to answer any and all questions you have and of course save you time, energy and money during the home buying or selling process.


Grace Keister
Written by Grace Keister

Grace Keister, Content Marketing Specialist for First Team Real Estate. If you’re in the market to buy a new home or list your home in Southern California, keep us in mind. Visit www.FirstTeam.com for daily up-to-date listings and we have over 1,800 local agents throughout Orange County, Los Angeles, Inland Empire, and San Diego that are ready to help with your real estate needs.

Originally posted: http://www.firstteam.com/blog/10-really-obvious-reasons-you-should-hire-a-real-estate-agent/#ixzz2lPgFLkoF



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Cheap MLS platforms leave a lot to be desired

WAV Group: Cheap MLS platforms leave a lot to be desired

Survey shows drop in satisfaction ratings for every MLS vendor
Inman News

Inman News Staff Writer
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Nov 1, 2013

Frustrated agent image via Shutterstock.Frustrated agent image via Shutterstock.

The multiple listing service underpins the real estate industry. But the software that runs it leaves a lot to be desired.

Among both MLS staff and MLS subscribers, satisfaction ratings for MLS platforms have dropped across the board, according to an annual survey from real estate consulting firm WAV Group.

“Every vendor in the industry is facing lower ratings by both of these groups. The industry is ripe for change. The pendulum needs to swing away from lower price and more toward better systems,” said Victor Lund, WAV Group’s founding partner, in a blog post about the firm’s MLS Technology Survey results.

A more detailed report on the survey’s results will be released in a few weeks.

Lund noted that no MLS software platform got “super-high ratings” in last year’s survey, and that ratings dropped even further in this year’s survey.

One of the services WAV Group provides is to help MLSs facing a contract termination date shop around to see if they can find a better system at a lower price. But vendors too often focus on making their systems “better” by adding bells and whistles rather than improving their design, Lund said.

“If the system cannot look great, the vendor focuses on throwing in MLS toys — like a consumer website, IDX, agent websites, virtual tours, document management, or some other tool. They pile on additional applications in the base price of the MLS to sweeten the deal,” he said.

Lund suggested three other changes MLSs could make to improve satisfaction ratings:

1. Reduce profits: MLSs often markup the services they offer to paying subscribers. Sometimes this happens when a regional MLS wholesales services to its shareholder associations who then retail the services to the subscriber — often doubling the service costs so the association makes a profit, Lund said.

“MLS systems that are wholesaled below $20 per agent per month wind up costing the subscriber more than $40 per agent per month,” he said.

While associations and MLSs may provide additional services such as training, support and rules enforcement, profit is nonetheless “a significant percentage of the fees,” he added.

2. Don’t switch systems. No matter how much better a new MLS platform is to an old one, satisfaction ratings always drop, Lund said. This is because most MLS subscribers are older — more than 3 out of 4 are over 45 years old.

“Do not move their cheese unless your vendor relationship is crushed. They do not want to learn a new software solution even if it is better. The tax of having to retrain is too high,” Lund said.

3. Charge more: “The top MLS vendor in our survey every year happens to be the system that charges the most,” Lund said. While raising the cost of MLS access has its risks, it may spur some nonproductive agents to leave the business and raise the bar for the industry as a whole, he said.

– See more at: http://www.inman.com/2013/11/01/wav-group-cheap-mls-platforms-leave-a-lot-to-be-desired/#sthash.nABfFN4I.dpuf


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