By Charese David, Real Estate Broker
An online search for real estate will bring up a lot of information. So, why hire a broker? At first glance it may seem that buying or selling a home on your own will save you money. But that might not be the case. According to the National Association of Realtor®'s 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, you’ll make more money by hiring a professional real estate broker. “FSBOs typically sell for less than the selling price of other homes; FSBO homes sold at a median of $190,000 last year (up from $185,000 the year prior), and significantly lower than the median of agent-assisted homes at $250,000.”
And there are other things to consider before embarking on your real estate journey. As a part of my daily routine, I research the market to track prices and trends through online broker resources and in real estate publications. I know neighborhood news, zoning changes and am up-to-date on new policies, rules and ethics pertaining to brokers.
When working with clients, I hear what buyers expect in a property and am able to translate this to my home sellers. As a photographer for many years, I am personally involved in the property photo shoots. These photos will be posted online and are critical to the success of attracting the right buyer. With my eye for design, I am able to offer expert staging tips, remodel ideas and repair advice to my home sellers.
By consistently networking with other real estate professionals, I am able to keep tabs on influences in the market, trends and the economy. If I have any questions, I know exactly who to contact for answers. And driving the Chicago neighborhoods every day, I see new construction homes, rehab projects, property conditions and am on the lookout for any changes, such as new businesses moving in.
Here are what I consider the benefits of hiring a real estate broker:
Education and Experience
One of the main benefits of working with a broker is their knowledge and experience in managing the process. Before hiring a real estate broker, ask to set up an interview. You want to make sure that this person understands the neighborhoods, real estate market and trends. Whether buying or selling, the broker must have a keen eye in a property to catch things you might miss and expertise in negotiation to put you at ease during the process.
Neighborhood Knowledge and Prices
In a city as big as Chicago, it’s key to understand the neighborhoods from a historical perspective and the current market value. If looking to buy, you want to make sure the neighborhood aligns with your finances and lifestyle. And from a selling point of view, it’s important to know current market values. The broker has knowledge of local and state news that can affect housing prices. When meeting with a broker, they should be able to advise you on your neighborhood picks and clue you into other neighborhoods to consider.
A good real estate broker will have connections in the industry. Find out how they network with other real estate professionals. This person should also be able to share trusted home repair and remodel resources. For a smooth transaction before and after the sale of a property, a reliable agent will manage the process from setting up the home inspection to putting together the right team to handle the volumes of paperwork at closing.
Staging Advice and Identifying Home Repairs
Whether you’re buying or selling, a broker should be able to walk in to a property and identify the opportunities and challenges. If more information is needed, they will share trusted resources to help you understand the scope of repairs and how it will affect a property value. When selling a home, an good agent will offer inside and outside staging and design advice.
Buying or selling a home tends to be an emotional journey. For peace of mind, a professional broker will handle all aspects of the negotiation process in your best interest. A good agent will share their honest opinion on your options in order to set up a successful property transaction.
An experienced real estate broker will understand the buying and selling process inside and out. They will be with you every step of the way, working through the details, freeing up your time for other important things. With trusted resources at their fingertips and experience to have the foresight of potential challenges, they are able to navigate the process, saving you valuable time.
A good relationship with your broker can benefit you beyond the real estate transaction. You have a trusted resource in all your property questions.
Real estate is my passion. I am dedicated to gathering knowledge and am committed to building client relationships. If you have questions or comments, please contact us.