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By Beenu Sikand on January 03, 2011

Everyone is looking to save money, even when it comes to buying and selling homes. Some people choose to use a real estate agent and some people choose to go it alone. But you’ll find most people kick themselves after the deal is complete; either they find out about some pitfalls that were missed during negotiations or they find they could have and should have gotten more from the deal;

Just ask yourself, would you perform a root canal yourself or would you opt to visit a dentist? Hopefully, you’d choose to go see a professional who knows how to perform the procedure properly.

Here are reasons anyone and everyone should use a real estate agent for all transactions;

1. Know about new developments that might affect the property value. A good realtor will know of proposed new developments that might affect different properties in which a buyer is interested. Whether these developments are positive or negative can be valuable information when weighing different housing options.

2. Understand potential restrictions of the property. Many people see advertisements for lot sales and see the advantage of building on their own land. A couple had saved up for their retirement and thought a lot sale would be perfect to build upon. They attended the foreclosure auctions and at the auction, they purchased a lot for $200,000. It had great views and they were going to build their dream house on it. They had researched the lot before the auction and found it was zoned SFR which means a single family residence can be built on it. After purchasing the lot they started plans to build their retirement house. At this time they discovered the lot was in the 25 year floodplain. The official at the city development office explained that the lot could not be built on and was basically worthless.

3. A real estate agent is your first line of defense to see if a house has inherent problems. While it is always in your best interest to have a home inspector review a potential house, a Realtor will be able to see common problems, such as foundation or electrical.

4. Understand contracts specifics. Whenever you buy or sell a house you are entering into a large personal transaction. It helps to have someone on your side that deals with these types of transactions on a daily basis. A Realtor can help you understand contracts; the most common pitfalls are unrepresented buyers becoming involved in atypical contracts that are not to their benefit.

5. Real estate agents can save time when looking for listings. When looking with an agent you can see several homes in a few hours. When going it alone you have to call the listing agent for each house and wait at the house for the agent to arrive and open up the house. In addition agents often know houses which are not listed or may have already identified potential problems with a particular house of interest.

Searching for a home can be stressful and difficult but it can also be fun. Whether you choose to look for a home on your own or with a Realtor, it’s a good idea to be extremely careful when you seek out your dream home.

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