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Q: What are the benefits of hiring a real estate agent or broker?

If you’re considering buying or selling a home in New York or New Jersey, one of the first decisions you will likely make is whether or not to use the services of a real estate agent or broker. State laws and customs differ on the role of a real estate broker in a real estate transaction.

We’ve all heard of sellers going the “for sale by owner “route, which would bypass the broker. Some prospective home buyers also seek available homes to purchase on their own. In both situations, sellers and buyers likely feel they can save some money by cutting out the real estate broker’s commission, which is generally a small percentage of the purchase price. But there are many factors to consider when deciding whether –as a buyer or a seller– using a real estate broker or agent would be beneficial.

Why should buyers consider using a real estate agent?

The benefits of buyers using a real estate agent or broker include:

  • Saving money by avoiding overpaying when making an offer to the seller because brokers know the market and can spot a good deal.
  • Having someone manage necessary paperwork including such items as mortgage approval contingencies, inspection dates, and much more. In some areas, agents prepare contracts of sale.
  • Negotiating a better purchase price far below the original asking price because brokers are likely more experienced at negotiation than the buyer.
  • Leveraging the broker’s valuable relevant business connections can help buyers find service providers including mortgage brokers contractors, movers, and more.

The benefits of sellers using a real estate agent include:

  • Maximizing your selling price because they know the market.
  • Having someone handling paperwork including seller’s disclosures, exclusions, coordinating inspections, walk-throughs, and bringing in prequalified buyers that save time.
  • Taking advantage of negotiation skills that can get the most money out of the deal.
  • Accessing the broker’s industry connections for help with inspections, repairmen, contractors, exterminators, open permits or certificates of occupancy issues, handymen, photographers, staging companies, and more–especially if the house being sold is vacant.

For both sides, the experience of a real estate agent can make them or save them substantial money when negotiating the purchase or sale of a home. When it’s your own home (and money) it’s hard not to be emotional about the transaction, so hiring a highly-recommended professional who knows the market and negotiates these deals all the time is often a good investment.

Once the buyer and seller have agreed upon the price and basic terms of a real estate transaction, each party retains a real estate attorney to guide them through the legal process from real estate contract through closing.

The real estate attorneys at Merlino & Gonzalez have compiled a “Real estate purchase roadmap” to guide those buying property in New York and New Jersey. If you are considering buying or selling a home, we are committed to helping you navigate the process of what is likely the biggest purchase you’ve ever made.

From our offices in Staten Island, New York and East Brunswick, New Jersey, we help clients in both states in all aspects of real estate law. Contact us today for more information.