First-Time Buyers: Should You Hire an Agent?

Posted by Gurpreet Ghatehora on Friday, November 6th, 2015 at 9:16am.

As a first-time home buyer, you probably noticed that purchasing a home is a lot different from buying anything else. Unlike regular products with fixed prices, home prices can vary wildly from one property to the next. And while buying a vehicle does require some knowledge and understanding of how cars and their features work, car shopping pales in comparison to the many different things you should know before settling on a home.

But despite knowing this, many first-time buyers think it’s particularly prudent to go ahead and buy a home on their own instead of getting some expert advice. It may be a confidence thing, but more likely the reason is financial. After all, buying a home is easily one of the most expensive purchases you’ll ever make, and that means every dollar counts, but there are distinct advantages to hiring an agent, and many of them will save you money in the long run.

The first money-saving thing an agent can do for you is negotiate on your behalf. Real estate negotiation is complicated and usually requires insider information you can’t simply look up online, so it pays to have someone on your side who knows the business inside and out. With an agent, you can come to the negotiation table with much more confidence, and that can lead to a better price in the end. Even if it’s a few thousand dollars, that money adds up on a mortgage, and makes an agent worth it already.

But agents also know homes, and that can help you avoid any surprises that may pop up after the ink is long dry. Agents can inspect homes for things the official home inspectors may not look for, and disclose how much those overlooked details can cost you in the long run. Some of them may be superficial, or a problem for much further down the line, but an agent can discuss with you not only how to fix them, but how they’ll affect the price of your home later on.

Finally, an agent can provide seller disclosures to protect you, they’re client. Disclosures like the presence of lead paint, ground pollution, and fire hazards are all things you’ll want to know about right away, and certainly something you’ll need to know before signing any papers. And while you may be able to spot some of these yourself, it pays to have a second set of eyes who knows the business.

Many first-time buyers think that hiring an agent is for the sellers only, but that simply isn’t the case. Hiring the right agent can help you get the property of your dreams for less, and give you the heads up you’ll want to know on different problems the home may have. So before you decide to do everything your own, consider how the right agent can help you save money, now and into the future.

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