Yes, the internet has made it possible to do a lot of the "looking at homes" legwork yourself, but there’s no substitute for an experienced professional when it's "offer time".
Turbulent times ahead-buckle up. An experienced full-time agent/negotiator who knows the market can save you time, a ton of money and heartache by helping you make the right offer the first time—playing hardball when necessary—and staying on top of the process.
And keep in mind...you, the buyer, do not pay any sales commission. The seller pays your agents commission so there is no reason not to use an experienced agent to help you find a home and negotiate the best terms on your behalf.
Here is a list of 88 Things That Can Go Wrong in a purchase process.
Below are some of the services you can expect to get from a Buyer's Agent that you might not be able to obtain on your own. Apart from hearing about listings before homes are available to the public, agents can:
- Provide comparable sales to make sure the home is not over-priced.
- Pull the sales history, property data, demographics and neighborhood data & amenities for review.
- Obtain a copy of the home's historical documents - title & easement info, permits, any insurance claims, etc.
- Review of documents for loopholes and obtain disclosures.
- Leverage their previous successful experiences with the Listing Agent and/or run reports on the listing agent's experience & their list-price to sales-price ratios.
- Calculate annual trends about an area or neighborhood. Helping you determine if its a good investment.
- Interview the Listing Agent for the Seller's "hot buttons" - besides price i.e quick or longer closing; rent-back needs; financing or home inspection requirements, etc, etc.
- Suggest several offer strategies. Provide: pros & cons for you to make an educated decision.
- Prepare a strong offer that presents the you, the buyer, in the best light based on market demands. Especially true in multiple offer situations.
- Provide a buffer between you and the seller's agent.
- Provide you with trusted professionals for home, septic or well inspections.
- Negotiate / serve as buffer again, when negotiating inspection repairs or service.
- Assure the Seller delivers on those promised prior to closing.
- Schedule a final walk-through before you sign the closing documents.
- and basically project manage the whole process until final closing and hand-off of keys.