Whether you are buying or selling a home, your real estate agent could be one of your most valuable resources.
For one thing, a real estate agent can suggest ways to accrue the down payment on a new home. Your agent can also explain alternative financing methods. In addition to knowing the local money market, he or she also can tell you what personal and financial data to bring with you when you apply for a loan.
Your real estate agent is already familiar with current real estate values, taxes, utility costs, municipal services and facilities, and may also be aware of local zoning changes that could affect your decision to buy. She can usually research your housing needs in advance through a Multiple Listing Service–even if you are relocating from another city, to show you only those homes best suited to your needs–size, style, features, location, accessibility to schools, transportation, shopping and other personal preferences.
Your agent can often suggest simple, imaginative changes that make a home more suitable for you and improve its utility and value. Because a real estate agent is sensitive to the importance you place on this major commitment, he or she can facilitate negotiation of a win-win agreement that will satisfy both buyer and seller.