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Ask McEnearney: Why should I use a Realtor?

This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Hope Peele of The Peele Group and McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact The Peele Group at 703-244-6115 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: Why should I use a Realtor?

Answer: Whether you are buying or selling, this is absolutely a question that is on many people’s minds — even if they don’t want to actually ask a Realtor. Of course, it is possible to buy or sell a home without the assistance of an agent. However, in my experience, it is a better choice, financially and for less stress, to use a Realtor — regardless of which side of the transaction you are on.

Here are some of the many resources that a real estate agent has at their disposal that will benefit you.

The Multiple Listing System (MLS)

Not only does the MLS show currently active and coming soon listings, but there is an abundance of other information including recently sold properties, how long it took them to sell, whether the seller paid any closing costs, and even off-market sales that you may not be aware of. Your Realtor can do a detailed Market Analysis to help you make informed decisions, which is crucial information to have when making an offer to buy a property and for pricing a home to sell.

Knowledge of the Market

Realtors do real estate all day long, every day! They have a deep understanding of the local market trends, various neighborhoods, and even new construction opportunities. They know when the market is more weighted towards the seller or the buyer, and how to price a home or make an offer accordingly. Pricing and offer strategy strongly depend on the current market. A difference of just $5k could make a huge difference in the long run (i.e. overpricing a home for sale or lowballing an offer and losing the home that you really want).

Knowledge of People in the Market

Realtors oftentimes have a professional rapport with the other agent. Sometimes they have worked together before. They know what questions to ask and not to ask (or how to ask diplomatically), to make it much more likely that you will be successful in your real estate goals. In addition, Realtors have an extensive network of other important professionals that they know to provide quality services, such as lenders, inspectors, and lawyers, who are often needed during the buying or selling process. They have access to reputable contractors, and they can get things done quickly.

Negotiation Skills

Agents are skilled, trained negotiators and can help you get the most out of a deal, regardless of the side you are on. They know how to get buyers to submit their best offers on your home sale, often generating multiple offers well above the list price. They know how to get more information from a listing agent on their buyer’s behalf, making it more likely you get that home you are bidding on. We recently negotiated an extra parking spot for one of our buyers on a new construction condo deal and our buyer is still bragging that his Realtor got more extras than any other buyer in the building! Having a trained negotiator does pay off!

Contracts and Paperwork Expertise

There is a lot of both! Your Realtor not only has access to the paperwork but knows what to look for to protect your interests. Sometimes, an offer on your home sale might look great but may contain some stipulations or red flags that an untrained eye doesn’t know to look for. Realtors handle all of the paperwork involved, making sure everything is filled out correctly and on time. And they provide legal protection by ensuring your contracts and agreements meet local requirements. Your Realtor will guide you through the process from start to finish and make sure everything is handled correctly.

Marketing in General

If you are selling a home, Realtors are invaluable in helping you to prepare the home for sale and to market it to a wide audience. They offer SO much more than a sign in the yard. They will start the marketing well before it goes active via their huge network, social media, and the many online platforms available. They can host Brokers Opens before going active to introduce your home to the market and even get pricing input from other local agents. And, of course, they can host public Open Houses and know all of the right things to say and not to say to potential buyers, generating even more interest in your home sale.

Working with a real estate agent will definitely simplify the buying or selling process for you. It will save you time and help you avoid costly mistakes. You will also have the benefit of an agent by your side, providing emotional support and guidance throughout the process, while undoubtedly resulting in more money in your pocket.

I personally feel that it’s important to work with a Realtor who also has a great company behind them, that invests in helping the agents and their clients, by providing high-quality marketing tools. I am fortunate to work with McEnearney Associates, a company that demands service excellence and provides innovative technology and cutting-edge marketing that benefits their agents and clients. If we can ever be of service to you, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Hope Peele is a licensed real estate agent with McEnearney Associates, Inc. in Alexandria, Virginia. She grew up in Old Town and currently lives in Del Ray. As a partner with The Peele Group, Hope is dedicated to guiding her clients successfully through the many-faceted process of buying or selling a home. Contact Hope at 703-244-6115.

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. www.McEnearney.com Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

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