A lot of people think that they can use the internet and advice from friends to successfully navigate the home shopping/selling experience, but here are ten reasons why it is a good idea to hire an experienced, knowledgeable real estate agent when you are looking to buy a home in Chicago's North Shore, North or Northwest Suburbs.

1 -- Experience 

Purchasing a new home may well be the largest expenditure that you ever make. So it simply makes good business sense to enlist all the help you can get.

Most seasoned real estate agents have completed more real estate transactions already this year than you'll likely make in a lifetime. That adds up to a whole lot of knowledge and experience – experience that can help navigate you safely and securely through every aspect of the buying process.

2 -- Knows the Market  

A real estate agent will know what's happening in a particular area, or neighborhood, and help you decide if a home you find is a good value. Once you find a property that interests you, your agent will show you "comps" (comparable properties) of similar homes that have sold recently, as well as those that are currently on the market.

And if your real estate agent works with an established firm, he or she will typically have instant access to a host of proprietary tools -- and property information -- that may be difficult, or even impossible, to find on your own. All this information will help you make a well-informed decision.

3 -- Saves Time 

A good real estate agent is an organizational genius. He or she will manage to get you in to see new properties as soon as they become available -- and conveniently arrange appointments.  But remember, accessibility is a two-way street! Be sure to be as flexible as possible -- especially when your time is very limited.

4 -- Good Listener 

If you decide to use a real estate agent, look for someone who asks as many questions as you do. When you mention a price range, does the agent give you a 'standard' list of available properties, or is he or she able to make -- or adjust -- his or her recommendations based on what comes up in your conversations?

How interested is the agent in listening to your point of view? How many questions does he or she ask? After all, your real estate agent's recommendations should vary substantially based on your personal needs and goals.

5 -- Tells the Truth (even when you don't want to hear it!)  

Expect a good real estate agent to challenge you once in a while, ask the tough questions, and yes, even disagree with you occasionally. When he or she makes a recommendation that seems off-base, give your agent the opportunity to give you the facts -- and share his or her knowledge and experience -- before making a decision. Learn to trust your agent's intuition, insights, and perspectives; they'll often lead you in the right direction.

6 -- Respects Your Budget 

One of the most important things that your real estate agent will do is help you determine how much you can afford to spend. He or she may well ask you to consult with your accountant, financial planner, and/or mortgage broker before you make this important decision.

In some markets, there's a lot more to purchasing a home or a condominium than having cash for the down payment, and securing financing. A good real estate broker will understand the particulars of your market, and help you find a housing solution that you'll be able to qualify for financially and match your financial comfort level.

7 -- Team Player

Your real estate agent should be able to recommend a great team of professionals to support your purchase -- from mortgage brokers and appraisers, to contractors, inspectors, designers and real estate attorneys.

8 -- Getting to Closing  

Remember, finding the right property is only half the process. Be sure your real estate agent is well prepared to negotiate aggressively on your behalf, and assist you in finding financing, if necessary. Your agent should be ready to follow through with your bank or mortgage broker, any other involved agents as well as with your real estate attorney, until the purchase officially closes and ownership is transferred.

And if you're purchasing a home that is located in an association, be sure you have a real estate agent who is adept at helping you put together the materials necessary for any board application package, following through with the management company.

9 -- Gives Timely Updates  

Throughout the buying process, be sure to stay in touch with your real estate agent regularly. He or she should give you regular updates on new properties, any changes in the local real estate market, and a lending professional with up-to-date mortgage rate changes.  If your priorities change, be sure to update your real estate agent.  Should your research turn up a property of interest, have your agent arrange a viewing quickly to assure that you don’t miss just the home, especially if you are in a fast-moving market!

10 -- The Relationship  

Some buyers will try to find the perfect property on their own. That’s actually no surprise given internet access to more real estate information than ever before because it's fairly easy for anyone who's computer literate to access a list of available properties in every part of the country.

However, don’t underestimate the importance of professionalism and personality when you choose your real estate agent! You'll be spending a lot of time with them -- and entrusting them with one of the most important transactions of your life. So be sure to find someone you not only trust and respect, but also look forward to working with.

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, expert advice can make all the difference in the outcome. Feel free to contact me at any time. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find a new home or determine the value of your existing property.


Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
[email protected]

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

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