Or more like, why you shouldn't!
The internet is a phenomenal tool to access information on, well, basically anything. Ever. I'm sure we have all heard the old saying, "knowledge is power" - and we live in the information age where we have the advantage to learn more about any topic of interest, at the tips of our fingers. Literally. And real estate is no exception.
With more and more home buyers initially starting their home search online, they are bombarded with advice and information – so much so, that it can be easy to think that you can learn everything you need to know just by reading a couple articles online. And while you definitely can educate yourself on terminology and local data - the truth is, your real estate agent does so much more than answer your questions and open doors with a special key. But we do, do that, too - I'll get into that later.
I'm sure we have all been a little guilty of the impending doom sensation that happens when we search on the internet why our head hurts at the exact same time as our littlest toe and what other symptoms we need to be aware of when this starts to happen. It could be serious. So we educate ourselves, and over-educate ourselves with diluted and semi-applicable information. And our loved ones taunt us as we torture ourselves with the possibilities of diagnoses, just to finally make an appointment with a doctor to find out - *drum roll* - your back is tense from stress. Close call.
No but seriously, the internet is an incredible tool to educate yourself on certain precautions, what certain things mean, other people's experiences, build community. But at the end of the day, there are certain things that are great to be knowledgeable in, except still - leave it to the professionals. Like the doctor, who "prescribed" weekly massages at my chiropractor for stress-migraines. (yes, it is a thing!)
I guess it's just the price I pay, as a real estate agent and all the different things we REALLY do for our clients during the complicated home buying process.
No, I'm just joking. That's not why I need massages. I love my job. As I said, it's more than just questions and keys. And there is something incredibly gratifying about being a trusted resource in a person's home buying or home selling process. Your home, after all, is basically where you plant your life. It's a big deal.
And so, your professional real estate agent should have the experience necessary to navigate and solve common hiccups that present themselves in every real estate transaction. No transaction is identical and there are many things to be aware of throughout the entire process, that one could honestly only learn through hands on experience.
Keep in mind, your real estate agent is a local professional. That means a lot in this process.
We have a network of professionals who will work as a team to help you through the entire process. These include such professionals as: lenders, title reps, escrow officers, transaction coordinators, home inspectors, contractors and handymen, among others.
Most importantly, your agent is your ally in the home buying process. We negotiate on your behalf – armed with experience and understanding of customary charges, costs and terms. We will ensure that the price you pay for the home is fair for the condition and neighborhood. We will negotiate repairs, if needed and make sure you are protected with the proper contingencies. Things that firstly, you would need to know about to be aware of, and also have the resources to have it handled, correctly and timely.
Real estate can often be time-sensitive and its important to feel that you're not at risk of being lost at sea when things quickly and abruptly change. Because in real estate, they often do. And your agent should educate you on what rights you have as a buyer or a seller. And with an agent, you can be sure your rights are being protected, because your agent has a fiduciary responsibility to you.
The internet offers lots of great information, but the most important step you can take when buying a new home, is hiring a local professional real estate agent. Our knowledge, expertise, and experience can’t be found by reading an article or two online.
Global Real Estate Adviser
ENGEL&VÖLKERS • Monmouth County, NJ
Phone: +1 732 709 7161