The deal sounded too good to be true: a two-story town home, completely gutted and refurbished according to my specifications and design preferences. Coordination of contractors' services and all aspects of the closing and financing were to be handled by an in-house development group - and at a price I could afford. The representative, draped in gold chains and reeking of dime store cologne, grinned at me. "This is the easiest real estate transaction you'll ever have," he assured me, after informing me there was no need to use the Realtor I had selected to represent me just two weeks earlier. Being a first-time buyer, I nearly let the promise of a brand-spanking new town home blind me. That's a scary thought.
Because once my Realtor caught wind of the development company's tactics, he did a little research ... and found out that these "developers had a record of shady tactics. What was sold as the "easiest real estate transaction" I'd ever have could have been a nightmare. It was a hard lesson to learn right out of the starting gate. And yet, I'm glad it happened. The experience taught me the value of having a bona fide Realtor on my side - somebody who has appointed to look after my best interests, and sometimes even fight for them.
Sure, some people can and do go it alone when buying or selling homes. If you're savvy enough to navigate the occasionally murky waters of the real estate transaction, then more power to you. But particularly for first-time buyers, the value of an experienced Realtor is immeasurable - a lesson I learned from the school of hard knocks. A Realtor's role extends far beyond just finding a buyer, or a nice house in a good neighborhood. In many cases, your Realtor is there to provide a reality check - as mine did - and to handle the tough negotiations involved before closing. My Realtor has assured me that regardless of what those developers tried to spoon-feed me, the real estate transaction is never, ever easy. He doesn't need to convince me.
Among a Realtor's areas of expertise are:
While the town home I lost seemed great, my Realtor reminded me that the process shouldn't be as shady as the one we'd just experienced. He successfully convinced me that this town home wasn't worth the risks. So the search continues ... for me, a little more cautiously than before. Whether or not I'll find the town home of my dreams, I'm not sure, but I do know that I'm sold on the merits of having a Realtor on my side.
Originally posted on the Real Mortgage Associates website
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