Today’s tech savvy consumers are utilizing web and mobile apps to aid with the home buying process. Home buyers can research neighborhoods, browse home listings using numerous search tools, schedule visits, get mortgage pre-approval, and make offers all in the palm of their hand. Recognizing that buyers have easy accessibility to information and may only need an agent in a limited way, there are new brokerages that offer buyers a commission refund or other incentives. Home buyers have different needs and motivations so it’s great there are many options available. At PocketList, we believe working with a top real estate agent can make a big difference in the home buying experience. However, we know not all agents are created equal, so we only introduce our users to top performing agents. We interviewed one of our partner agents, Darcy Gamble, to highlight the values of working with a top agent.
Time Saver: Home buyers can spend hundreds of hours looking at home listings, attending open houses, and researching online. A first time home buyer or someone unfamiliar with the area will have to invest even more time. A top agent like Darcy spends the time to fully understand her clients’ needs and wants, such as aesthetics and the intangibles. A top agent can quickly rule out properties not worth seeing, spot gems that clients may pass on due to poor photography or descriptions, visit homes during broker tours for specific clients, and educate clients on neighborhoods, properties and the entire home buying process.
Knowledge: Hyper local agents will educate buyers on price trends, neighborhood characteristics, quality of schools, and other factors important to the buyer. They can also point out things clients have not thought of during home tours and estimate expenditures needed on home improvements. Think of them as your real estate Wikipedia–they should be able to answer all of your questions!
Access to More Home Listings: A significant number of properties in the San Francisco Bay Area are sold off-MLS. Top agents have a strong network of peers in the industry and often hear about pre-MLS or off-MLS listings. Darcy’s clients use the PocketList mobile app to search for private listings that they cannot easily find elsewhere.
Close on Your Dream Home: “It’s not always based on price–agent and lender reputations make a difference,” says Darcy. A top agent will help you through every step of the process to close escrow–such as referring you to the right lender, negotiating terms, reviewing the disclosures, and submitting the right offer.
It may be tempting to try the do-it-yourself route, but buying a home is most often the biggest purchase a person will make in their lifetime so it should not be done alone! We’d recommend interviewing a couple of top agents and even going on some tours together. It’s their job to show you how they can add value. A top real estate agent can be an important adviser and advocate during the home buying process, and can give you a big advantage over other buyers. Download the PocketList app to view private home listings and contact us if you would like an introduction to a partner agent.