It is not legally mandatory to buy or sell property with a realtor.  Once a decision is reached for sale or purchase of property, the question on whether or not to use an estate agent lies with the buyer/seller. If you plan to associate with an estate agent it is best to choose a local estate agent like an estate agent in Kent to help with your property journey. As with every major decision, there are pros and cons to be considered.  We give below a few:

Pros:  Buying or selling property with a Realtor:

Real estate agents are professionals, trained to offer the best service to either the buyer or seller of property.

Saving time and energy:  By hiring a realtor, much time can be saved while he  looks around, investigates and offers a variety of options to choose from.  He has market knowledge and a contact network of potential buyers.

Matching budget with requirements:  A realtor can compare the budget with the requirements of the buyer or seller.   Online research can provide some details, but there is nothing like a “hands on” effort by a professional who can explore nooks and crannies that only he is aware of.

Location:  A realtor can provide facts on a neighbourhood which may not be publicly known.  For instance, if there are flats for sale in Sittingbourne, the upcoming area in South East England, estate agents in Kent can assist with insights on the feasibility of such an area.

Negotiation:   It is not only the price that realtors will work on, but negotiations on certain clauses in the agreement will be taken care of as well.

Home inspection:   The agent will see to the physical inspection of the property and arrange for necessary repairs to be carried out.

Paperwork:  A time consuming but essential part of a property deal is the paperwork.  Having a realtor go through the legalities of the agreement and confirm that all is in order is like having a huge weight lifted off the shoulders.

Disclosures:  There is an obligation for sellers to disclose everything about the property to potential buyers.  A professional will know what questions to ask to obtain details about the property.

Safeguard:  The realtor will ensure that, if something goes wrong, a solution is provided to correct the problem.

Pros:  Buying or selling property without a Realtor:

The buyer and seller are related:   If the sale/purchase of property is between family members, then it might save commission money in not hiring an agent.  However, the price should be agreed upon and all paperwork completed.  It would be advisable to consult a lawyer to check that all the documentation is in order.

Fees:   One of the detracting factors of a realtor is the fee.  However, normally, the buyer does not pay the fee – the seller pays the commission.  The buyer’s agent’s fee is usually subtly included by the seller in the price of the home.  So, if the buyer is able to negotiate on the price, he/she may be able to avoid the fee amount.  Also, if the seller will not pay the buyer’s agent commission, and the buyer also wants to avoid it, going through the transaction without a realtor may help. This is so especially if it is a large property and the amount involved is sizeable.

Professional:  If the buyer or seller is a professional investor and has purchased multiple properties, then the whole process is familiar and a realtor may not be necessary.

Location/Valuation:  If the area is well known to the buyer or seller, intimately enough to decide on the right price without a realtor’s expertise, then it may be feasible to work without an agent.  However, much research will need to be done.  As one expert puts it, “Valuing a property is no walk in the park and there are plenty of mistakes to be made.”

New home:  If the buyer decides only on a newly built home, then arrangements could be worked out directly with the builder without the assistance of a realtor.

Conclusion:  From the above, it can be seen that, unless the pros in the latter part of this article pertain to the buyer or seller, or he/she has time on hand to spare, it is definitely more feasible to hire a realtor.  With an estate agent, it will be more expensive but they will take responsibility in all areas to bring you the best possible deal.  According to a marketing analyst, A “downside to selling without an agent is that you are responsible for marketing the property for sale, coordinating showings, staging the property so it’s show ready, negotiating price and terms, and getting the property through closing.”

However, when choosing a Realtor, be sure that he has the following – good negotiating skills, speedy communication, local market knowledge, a well connected network, and proof of expertise in the field.

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