Protecting the Greatest Investment

By the Missoula Organization of REALTORS®

Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetimes; usually exceeding $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney?

Considering the upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR®.  What’s more, in a study conducted in 2006, homes sold that were represented by a real estate agent sold for on average 32% more than homes for sale by owner.

If you’re still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR®, here are five more reasons to use one:

1. Your REALTOR® has many resources to assist you in your home search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.  In addition, the REALTOR® is able to get you on-site access to properties you’re interested in seeing.

2. Your REALTOR® can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are REALTORS® have access to a variety of informational resources. REALTORS® are community experts and can tell you what to expect in each neighborhood as well as opportunities for improvements and resale value in the future.

3. Your REALTOR® can help you negotiate. There are myriad negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. Most importantly, in Montana, the sales price is not available to the public and homebuyers need access to the REALTOR’s® database and experience to ensure they are not overpaying for that investment.

4. When selling your home, your REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties. REALTORS® can objectively determine the true value of your home as determined by comparable sales, and outside of an emotional attachment.  That means your home will sell quickly at the best possible price.  In addition to setting the price, the home may be placed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for increased consumer traffic as well as a myriad of advertising opportunities that really add up.

5. Your REALTOR® can help close the sale of your home. Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your REALTOR® is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).

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Diane Beck has been selling real estate in Missoula for over 20 years.  Her knowledge, experience and commitment to the community has placed her in the forefront of the real estate market.  Diane is serving the Missoula Organization of REALTORS® as their 2011 President and she continues to strive for the best interests of their members, community and her clients.