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Bottom Line Up Front

  • A qualified real estate agent represents your best interests during the home-buying process.
  • Agents know the local real estate market, including schools, crime and home prices. 
  • Your agent should be a knowledgeable partner, helping you decipher legal documents and contracts.

Time to Read

5 minutes

July 20, 2022

It’s fun to research home buying on your own. Watching TV shows about house hunting, renovating and flipping, and using websites to narrow your search are all part of the initial process. 

However, when you take the leap from thinking about buying a house to actually shopping for and financing a home, the specialized knowledge and experience of a real estate agent is essential. They can help you find and purchase the home of your dreams on terms that work best for you. Here are just a few of the roles real estate agents can fill. 

Stress Relievers  

Working with a professional real estate agent can make the home-buying process less stressful. Your agent’s education and experience mean you don’t need a crash course in real estate. In addition, your agent acts as a buffer between you and builders or sellers who may pressure you into making uncomfortable choices. Take a deep breath and let your real estate agent handle it—you’ve got other things to worry about!

Pricing and Negotiating Experts

An important step in the home-buying process, and one that makes some buyers nervous, is making an offer and negotiating price. Your real estate agent is an objective and experienced ally in the negotiating process. They’re trained to present your best case to the selling agent or seller, and to keep your information confidential from competing interests. From the offer to the final settlement terms, you’ll have an advocate who can help you beat out other offers or even save money on closing costs. 

Paperwork Gurus

From the purchase agreement to the closing papers, the paperwork stacks up! The average real estate file is between 1 and 3 inches thick—with many legally binding documents that can greatly impact your finances. With the help of a real estate agent, you can trust that your papers will be in order and save yourself hours of combing through legalese. 

Market Intelligence Masters

Real estate agents have helpful knowledge about both your local market and the real estate market at large. Ask your agent for advice in identifying the right neighborhood, especially if you’re moving to a new city. In addition to knowing the cultural lay of the land—think crime rates and school zones—they’ll have access to more detailed histories of comparable homes. Your agent will also share information about the real estate market, including data like average cost of a comparable property per square foot, median and average sales prices and average days on market. All this information will help you make the right decision. 

Finding the Right Real Estate Agent for You

When it comes time to choose an agent, it’s important to find a reputable one you can trust. Word-of-mouth referrals from friends or family are a good place to start. Navy Federal Credit Union members have access to RealtyPlus®, a program that offers referrals to experienced local real estate agents and nationwide home searches. When you buy or sell a home with a RealtyPlus agent, you can receive $400-$9,000 cash back. Whether your new home is down the street or you’re relocating to a new area, these agents help make your move easier.

For more helpful home-buying information, we offer helpful guidance for the first-time or seasoned homebuyer. 

Next Steps Next Steps

  1. When you’re ready to actively start looking for homes, contact a local, reputable real estate agent who knows the market well. 
  2. Have a good understanding of what you want (and don’t want) and provide this information to your real estate agent so they can help you find the ideal home. 
  3. If you’re a Navy Federal member, check out RealtyPlus®. Not only will you get connected to a reputable real estate agent; you’ll also get cash back when you buy!

Disclosures

The cash-back bonus is offered in most states and is available for individual sales and purchases of property; offer limited to one cash-back bonus per property with no limit on the amount of times you may use the program. In some states, a gift card or commission credit at closing may be provided in lieu of the cash-back bonus. The program is not available in IA or outside the U.S. Cash-back bonus is not available in AK or OK. In KS and TN, a gift card with preloaded points that are ready for spending at specified retail establishments after closing will be issued. State regulations in KS limit the dollar amounts and the type of incentive. In MS, NJ, and OR, a commission reduction may be available at closing. Please check with the program coordinator for details. This is not a solicitation if you are already represented by a real estate broker. The cash-back bonus is only available with the purchase or sale of your home through the use of a program-referred and -approved real estate agent. The size of your cash back award depends on the value of the property you are buying or selling. Obtaining the full $9,000 cash back award requires transacting in a property valued at $3 million or greater. To calculate the size of your potential cash back, please visit the RealtyPlus website: https://realestateperk.com/RealtyPlus/. All real estate transactions are negotiable. Contact RealtyPlus for terms and conditions. Standard listing fees apply. The program award is not available in certain transactions with restricted agent commissions (including many new construction, For Sale by Owner, or For Sale by iBuyer transactions). Your assigned agent can help you identify any transactions where the award would not be available. This program is offered, in part, by Realogy Lead Management Services, Inc. d/b/a Realogy Leads Group (RLG). RLG may receive a co-operative brokerage fee as a result of a referral to the real estate companies listed above. Program terms and conditions are subject to change at any time without notice. Additional terms, conditions, and restrictions apply.

This content is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.