A real estate agent can be your best friend during a home sale or purchase. They can help you set realistic expectations, negotiate on your behalf and navigate the complex legal and financial steps of a real estate transaction.

Using local market data, an agent can tell you whether you’re overpaying for a property or underpaying. They can also recommend professionals to repair or maintain your home and provide estimates for those services. They also can point you to resources such as first-time buyer programs, down payment grants and homeowner’s insurance.

For buyers, an agent can help you determine what kind of mortgage you can afford, find mortgage lenders and walk you through the loan application process. They can also introduce you to people who can help with things like transferring utilities, interpreting community bylaws and finding contractors for renovations.

When selling, an agent can help you stage your home to highlight its strengths and minimize its weaknesses. They can take professional photos and videos of your home and promote it online using a database called the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). They can also use their network to bring in more potential buyers by hosting open houses or showings.

If you’re buying, an agent can connect you with people who can do home inspections, appraisers and lawyers for the title or escrow company. They can also put you in touch with other real estate agents in their office who might have clients looking for a home in your area. Read also: https://www.readysetsellmyhome.com/

During closing, an agent acts as a liaison between you and the other party’s agent, loan officer or bank attorney to make sure everything goes smoothly and according to plan. They can also recommend movers, home warranty companies and other vendors.

In a buyer’s market, an experienced agent can save you time by lining up homes for you to see as soon as new listings become available. They can also provide you with detailed information about neighborhoods, schools and properties that you might not find in online searches or on apps.

Choosing the right real estate agent depends on your needs and goals. Consider an agent’s availability, schedule and communication style before hiring them. Ask about their past experience and how long they’ve been in the business. Find out how they work with their clients, such as by phone or email, and if they have assistants to support them.