Do you need an agent, it depends
- By: Rich Tong
- Category: Opinion > Other
- Read the article on Judy's Book.
First off, we've always used an agent for a pretty simple reason, most of the time when we've been buying, it has been into neighborhoods we haven't known that well. While 3% off the top can seem like a lot, if you have a good agent, you can at least know how you are doing value wise. The key is finding a good one. On the other hand, if you are just buying one of 200 condos in a large building, things are less clear.
In our experience, the best agents are those who have been in business a long time and really know their neighborhoods and most importantly the seller psychology. While sites like Zillow are great and you can definitely do it yourself, the process is amazingly complex and you can end up in a confused state.
Still, I would say, if you really know the area where you are, you've bought houses before (uh oh, I think you are first time), I kind of think of a real estate agent, a good one as insurance.
Second point is that it pays to know who the good listing agents are. They are folks who find the high quality homes. Wendy Lister (no pun intended) on the east side, Barbara (I forgot her name, but will remember shortly) in Madison Park and Anne Dover at the very high end in Seattle are some folks who are well known and have a reputation to protect.