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Avoiding the Money Pits

02 December 2016  

A good realtor can help ensure that your home-buying experience won’t turn into a nightmare. 

When my husband and I were first married, and had not yet achieved the status of home ownership, a movie called, “The Money Pit,” was released. We watched it, and although we were mildly amused, we just didn’t think it was that great. 

Then we purchased our first home - you know, a "for sale by owner” kind of place. While taking a shower, I leaned against the tub wall. Not only did it cave in, but a scorpion crawled out. (Yes, that really happened.) A  second viewing of The Money Pit was suddenly much more humorous. 

We decided our next home needed an addition and hired a contractor. The job that was supposed to take just a couple of weeks, turned into months and a complaint to the Registrar of Contractors. A third viewing of The Money Pit had us rolling on the floor laughing as we chortled, “Two weeks!” to one another.

Fortunately, these days home sellers have strict incentives to ensure that they disclose the condition of the property they are selling. Home inspections provide buyers a clear report of what to expect. But, perhaps the best protection of all for a buyer is to use a experienced, reputable realtor. 

A good realtor knows so much more than how many bedrooms and baths the house has, and size of the lot. They know the neighborhoods and the cities and the market value of the property you’re considering. 

Here are some other advantages to having a realtor help you with your home sale or purchase:

  • Realtors can help find the property you’ve always wanted. Sometimes even when it’s not on the market yet, or listed in the MLS.

  • Realtors are used to negotiating - not just on the price, but on what is included with the home, any repairs that need to be done before closing and other terms. 

  • Realtors know the laws and regulations - title searches, home inspections, termite inspections, cleaning out septic tanks, testing the well, and more.

  • Realtors have an extensive network of connections and know who the trusted professionals are to get things done. They can be your best resource.

  • Realtors will have information about the property you’re looking at, such as how much it will cost for taxes. A realtor knows about nearby schools. Is the property on a well? How much water does it produce? What are the charges for trash pickup? Is the neighborhood firewise?

  • Realtors can identify potential issues and know what it takes to resolve them.

  • Realtors know how to get through daunting piles of paperwork and will be supportive during the entire purchasing process. They know how to write up contracts that protect you and keep you out of litigation.

You might think that you can save money by trying to avoid the realtor fees. But in the long run, having a realtor can save money and time by helping to avoid costly mistakes and unwise purchases. 

Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.