First of all, a Realtor is trained in all legal matters involved in the sale of real estate. Sometimes, these sales go smoothly, but sometimes, clauses, liens, and contingency contracts can make them very complicated. I recently heard about a couple that sold their own home. They entered into a contract with a couple that ended up having serious trouble getting financing. They ended up missing the opportunity for a quick sale while they waited in vain for the couple that made the original offer to get a mortgage loan. Once the potential buyers finally admitted defeat the couple were exhausted, and still had to deal with selling their home. It is hard to know when life is going to through you curve balls. The best thing to do is be prepared, and a Realtor comes not only trained in theoretical real estate cases, but, ideally, with a whole history of experiences from which to draw from. This makes them extremely helpful when negotiating the legal aspects of buying or selling.
Even if your home sale goes off without a hitch, all the paperwork involved can be overwhelming. What are you signing? Sometimes it's hard to tell when the language is full of legal and industry terms that the average person just isn't familiar with. A Realtor can translate these forms, helping you understand what each step in the transaction is all about.
A Realtor is connected to a whole network of other Realtors. This means that weather you are buying or selling, a Realtor can help. They have a network of other professionals to market your home to. They have clients waiting to buy homes, and colleagues with more clients, waiting to buy more homes. Some homes barely need to be marketed because there are buyers already waiting to purchase just that type of home.
When it does come time to market, a savvy Realtor has numerous tools at their disposal that the average citizen does not. Sure, there are a lot of web sites out there where real estate can be advertised, however only a Realtor can post a home on the Multiple Listing Service. Once a home is posted there, buyers from all over the world can see it, as can even more of those Realtors with clients waiting to buy.
Many people think that they can only find what they need themselves, but a good Realtor will be able to listen to your needs. A good Realtor knows the market, and knows the area, and may be able to suggest places you didn't even know existed. They are also familiar with local services, and can recommend lawyers, notaries, inspectors or even contractors that they personally know do good work.
Overall, an experienced Realtor may cost a little bit in commission, but the service they provide is worthwhile. If someone can help you not lose money, or save you a lot of time, aren't they worth what you paid them?