Whether you're selling your first or fourth home, buying an existing property, or building a new home, there's one thing you need: a reputable agent. While some may say you can buy or sell your home on your own, if you're not familiar with the process, it may lead to more frustration and aggravation than it's worth. Why go it alone when you can have an experienced professional by your side to help you every step of the way?


1. An agent will represent you. When you buy a home, you may be tempted to work with the seller's agent, but the agent is loyal to their client - the seller or the builder. A buyer's agent will keep your best interests in mind. They'll explain the process, negotiate with the seller or builder and help you purchase the home of your dreams. Likewise, if you're selling, make sure you're working with a trustworthy agent who can expertly represent you with the buyer's agent.


2. An agent will guide you through the process. Since agents deal with the buying and selling process every day, they understand its nuances. They can explain often complicated contractual language, handle requests from the other side and spot potential issues before they become problems. 



3. An agent knows what to look for. They'll see things you may not know to look for, such as wear and tear, structural issues or the condition of the roof or wiring. If you're buying a home, they'll help you assess the state of a home you're viewing. If you're selling a home, they'll help you decide what updates to make before you list it.


4. An agent is objective. If you're selling your home, the agent can offer advice about how to position your home in the local market to attract the right buyers. If you're buying a home, they can offer objective insight into the homes you're viewing and help you find the one that's right for you.



5. An agent is an expert of your local area. If you're moving to a new area, an agent can give you the scoop on the best schools and neighborhoods, as well as warn you about areas that are prone to flooding, located near busy roads or are future hot spots for city re-development plans. Similarly, they understand the local market and can give you tips to help your home stand out and sell quickly.


6. An agent offers advice based on experience. Agents rely on their experience to give you tips in regards to inspections, price reductions and other issues that may arise during the course of the transaction.



7. An agent works on your behalf. Whether it's negotiating the sale, handling challenges or objections that may arise, or acting as a liaison, an agent uses their expertise and skill to communicate your best interests with the other party.


8. An agent will continue to serve after the closing. Sometimes issues arise in the first year following a home purchase. An agent will help you resolve these issues and connect you with reputable tradespeople in their networks.


9. Going it alone may end up costing you. Sellers often make a big mistake when trying to sell their own home by pricing it too high. A home that's not priced right will sit on the market for weeks. Enlisting the aid of an agent will help you price your home to sell so that it piques the attention of the right buyers.