A house is the largest purchase the average person will make in their life. Buying a house can be complex and confusing, and the legal and financial ramifications are significant. So it begs the question: Why wouldn’t you have a trusted professional by your side to guide you through the process? Let’s look at the seven reasons you should hire a qualified and high quality real estate agent when you buy a house.

1. Real estate agents offer market expertise

A qualified real estate agent will have an in-depth understanding of the local housing market. They should be keeping abreast of market trends and current events that impact the housing industry. Good agents can also speak to neighborhood issues and planned developments, to help buyers make informed decisions. This market expertise allows agents to provide valuable insights to their buyers.

2. Agents know the laws surrounding real estate transactions

When you make an offer to buy a house, and the seller accepts your offer, you enter into a legal contract with deadlines, contingencies, disclosures, potential penalties, and other requirements. A real estate transaction can be complex. The legal aspects of a real estate transaction can be complex. But real estate agents are well-versed in these legalities and can guide buyers through the process, ensuring that all documentation is in order and compliant with local laws. As a buyer, you want to avoid potential legal pitfalls that could arise, and this is where a real estate agent’s expertise is invaluable.

3. You’ll get a market analysis and pricing guidance

What amount to offer for a property is one of the biggest questions buyers have. Too little and your offer will be headed straight for the trash bin. You might win the offer if you come in really high, but do you want to pay more for a property than you needed to? A good agent will help you determine the fair market value of a property through market analyses and evaluating other factors. A great agent will know how to structure your offer so that you can win in a multiple-offer scenario or make your offer so attractive that it beats out others – even if you aren’t the highest offer.

4. You also get the agent’s network

A significant advantage of working with a real estate agent is tapping into their extensive network. Agents work with a lot of mortgage lenders and can identify the “good ones.” Your agent should also be able to connect you with home inspectors, engineers, handymen and other industry professionals that you may need. This can ensure that only trusted experts are involved in your homebuying process.

5. Successful real estate agents are terrific negotiators

Most people aren’t born with top notch negotiation skills. It’s a craft that is developed and honed with experience and over time. While some deals are straightforward, most deals will involve some form of negotiation, and this can be daunting to those without that experience. Negotiation is crucial to figuring out the give and take between buyers and sellers and getting to the sweet spot that all parties can live with. A real estate agent with good negotiation skills will get you the best possible deal while maintaining a positive relationship with the listing agent and sellers.

6. An agent should save you time and stress

Buying a house can be an arduous process with numerous tasks. It’s not just about touring a home and making an offer. There’s paperwork, scheduling, tours, inspections, follow-ups, negotiations, and more. The process can be overwhelming, even if you don’t already have a busy schedule. Your real estate agent takes on much of the burden by handling logistics and administrative tasks – and making sure deadlines and required compliance don’t fall through the cracks.

7. You are prepared for the unexpected with an agent

Successful real estate agents are experienced with the unexpected and can pivot to keep the deal together and the transaction on track. It could be a home inspection revealing a serious issue or complications with financing. Whatever comes up, your real estate agent should be able to navigate the situation and find solutions.

Bottom line: Don’t buy a house without a good real estate agent

When you’re buying a house, a real estate agent is a must. From market expertise to time savings and legal guidance, there’s no good reason not to have an experienced professional by your side.