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Paul Suding: If Anyone Should Ask About Your Realtor ...

Why wouldn't you want a professional to guide you through the process of buying or selling?

When you tell friends and family you’re going to buy or sell a home, they might ask, “Why are you working with a Realtor when you can just use the Internet?” How will you respond?

Your first answer might be, “To have a professional handle all of the paperwork, like the disclosure forms, inspection reports, deeds and title, settlement statements.” They’ll get the picture.

You could describe your Realtor’s knowledge about the area — schools, zoning and, most important, property values. You want to know that the neighborhood matches your needs and that your home holds resale value for the future.

Tell them there’s more to advertising than Web sites, and that your Realtor is more likely to find a buyer instead through their relationships with other agents as well as past and current clients. Not to mention the fact that you don’t want complete strangers visiting your home, and you’re more comfortable knowing that your Realtor has screened and qualified potential buyers.

And once you’re on either side of an offer, you trust a professional’s ability to negotiate successfully when it comes to terms such as price, financing, inspections and repairs, and other contractual commitments.

Your final argument might be that most people may buy or sell a handful of homes in their lifetime, but your Realtor has been successful hundreds of times — on both sides of the transaction.

Any more questions?

Paul Suding, a real estate agent with Cool Santa Barbara Homes and Village Properties, is president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. He can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.455.8055.

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