Never underestimate the value of professional real estate agent representation


Click the link; buy a sofa. Click on another; buy a pergola for your backyard. As’s Margaret Heidenry agrees, we Americans can buy almost anything we want on our own with ease. All it takes is a few taps on a keyboard to “add to cart.”

But the largest purchase most people make in their lives is a home. And that purchase is so important and complex that a buyer should not go it alone.

“In 2023, about 89% of homebuyers purchased their home using a real estate agent or broker, according to the National Association of Realtors,” says Heidenry. “And while a minority might choose to buy property without professional help, doing so can be a risky move for many reasons.”

She says buying a home is not like buying a blender. The entire home buying process can take months, and if you aren’t careful, a whole lot can go wrong, costing you thousands of dollars—or even causing your dream home to slip through your fingers. It truly is the time to have a trusted professional by your side.

“Homebuyers are often spending more money than they have ever had before to purchase what is for many not only their most valuable financial asset, but also the place where they’ll spend most of their time,” says Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “It’s a big decision that is comprised of many smaller decisions that require specialized knowledge or research and a keen awareness of the trade-offs. It’s no surprise, then, that U.S. homebuyers widely use agents, and 9 out of 10 homebuyers say they would use a buyer’s agent again.”

In an op-ed written for the Wall Street Journal,’s CEO Damian Eales points out the pitfalls that homebuyers face in countries where buyers’ agents aren’t commonly used. “In Australia, where I grew up, homebuyers typically work directly with listing agents, who have a fiduciary duty only to the sellers. In some Australian territories and states, if a buyer looks at a home on a flood plain or in a region prone to bushfires, the seller’s agent isn’t necessarily obligated to tell him about the risks.”

To help highlight how a real estate agent can help homebuyers succeed in today’s highly competitive market, Heidenry offers a list of tasks these professionals handle that will make you thank your lucky stars they’ve got your back, the first of which is making sure you are shopping for a home that is financially within your reach. They are quick to tell you that the cost of a home is more than the price on the listing. Tack on closing costs, mortgage interest, taxes, insurance, utilities, yard maintenance, repairs, and homeowners association fees.

Agents are also on hand to help you prioritize and boil down your wants versus your needs. You might need three bedrooms, but you simply want a Jacuzzi. Seasoned agents know what truly matters and can impart this objective perspective on a highly emotional purchase, playing devil’s advocate as you proceed in the buying process. Consulting with a professional who sees homes every day is pivotal.

While it’s easy (and fun) to swoon over real estate listings online, real estate agents place these homes in the context of the surrounding market because they know how many homes are currently for sale for a given area, how many days it takes for them to sell, and if these properties are selling for over or under the asking price. This knowledge will help you identify if a property is overpriced, for instance, or a true bargain just waiting for a savvy buyer.

Once you spot listings you want to tour in person, your agent will take care of scheduling showings for you. It’s not as comfortable as you might think to actually be toured through a listing by the sellers themselves. They can bog you down with details of how they chose their kitchen countertops, why it would be a sin to remove their 1965 paneling, and how they can’t picture the 1944 telephone niche in the hallway going the way of the dodo.

“Your agent will be with you as you tour the house and will be able to point out the things you might not notice,” says Heidenry — like a hidden mold problem, a crack in the basement wall, or even a foundation issue.

Agents can assist you in tracking down the detailed paperwork you will undoubtedly need for the mortgage consultant — from pay stubs to a credit report. Then, they will help you find a trusted lender they may have worked with that seems to consistently come through for their clients. Many agents also have valuable insight into what type of loan you may be eligible for as well as guidance toward a down payment assistance program if you can’t quite swing the 20% down payment.

Professionals from teachers to firefighters to the military to medical staff are often not aware of all of the grants, loans, down payment, and other programs available to them based on their profession — particularly if they are first-time buyers.

Agents are super sleuths, digging into property disclosures that can tell the history of a property, from the good to the bad to the downright ugly. They know how to read between the lines and can find out if a potential home has suffered flood damage, a pest infestation, a death, or other sordid scenarios.

Anyone can tell you that negotiation is an art form. They take into account not only the listing price of a home, but also the price of comparable homes for sale in the area and how long it takes a home to sell. “Knowledge of market conditions is vital to making an offer where you don’t overpay, you don’t lowball and annoy the sellers, and you make the offer that’s just right—including how much money you can put down and when you want to close,” says Heidenry.

Multiple offers? Agents know how to play this game, understanding that properties don’t always simply go to the highest offer. Variables such as a longer closing time, the wisdom of skipping doing repairs that may arise during a home inspection, including whether to include that antique pool table in the purchase can make a big difference, protecting you in the long run.

Real estate paperwork is not the faint of heart. A real estate agent’s job is to handle documents, coordinate signatures, and get the signed paperwork to the right parties while ensuring it all gets done right. They will help you understand common contract contingencies and the importance of including protective clauses in your offer and can also assist you in ordering the home appraisal and title search. In other words, they help you cross the finish line.

Realtor, TBWS

All information furnished has been forwarded to you and is provided by thetbwsgroup only for informational purposes. Forecasting shall be considered as events which may be expected but not guaranteed. Neither the forwarding party and/or company nor thetbwsgroup assume any responsibility to any person who relies on information or forecasting contained in this report and disclaims all liability in respect to decisions or actions, or lack thereof based on any or all of the contents of this report.

Paramount Residential Mortgage Group
Corporate NMLS ID:  75243
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Brian Voytko

Mortgage Advisor

NMLS: #437292

The Mortgage Whiz

Company NMLS: 338923

Cell: 215-407-3832




Brian Voytko


Mortgage Advisor

NMLS: #437292

Cell: 215-407-3832

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