Yes, You Really Do Need a Realtor. Here's Why...

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Because of easy access to most everything on the internet, buyers aren’t reliant on Realtors® to find the homes that they are interested in purchasing like they were a few years back. There are other reasons however, that using a Realtor® is just as important as it was before.

Technology has not progressed to the point that you can access a home searching site and place a home in your cart to be paid for by credit card. Real property is more valuable than any other asset, and the process to purchase it involves contracts, disclosures and legal processes. If anything, technology has provided some wonderful ways to begin searching for a home, but a Realtor® is still the best source of information, knowledge and assistance for the purchase of a home.

There are many reasons you need a Realtor®. Here is a look at how I approach home sales with my buyer-clients, and some of the reasons it’s so important to use a real estate professional.

You have to determine the real value of the home. As your Realtor®, I help take the emotion out of purchasing a home so that the condition of the property can be analyzed properly. The value of the home is provided to the buyer not only based on Zillow “Zestimates” (which according to many analysts have a median error rate of 6% - that’s plus or minus up to $50,000 in Southern California), but based on things that property appraisers consider like the age of the home, the amenities, location, size of the home and lot, current condition and upgrades. Something I have experienced often is buyers with unrealistic expectations about home values and their buying power. I give my buyers detailed, real-time evaluations of home values.

You must verify all costs associated with the purchase. Verifying any additional charges that might apply to the home of your choice, especially Mello Roos, CFD (Community Facility Districts) fees, HOA (Homeowners Association) fees, and how they will affect the buyer’s payment is important. I always present buyers with an estimated monthly mortgage payment, and the amount of money needed for a down payment, based on the buyer’s desired property.

Submitting an offer that will get accepted is key. When it comes time to submit a 10-page purchase offer contract along with multiple disclosures, accuracy and completeness is key.

First, as the purchase offer is prepared, I explain everything so that buyers understand what they are signing. I discuss their offer with them, their method of payment, and the items they’re committing to in the purchase offer (including any additional disclosures that will be presented with the offer).

Next, I make sure that contingencies (requirements that need to be met in order to complete your offer in good standing) are in place for the purchase. Those contingencies might be requirements for buyers, sellers, lenders or other parties that are involved in the completion of the purchase. There may contingencies on the buyers’ loan, for the appraisal, or an investigation contingency, all included to make sure the property is in the condition the buyers expect within the time frame they need.

Then the offer is presented to the seller in the best light, showing the seller how the buyer can and will purchase the property in a specific time period. As a Realtor®, I negotiate with the seller’s agent on your behalf (here’s where having a good reputation helps. Realtors® typically prefer working with agents they know will get the purchase completed) making sure you get what you want.

You need be informed, and negotiate throughout the sale. Once the offer is accepted, I explain each and every step as we go through the purchase of the home: escrow, inspections, contingencies, title, disclosures, loan requirements, and more. At any time during the transaction, I return to negotiations if items are identified that need to be addressed (in my experience this usually occurs after the home inspection or termite inspection).

You have to clarify title. I also verify there will be clear title, meaning that the new property will not come with any previous owners’ fines, fees, or clouded titles of ownership. I thoroughly review the property’s Preliminary Title Report and work on any items that need to be cleaned up. At this point I also explain any CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) and/or HOA (Homeowners Association) fees that apply to the property.

You are required to complete all the necessary contracts and disclosures. There can be up to 75 different required disclosures and contracts in a real estate sale depending on the type of transaction. As a Realtor® representing the buyer, I keep track of, review, relay, explain and help my buyers accurately complete each and every required document, all while remaining in close contact with the lender, the seller’s agent, escrow, title, and inspectors for any additional needs or requirements they may have. Again, I prefer to keep my buyers informed and knowledgeable about each step of the purchase process, so I make sure during this longest part of the sale that my buyers understand what needs to be done and when, and keep everyone on track to ensure the purchase is completed on time.

Buying a home is never the same for everyone. I have to say, I’ve been involved in over 250 real estate transactions in my 18 plus years as a Realtor®, and each one has come with a different set of concerns and requirements. All of these experiences have provided me with extensive working knowledge about the sale process. As one of my best friends says, “information is free, but knowledge is priceless.” I provide my clients that much needed knowledge. My experience and thorough approach helps buyers focus on property values, verify accurate pricing, and draft and effectively negotiate a purchase offer contract. I also protect the buyer’s best interests throughout the home buying process and keep them informed of what happening at all times.


Buying a home is one of the most important and expensive decisions one can make. Let me help you and guide you through your purchase, and make it a positive experience for you. My name is Diana Margala, from Re/Max Time, and I look forward to working with you. Give me a call 909-560-0145.