Do I Need a Realtor to Buy a Home in Austin?

Austin Archuleta

October 26, 2020

If you are looking for homes for sale in Austin, TX, a recommended first step is to enlist the help of a realtor. But why? Is a realtor really necessary?

Technically, realtors aren’t required for home purchases, but enlisting realtors when buying is standard procedure nationwide. According to the National Association of Realtors, they are used for 82% of homes purchased in the US. And there are very good reasons for it.

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest.

They Know the Value of Homes for Sale in Austin

Purchasing a home is typically the largest financial investment a person makes in his or her lifetime, and the price of homes increase every year. Last year, homes sales in Austin went up 14%, and values are still increasing even during the Austin coronavirus. It literally pays to be careful.

Realtors are experts at understanding the value of homes; in fact, many times they can spot a home’s value the moment they walk in a door. They will know if a price is inflated and will catch serious issues in homes you would otherwise miss. Realtors know the local buying and selling trends, current evaluations, and know important considerations you should keep in mind for each home and area of town. They know the school systems, shopping, topographic and weather considerations, and unspoken issues of most neighborhoods. They even know specific homes with a long history, which can help you avoid buying a very expensive lemon.

Your realtor is an information machine for Austin real estate, and you can make that machine work for you.

Negotiating Chops

When you find the home you love, how do you hit the magic price? It often requires back and forth discussions, but the negotiating world isn’t always pretty and can even be delicate. This is not a time to blow your top.

Thankfully, your realtor lives this world every day. He or she will happily go to bat for you and still keep you in the game. After all, nailing down that magic number is how your realtor makes money.

Realtors work hard at the financial aspects of the job, and negotiating is a big part of a realtor’s value and reputation in the Austin marketplace.

Repair Requests

In many cases, there are repairs you can avoid paying. Your realtor knows what issues to look for and will initiate a home inspection to find other dangers lurking underneath.

Though not all repairs are negotiable, your realtor knows which ones are commonly honored, adding up to a nice chunk of savings for you.

Protection from the Seller

More than likely, your main contact for the seller will be his or her realtor, and if you don’t have representation on your side, the realtor will have an unfair advantage. Realtors fight for their clients, and when working for sellers their job is to achieve high profits. Having a realtor that knows the ins and outs of Austin real estate protects you from overpaying. Much like a lawyer, your realtor knows your case and keeps the other side in check.

Valuable Resources

The financials are an integral part of landing the home you want, and realtors have good sources who can help. They regularly work with lenders they trust for fair pricing and strong service, and this all works to your benefit.

Realtors also collect a valuable list of other sources, such as contractors, interior designers, repair services, and assessors. They keep a running list of contacts for a range of pricing and timing needs, both of which can add up to thousands of dollars in savings.  Your realtor will have a history with these contacts, helping to ensure positive results for you.

They Know Their Way Around a Real Estate Contract

Realtors handle contract paperwork every day, and that paperwork gets pretty complicated – so much so that there are attorneys who specialize in real estate contracts.

A realtor will guide you through the process of properly filling out documents and will explain all the technical jargon. They know the local laws and requirements and know what needs to be in a contract, as well as what doesn’t. They can spot red flags early so you know what you’re getting into.

Better Access to Real Estate Listings

Not all listings are on the internet, and some listings aren’t shown anywhere at all. Sellers don’t always want their activities public. Other times, new opportunities come directly from the realtors themselves. Realtors often check with owners who had not considered selling previously, making new opportunities happen.

Your realtor maintains a more comprehensive list of properties than you can build on your own. This is true whether you want a home in the suburbs, a condo in downtown Austin, or empty land for sale in the country. His or her list can make the difference between owning a home you like and owning a home you love.

Typically, listings are kept on an easy-to-manage database you can reference anywhere. As a real estate business, we always maintain a comprehensive list of homes for sale in Austin, regularly updating it so you have the clear look at what’s available.

Help with Future Property Resale

Realtors are adept at spotting a home’s resale value. Whether you are buying houses to flip or looking for a lifetime home and want peace of mind in the event you ever need to sell, a realtor helps you understand what constitutes value in the marketplace and can find the right homes for sale that gives you what you need without sacrificing important profits later on.

In the Austin Real Estate Market, Timing is Key!

The number of homes for sale in Austin, TX is always limited, and as we showed in our recent article on mortgage rates, 2020 is experiencing the lowest rates in three years, making the real estate market even more competitive. You will face serious competition. It’s a good idea to be prepared to land property as fast as possible.

In addition to negotiating with sellers to keep you in the game, your realtor helps you stay organized and on top of time-sensitive paperwork. Initial offers and counteroffers have a time limit you won’t want to miss. Your realtor keeps a sharp eye on them as well as other important considerations to keep the buying process moving forward.

This particularly helpful for the 33% of shoppers who are first-time buyers. Realtors know how to keep you prepared.

Purchasing homes for sale in Austin can be challenging, and it’s even harder while maintaining a full-time job, raising a family, or both. Enlisting a professional who ensures that you provide the necessary paperwork on time, conveys to the seller your seriousness in the property, aids you with sources, and helps you make sound decisions quickly is invaluable in the Austin, TX market.

Don’t Discount Realtors Therapy Skills!

Buying a home is a significant investment, which means things get emotional. Whether the issues is with the seller, your significant other, or both, your realtor can help you navigate the journey with less stress and more fun – and that’s the way it should be!

They Work Harder Than You Think

A realtor’s day may look easy, but the hours are long. They constantly drive to properties with and without you and review homes for sale online and through internal sources to find the right home for your specific design needs, locations preferences, and budget. They fight hard for lower pricing from sellers, which saves you significant money. They are available to you most hours of the day and will regularly contact you to provide updates, explain new procedures, and review the pluses and minuses of properties, all while keeping you calm along the way.

They Live by a Code

In the world of real estate, there are realtors and there are real estate agents. Realtors are unique in that they abide by a code of ethics rooted in honesty. Realtors do their best to ensure you are treated fairly and openly. They want to be people you can trust.


When you are ready to start your buying journey, do it right by enlisting a professional. Smart Austin Realty is here to help you land your home in Austin. Contact us to schedule an appointment with an agent so we can learn your specific needs, show you what we offer, and help you find the home the right home for you.


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