With the rise of online house listings, many people are tempted to take a DIY approach to buying or selling a home. While it might look like you’ll save money by eliminating an extra person, the truth is that you could end up spending more if you try to do everything alone. Real estate agents bring their expertise to the home buying and selling process, and you’ll want to have one by your side before you try to enter a competitive housing market.

1- Setting and Negotiating the Right Price

Most home sellers enter the process with an unclear view of how much their house is worth. With fluctuating home values, it’s often difficult to know exactly how to set the asking price without undercutting the true value or going too high. Real estate agents are familiar with property values in your area, and they know when to ask for more for special features or reduce the price for a quick sale. If you are buying, then having a professional negotiate on your behalf helps you avoid overspending or wasting too much time on a house that won’t fit your budget.

2- Knowing How to Stage a Home

Some people go overboard with home staging and spend money on items that they don’t need. Others might not stage at all, and failing to do any staging could limit how many people are interested in your property. Real estate agents can help you identify the areas of your home that could use freshening up to appeal to the most buyers. They also tend to have connections that can help you access budget-friendly staging materials when you need to move your current belongings.

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3- Preventing Costly Mistakes

Choosing to repaint your whole house might not give you the ROI that you need to make it worth it. You might also fall in love with one aspect of a house to the point that you ignore a major red flag. Even landing in the wrong neighborhood could cause you to want to move sooner than is necessary. Real estate agents take their time to do thorough consultations. Once they know your needs, they’ll be ready to point you to the right home or neighborhood.

4- Streamlining the Whole Process

Wasting time really can make you lose money during the home selling and buying process. Waiting too long to make an offer on a home could make you lose out. Real estate agents help with paperwork, handling inspections, and other aspects of the entire process that make it easier and more cost-effective overall.

Trying to cut corners with home buying and selling often leads to more expenses than you might expect. Knowing that you have a professional by your side makes it easier to stick to your asking price when you are selling your home, and the same is true if you try to negotiate for a lower price while buying. While everyone’s experience can vary, using a real estate agent typically helps people save thousands during the buying and selling process. With those kinds of savings, you can easily start looking forward to using the extra funds to spring for that new grill or bedroom furniture set.