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Real estate brokerage might just be the world’s second-oldest profession. We’ve survived hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, recessions, housing/financial/foreclosure crises, Zillow, iBuyer, and some people who choose to transact without us, aka FSBOs. Clearly, there must be some benefits to working with a Realtor or the vast majority of home buyers and sellers wouldn’t use one. There are good reasons that all 50 states in the U.S. and many countries, territories, and provinces around the world require that people get and maintain a license to help people with the largest legal and financial transaction of their life. The process is complex, requires a multitude of skills, and has many potential pitfalls that a trained and experienced professional knows how to avoid. The best transactions are the ones where the buyer and seller think it was easy, because the professional(s) involved prevented problems before they emerged and got the buyer and seller to the closing table.

The better question might be, what risks are there to buying from a private seller without either party benefitting from the help of one or more professionals? The answer to that question will help you understand why Realtors came into existence, the value they bring, and why they are still around.

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