Lately, I have been part of a recurring event. Many people (friends included) proceed to congratulate us on our success, but then tell me they will be selling their own home without the assistance of a Realtor. How am I expected to respond? What I have realized is that there is simply a lack of education on the services a Realtor provides.

At its most elemental, people want to forego the middle-man to save themselves money. What they don't know is that homes sold by a Realtor usually receive a higher asking price. This same Realtor can also  help negotiate a lower price for your new home. These dollars earned and saved add up, not to mention the knowledge and contacts an experienced agent has that will help the process move along smoothly, such as real estate attorneys, contractors, home inspectors and other professionals.

I recently read an article that said "The lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client." The adage can apply to selling real estate. Realtors receive a license only after completing many hours of classes and passing two state exams to be able to help you buy or sell your home. Each agent must then complete additional training each year to maintain that license. Local and national tax, lending, and real estate laws are constantly changing and must be observed to in order to avoid causing financial and legal issues when securing a real estate transaction. Only a Realtor can navigate you through all of these factors.

During the days of the first-time homebuyer tax credit, I saw a lot of For Sale By Owner signs popping up all around town. You know what I've also noticed?  Those signs are still up today.

Perhaps the most important service of all, a good Realtor will take the time to understand what you want and is genuinely committed to your happiness. We want to see you find the house of your dreams -- and get it at the best price possible.

We hope you'll call us if you find yourself in this situation. For those of you that are still not convinced, check back for our next post on the 7 Reasons to Hire a Realtor.