The process of buying and selling real estate can be a complex one, and it’s often an overwhelming and stressful one too for those who don’t have the right team behind them. While certain projects may warrant a DIY-approach, buying and selling a home is certainly not one of them. With what is likely to be the most expensive investment you ever make in your entire lifetime; you want to be sure that the proper steps are taken and the right decisions are made to ensure a successful outcome.

Here are 5 reasons why you should hire a real estate professional for your next transaction.

1. They’ll Help You Price Right

If you’re on the selling end of the transaction, your first step is to price your home so that it accurately reflects the current market. Overpricing your home is a huge mistake, as it can easily lead to a stale listing that ends up lingering on the market for a lot longer than it needs to. A professional real estate agent will be able to analyze recently sold homes in your area that are similar to yours in order to come up with an optimal listing price that will garner plenty of attention from prospective buyers.

2. They’ll Negotiate on Your Behalf

Are you good at negotiating? Even if you are, the offer table is no place for you to practice. It’s best to leave the negotiating to an impartial party rather than do it yourself, as emotions can often run high at the negotiating table. Real estate professionals have plenty of experience negotiating and will take the time to understand exactly who they are dealing with to ensure the best possible outcome for you.

3. They Have Their Finger on the Pulse of the Current Market

Real estate agents who are active in the market know precisely what’s going on at any given moment. With so much information out there about home sales, prices, and mortgage interest rates, it can be tough for the average buyer or seller to know exactly what’s going on in their specific area at any moment. With sound knowledge, real estate professionals will be able to identify a lowball offer if you’re on the selling end, and will know exactly what would be a fair offer price should you ever be on the buying end.

4. They Can Network

Real estate professionals network with other experts in the industry, many of whom can offer you services that will be required throughout the buying and selling process. Many agents will be able to identify which vendors have a solid reputation for competency, efficiency, and competitive pricing. Whether you require a real estate lawyer, home inspector, contractor, or mortgage specialist, your agent will be able to provide you with a list of references whom they’ve worked with and provide background information to help you make an informed choice.

5. They’ll Handle All the Paperwork For You

Real estate contracts are lengthy and cumbersome and typically include jargon that the average person may not be familiar with. Your real estate agent will be able to sift through all that paperwork for you and ensure that the right terms are included and others are excluded to ensure you’re well protected. They’ll also be able to explain the terms of the agreement in a way that you’ll clearly understand so you know precisely what you’re signing.

There’s simply no substitute for the services of a professional real estate agent when buying or selling. Don’t navigate this transaction on your own – be sure to enlist the services of a professional real estate agent to ensure a successful outcome.