REALTORS® Help You Avoid Emotional Situations | Face it, selling your home is typically an emotional process. Having an agent keeps you one step removed from the process. How do you price your home? How would you counter a low offer? What if you are under a time crunch to sell? A REALTOR® can follow up with potential buyers without communicating a sense of eagerness or desperation. Also, how will you deal directly with rejection when the buyer’s agent tells you that their client is not interested? It can be quite upsetting to hear comments made by buyers and their agents regarding your home. An agent can put a positive spin on negative feedback.
Real Estate is a Full-time Job | Can you rush home from work for a showing? Can you excuse yourself from a meeting every time your phone rings? Are you an expert in marketing homes? Do you have any experience? An agent will place a lockbox on your home allowing it to be shown when you are not there.
REALTORS® Have Large Networks | You can list your home yourself on Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, Craigslist, and even the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that agents use. Is that enough? Do you have a professional network? Are they interested in spreading the word that your home is for sale? Probably not. A smaller pool of potential buyers leads to less demand, waiting longer to sell, and possibly a lower sales price. Good agents have distribution lists that they announce your home listing to, they promote your home within their company, they canvas your neighborhood asking neighbors if they know anyone who wants to live there, they promote your home on their social media platforms, and their website.
REALTORS® Can Help You Avoid Unqualified Buyers | They can determine whether someone who wants to view your home is a qualified buyer, a dreamer, or a curious neighbor. It is a lot of work and a major interruption every time you have to make your home look perfect and have it shown. You want to limit showings to those that can result in a sale. REALTORS® are trained to ask qualifying questions. Having the homeowner present when showing a home is very uncomfortable for the potential buyer. In this situation, most buyers will rush through the tour and not notice or remember what they saw.
REALTORS® Are Trained in Price Negotiations | Most of us do not have any specialized experience in negotiating a home sale. The buyer’s agent does and most likely will succeed in an FSBO sale, meaning less money in your pocket. Do you understand how to counteroffer? In today’s market, sellers are often looking at bidding wars and multiple offers. How do you leverage and time responses to your greatest advantage? Hint. It’s not as easy as it seems. Agents know the market and what is driving current demand, giving them an advantage by knowing the items worth negotiating and those worth letting the other party win.
You May Ignore Your Home’s Flaws | Agents are experts in what makes homes sell. They will walk through your home and recommend changes that need to be made to attract buyers and get the best offers. Agents can see flaws that you don’t notice because you see them every day. Agents will also determine what feedback from potential buyers should be acted upon to improve the chances of selling your home for the best price. Agents can determine the best way to stage your home and suggest cleaning and repairs. Sometimes the things that will determine how your home sells and for how much vary wildly by neighborhood. Agents are continually touring homes around yours and know what makes homes desirable by area.
Limit Your Exposure to Legal Risks | Do you understand the real estate contract? There is myriad paperwork involved in the sale of a home. One of the most important is the Seller’s Disclosures – “A seller of real estate has an affirmative duty to disclose any fact that materially affects the value or desirability of the property”. The seller can be held liable for fraud, negligence, or breach of contract if they do not disclose properly. Agents are trained and experienced with these disclosures. And, if an agent does make a mistake, they have professional errors-and-omissions insurance to protect themselves and to give the buyer recourse without the need to pursue the seller for legal damages.
Hiring an agent has many advantages in the sale of one of the biggest transactions of your life. Agents can offer broader exposure, provide negotiating experience, dedicate time to your home sale, and bring expertise to a complex transaction.