Selling a home is a big deal. Just making the decision to sell is a big deal. Now that you’re moving on to greener pastures, it’s time to enlist the help of a professional. The other parties in the transaction are likely to have their own representation, and so should you. Here are the reasons you should hire a Realtor® to list your home, and what could go wrong if you don’t:
Marketing is Harder Than It Looks
Real estate agents know your local market. The internet is quick to enlighten with loads of information, but it can’t hold a candle to the real-life experience that a real estate agent brings. Agents have the tools and the know-how to navigate the listing process from marketing to negotiating to closing the deal. Agents know their markets well and will price your home within a competitive window when it’s time to list. They can market your home professionally and they’re ready to solve the many challenges that will surface before, during, and after closing.
Realtors® belong to their local and regional Multiple Listing Service (MLS). An MLS is a database of homes that are priced and marketed professionally. Realtors use other channels for marketing as well including digital, social, print, and grassroots. Trying to sell on your own means you’ll have to do all this on your own. If real estate isn’t your day job, you may not want to take on more work than you might be expecting. Where will you advertise your home? Will you hire a professional photographer? Do you know if you’re reaching anyone? Should you pay for digital ad placements? Should you answer the phone if you don’t recognize who’s calling. And the big one…Are you getting the best possible price for your home!?
Pricing Your Home Incorrectly Could Cause Problems Down the Road
Real estate agents have the tools and the know-how to navigate the listing process from marketing to negotiating to closing the deal. Agents know their markets well and will price your home within a competitive window when it’s time to list. They can market your home professionally and they’re ready to solve the many challenges that will surface before, during, and after closing.
Here’s what could go wrong if you price your home incorrectly:
- You might unwittingly accept a lower price than your home is worth. The buyer likely has representation who will happily advise him or her to pay under market value for your home. Don’t sell yourself short – hire your own representation to professionally price and market your home.
- You might overprice your home and waste valuable time while it sits on the market.
- You might overprice your home, accept an offer, then find out that the appraised value comes in lower than your agreed-upon price. This can be a major headache and often results in a complete renegotiation of the offer, or worse: Re-listing of your property.
What Happens When You Sell Without a Realtor?
If your home is for sale by owner (FSBO), statistics show that you’ll probably end up on the losing end when it comes to price. According to the National Association of Realtors®, the average FSBO home sold for $55,000 less than a agent-listed home in 2015.
Why do homes sell for less without an agent? A number of factors are at play:
- Real estate agents have channels in place to heavily market your home and will do so from day one. Agents use their own websites, email distribution lists, community networks, and online listing services to quickly get the word out and create demand for your home.
- Agents can see and correct problems before they happen. Issues like property boundaries, flood insurance, and structural defects might be relatively simple to correct before you list, but could become bigger problems if they’re discovered after the offer is inked.
- Agents can help you decide which improvements to make before you list. Some sellers unwittingly pour money into improvements for which they’ll never see a return on their investment. How much money should you invest in new bathroom fixtures? Do you even need new bathroom fixtures? Should you repaint the front door? Do those spots on the carpet mean you have to replace all of the carpet in the house? Just stop already! A real estate agent can advise you on which improvements are likely to catch the attention of potential buyers and which improvements are unnecessary.
- Statistics show that FSBO properties sit on the market longer than agent-listed properties. This creates less demand for the product, resulting in a lower sale price.
Hire a Realtor® and Get on with Life
What’s the moral of this story? Hire a real estate agent to list your property, and get it done right the first time. Your agent is your #1 advocate in the transaction and will save you time, money, and stress so you can do what you wanted to do in the first place: Move on and start the next chapter in your life.
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