They say that a person who acts as their own attorney in court has a fool for a client. This can bee true if you decide not so sell your home with a real estate agent.
OK, so, it’s not that dramatic in real estate.
However – and this a very big “however” – selling a home is a complicated, sometimes emotional, financial event. Many people who think they can handle it on their own often find they have made a mistake.
Selling a home might be one of the biggest transactions you ever make, and you want things to go as smoothly and profitably as possible. So before you put the “for sale by owner” sign in the yard, consider these reasons why hiring a real estate agent might be a better way to go.
Knowledge of the Market
Do you know the actual value of your home, or are you just making a (sometimes wishful) guess? The housing market, especially in active markets such as Florida, is constantly in flux. Prices rise and fall and there are major differences in valuation based on variables such as schools or local amenities.
A major part of a real estate agent’s job is to keep track of those changes and make sure you are pricing your home at the best price you can get given the current market conditions. Left on your own, you might value your home too highly, making it hard to sell. Or worse, value it too low and leave thousands of dollars on the table.
When getting ready to sell a house, many homeowners who strike out on their own focus primarily on getting the house ready for sale. They spend less time thinking about what it will be like when it comes down to negotiating a price.
While you might feel you have the necessary skills, it’s important to remember that you will be across the table from a professional real estate agent – and negotiating is one of the things they do best. They also have years of experience, where you do not.
Think of it this way: we’ve all gone the process of negotiating to buy a car with a salesmen. That can be difficult. The financial stakes with a home sale are much, much higher.
Once you have your house ready for showing, the next most important step is getting the word out. While a sign in the front yard will grab the attention of drive-by traffic, doing it that way means you will miss out on reaching a wider audience of potential buyers.
A real estate agent has access to a network that allows them to advertise far beyond your neighborhood or even you current city. You never know when someone across the country might be looking for a home in your area.
Real estate brokerages also often pay to advertise your home in a number of different outlets that have local, national and even international reach. And the listing for your home will be handled by people who understand how to properly use photographs and attractive information about your home and neighborhood.
These networks have but one function: finding buyers for homes. There’s nothing you can do to replace a group of professionals working day in and out to find you the best offer.
There are infamously many, many pieces of paper to sign during the closing of a home. Having a professional on hand who understands what each one means – and the possible ramifications for you – is invaluable.
And then there are liability issues. What happens if, after the closing, something goes wrong with the house? Many agents and brokerages offer you relatively cheap coverage to handle those costs should anything happen.
In fact, this is such an important aspect of closing the deal on a home sale that even if you don’t hire a real estate agent, you should strongly consider hiring an attorney or a housing contract specialist to look over the deal before signing.
Realtors handle a large number of services that many people may not be aware of. For example, they typical make all the appointments for showings and guide potential buyers through the house. They do research on tax history and property lot data. They coordinate the necessary inspections for the home. They organizing the closing for the sale. Some of the bigger real estate brokerages now even offer financial services. All of this makes the process run smoothly, avoiding delays in what is already a long process.
Time Savings when Deciding to Sell Your Home with a Real Estate Agent
How highly do you value your time? For most people, the hours and hours spent getting a house ready for showing is time enough to spend on a house sale. If you add on advertising the home, scheduling and conducting showings, negotiating price, drawing up contracts and closing the deal – that’s the kind of time that will severely impact your personal life and your job.
These are some of the considerations for home sellers when deciding whether to hire a real estate agent. Yes, you can save a small percentage of the sale without having to pay a fee to an agent. But there are other costs in terms of your time and a wealth of benefits.
Taken in that context, deciding to sell your home with a real estate agent can be one of the smartest moves you make during the home-selling process.