When the time comes to sell your home, you may be tempted to do go it alone. “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) seems to be a good way for you to save money on the real estate commission. On further inspection, though, you’ll find that working with a realtor can get your home sold more quickly and at a higher price than going the DIY route. Here are some reasons why you should be working with a real estate agent to sell your home.
Many FSBO sellers are not aware of the selling price of comparable homes in their neighborhood and make the mistake of pricing their home too high when they put it up for sale. The house ends up sitting on the market instead of selling quickly, and the homeowner is faced with having to reduce the asking price.
Meanwhile, potential buyers will be asking why the house has been taking so long to sell and wondering what might be wrong with the property. The best option is to price the property correctly from the start, relative to the market.
You can do the legwork yourself to find out the selling price of comparable homes in your area, as well as how long they were on the market, or you can let your real estate agent determine this valuable information for you.
You know that you can’t stop what you are doing to pick up the phone every time a potential buyer calls or take time away from work to show your home to a buyer because it’s a convenient time for their schedule. If you're trying to sell your home in between work and/or going to school, your family responsibilities and trying to carve out some down-time for yourself, it is going to take longer and be a more stressful process than turning the task over to a trained .
Along with keeping your home clean and free from clutter while it's listed for sale, are you prepared to look after marketing it to potential buyers? A real estate agent will take photos of your home (inside and out) and write sales descriptions that will draw buyers to your property.
The realtor will also install a “For Sale” sign on your property. They'll list your home on real estate web sites, classified ads in newspapers and in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) so that other real estate agents and the public know that it's on the market.
Most homeowners probably don’t know what kinds of questions to ask to screen potential buyers. A realtor knows how to determine whether someone looking at your home is seriously in the market to buy or is simply a “tire kicker.” The last thing you want is to be signing a contract with someone who can't come up with the money to complete the deal because they're unable to qualify for a mortgage.
A real estate agent has the right training to engage a buyer by asking questions about how long they have been looking for a home, the types of features they particularly like about your home, what amenities they want in a neighborhood, etc. From there, the real estate agent can point out how your home would be a good fit for the buyer’s needs and help an undecided buyer to make a decision to choose your home from the others on the market.
Selling the home where you may have lived for a number of years, seen your family grow up and have no doubt created a number of memories, is bound to be an emotional experience. It’s not easy to look at your house from the point of view of a commodity which needs to appeal to buyers and not something personal, but that's exactly what needs to happen if you want to sell it quickly and for the best possible price.
A buyer may point out a home’s shortcomings as a negotiation tactic in order to get a lower price. If you are trying to sell your home yourself, it’s easy to let these types of comments get in the way of negotiating the best possible deal. When you turn it over to an impartial third party, they can keep the focus on getting the deal completed without getting bogged down in the details.
A real estate agent works with you from start to finish in selling your home, ensuring that your home gets exposed to a wider pool of potential buyers than you would be able to attract on your own. At showings, they know how to point out your home’s best features (and minimize those that don’t show your home in its best light).
When the time comes to negotiate a deal, a real estate agent acts as your advisor through the process without becoming emotionally involved. They have the experience to know when you can get more money for your home by offering the buyer incentives like a quick closing or including the appliances in the sale, that can make the difference between having a signed deal on the table or having it fall through. As a result, you're more likely to get a higher price for your home when you work with an experienced real estate agent than if you try to do all the work involved on your own.