Selling a Home that Failed To Sell Series-Part 19: Should you Hire a Realtor?
You may have had a bad experience with a Realtor. I get it! Before I became a Real Estate Agent, I dealt with a few that were less than the cream of the crop. Communication was sub-par; they weren’t helpful and didn’t get me the results I needed. Not all Real Estate Agents are created equal. So, why should you hire an agent to get your house sold? You may not understand what they even do except for drive around and talk on the phone. So why would you hire one?
YOUR BOTTOM LINE:
Realtors sell homes for more money. According to the National Association of Realtors, For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sales accounted for 11% of home sales in 2018. The typical FSBO home sold for $200,000 compared to $280,000 for agent-assisted home sales.
Would you pay 6% in commission to increase your sales price by 40%? Seems like a no- brainer to me!
In fairness, not every agent will get you more money than if you sold it on your own and you won’t always make 40% more. However, your odds go up dramatically to get the most money in the least amount of time when you hire a quality Realtor to represent you in your sale.
YOU’R ALREADY BUSY:
Selling a house can be a full-time job. You’ll have to field calls from interested buyers, work out where you want to advertise any open houses you might have and about a thousand other little things that lead up to a finalized sale. You’re already busy with your life and job, so adding in everything that comes with selling a home is a lot to ask.
A Realtor’s job is to deal with all of these exact things. They are not too busy to get back to interested buyers right away. They are not too busy to find the best places to advertise. They aren’t too busy to make sure people who express interest are actually qualified buyers. Basically, everything that would add more to your plate is already something a real estate agent just does.
The things that are extra for you are the day to day life activities of an agent. They do these things multiple times a day and they do them well. They already know how to sell a house, so they’re not learning how to do any of these things on the fly. If you’re already finding yourself busy with life, you definitely need a real estate agent to sell your home.
REALTORS HAVE MORE EXPERIENCE:
Unless you’re selling houses every day along with whatever your normal day job is, you don’t have as much experience as an agent. Experience can make a huge difference in getting your house sold quickly or having to drop the price because it’s been on the market too long. Real estate agents know how to navigate the market better than anyone else out there.
They’ve trained for this, they’ve taken and passed exams, and they’ve done this all before. More than once. Their experience is valuable and worth the costs involved. Your end goal is to get your house sold so it doesn’t become a hassle you have to deal with or lose money on. A real estate agent’s goal is the same as yours, they just know how to do it faster and better.
This is just another fact that goes into what a real estate agent does. Selling your house can be emotional. It’s somewhere you’ve lived your day-to-day life as a family or maybe even grown into as a family. If you’ve put a lot of work into it, you can have an extra attachment because you know the amount of sweat equity involved in that work.
An agent is removed from all of that. Their main goal is to get your house sold and if negotiations are involved, they aren’t going to hold onto emotional ties that prevent them from making a good deal. They definitely aren’t going to make a deal without your approval but since they’re removed from the emotional side of things, they can give you better guidance and advice.
REALTORS UNDERSTAND CONTRACTS:
At one point selling a home on your own may have been an easy thing to do. There wasn’t much involved on the paperwork side of things and closings were pretty simple. Now, however, that is not the case. Closing paperwork is complicated. There are state and federal regulations that have to be gone over, and closings can get overwhelming very, very quickly.
Your buyer may have a real estate agent there with them during the closing, but that agent is going to be focused on the buyer’s best interests. You’re going to need someone on your side, too. Sometimes last-minute things come up right as someone is about to sign on that dotted line. For someone that doesn’t deal with closings often these can be deal breaker situations.
A real estate agent helping you sell your house is going to know about contracts and closings. They’re going to know what needs to be disclosed and what to do if something comes up as paperwork is being signed.
Contracts and disclosures are not always easy things to understand, especially if you haven’t gone through the process more than once or twice. Having an agent there to navigate the closing contract signing situations is a huge key to the successful sale of your home.
Much like the negotiating, pricing your home can be something that’s hard to separate emotion from. You already know how hard you worked to get your home ready for sale, or the work you’ve put in during the past years you’ve owned the house. It’s hard to keep that out of your mind entirely while coming up with a price to list your home at.
Realtors can help you because they know the neighborhoods, they know the market, and they know comparable housing prices. All of these things factor into making sure you’re pricing your home effectively. You still have the final say, and a real estate agent can’t force you to list at a certain price, but their experience and knowledge should be given proper credit.
An agent can help talk through what you would like to sell the home for and show you what other homes are selling for right now. If there’s a huge gap in what you want and what the real estate agent thinks is attainable it’s something you can talk about. There might be something you don’t know, or there might be something the agent hasn’t considered for your pricing.
As a team, you can come up with a price together. Again, this gives you someone removed from the situation emotionally that’s still on your side. They still want you to make money on the sale, but they are going to have a realistic way of looking at things that you might not have if you’re very attached to your house. This is an invaluable resource to have when trying to make a sale.
POINTS TO REMEMBER:
When you hire a quality Realtor to represent you in your sale you are more likely to get the most money in the least amount of time.
Selling your house is not as easy as you might initially think it will be.
Hiring an agent to sell your home is likely to take a lot of stress off of your shoulders.