When it is time to sell your home, it is only human nature to wonder if selling it yourself (privately) would be a good option - saving the real estate fee paid. While saving the commssion may seem on the surface to be a good strategy, studies have shown that working with a realtor can actually increase your net return, while simultaneously selling the property quicker, more efficiently, and without any of the legal risks that are associated with the private sale. Here are some of the reasons why working with an expert realtor can add massive value to your results:
1. Almost every buyer today works with an agent. The reason - from the buyer's perspective, the agent's services are 'free', while at the same time the buyer gets all the expert assistance they need in househunting, mortgage approval, offer preparation, negotiating, paperwork finalization, etc. If you are selling privately, most buyer agents will naturally show MLS listings first, which are a known quantity, versus your private sale, which is unknown.
2. The MLS system functions efficiently - good, well-priced houses sell quickly, but as a private sale, you cannot enjoy the benefits of that efficiency.As a private sale, chances are it will take considerably longer to sell than the MLS average. The longer your home is on the market, the lower the offers and selling price tend to be. Why? Because today's buyers think that if the home has not sold quickly, then it must be either over-priced, or there must be something wrong with it.
3. Buying a home is a big deal for most people. Realtors often work for weeks and sometimes months to help buyers to feel comfortable about making the biggest financial decision of their lives. A lot of patience and understanding is often needed to overcome the natural fear of making a big purchase. When you are dealing with buyers on their own, that 'coaching' aspect is missing, and they will very often talk themselves out of buying the minute they leave the house, even if they like it.
4. Good agents are experts at maximizng exposure when your house is listed - there is an arsenal of tools available to today's pro-active agents, traditional media like print advertising, flyers, and open houses for both the public and for other agents, and a vast array of internet-based strategies to mount an effective, worldwide campaign to get your house sold. Internet websites with functionality way beyond basic MLS, social media, linking websites and real estate portals, video tours, text marketing, professionally photographed photos, etc.
5. Most buyers find it intimidating to negotiate or even to talk directly with sellers and therefore tend to avoid FSBO properties.
6. Lack of negotiating experience and lack of vital information often will result in a lower selling price, or worse yet, a bungled contract and possible lawsuits.
7. When a buyer is shown your house by an experienced realtor, they will have been pre-qualified at the bank. When you show your home to a private buyer, there is no guarantee that they are approved or even qualified to make an offer.
8. When a buyer is shown your house by an experienced realtor, it is only after a certain pre-screening process has already occurred. Unfortunately, in today's world, not everyone is who they seem to be, and a good realtor will establish a certain relationship of trust before letting anyone into their car. When you are selling privately, you have no idea who you are letting into your house.
9. As most buyers now retain an agent to represent them through buyer agency, you could possibly end up alone, negotiating against one of these experienced professionals, with no similar professional working on your behalf, at your side.
10. The majority of expected savings in real estate fees will also be greatly reduced if you offer a selling commission to entice real estate agents to bring potential buyers (partial commission).
11. If you are planning to use a Lawyer to help you negotiate the offer and prepare the paperwork, then your lawyer will likely charge you for these services.
12. Active, full time real estate sales agents have access to the up-to-date market information, and work with it on a daily basis. They have often seen similar homes to yours which have recently sold, and are aware of other current listings (your competition!). This knowledge can ensure that you price your home properly, and it can also ensure that you get the highest reasonable price.
13. Real estate is one of the only industries where you only pay the fee if the home is successfully sold. All the risk and cost of marketing is born by the agent, with no guarantee of remuneration.
14. Accepting an offer is one thing, ensuring a safe and successful closing is quite another. Real estate transactions can sometimes have problems on closing. At these times, expecting the buyer's and seller's lawyers to fight it out or resolve the problems can result in a firm deal which doesn't close! This is the time that an experienced real estate professional can be worth their weight in gold.