Since it is theoretically possible to sell your home on your own, you may begin to ask yourself the question, “why use a Realtor ®?” Not doing so may seem tempting. You would after all be saving money that would otherwise go toward paying a commission fee. And you would have complete control over the selling process yourself.
But in reality, selling your home without the help of a professional could actually cost you more money in the long run.
Realtors ® bring years of experience selling houses. They know many tips and tricks that you may not be aware of, through no fault of your own. Not only that, but selling your home by yourself may turn out to be much more of a stress-fueled hassle than it’s worth.
In this article, we’ll explain the key reasons why you may want to think twice before deciding to forgo hiring an experienced Realtor ® to handle your home sale. We’re not saying that selling your home as a for sale by owner can’t be successful, but we’ll explain why using a Realtor to sell your home can do you more good than bad. Regardless of whether you choose to work with SoldNest for your home sale or not, this is advice that anyone selling their home now or in the future should know.
So, why use a Realtor ® when selling a home?
Buyers’ Agents May Not Show Their Clients Your Home
It may not seem fair, but it’s a reality that must be considered. For the Realtor ® on the buyer’s side, entering into a transaction in which they know that they won’t be working with another real estate professional can be a deterrent.
With other properties available that have listing agents working on the seller’s behalf, a buying Realtor ® may simply decide to skip your property in order to work with another agent.
This could happen even when a client has specifically expressed interest in your property. The buying agent may attempt to dissuade them from perusing it, knowing that it will be an added headache to close a sale directly with the seller themselves.
They may also be concerned about complications that crop up during closing. The seller may not have any real estate experience for what is inevitably a complicated process with a considerable amount of paperwork and legal considerations.
While there are some agents for home buyers’ who may proceed with showing clients your property, there are others who will only consider it in the event that no other inventory is available. There’s a stigma that the buyer’s agent may get slighted at the end of the day by not receiving a commission. This makes them less motivated to undertake showing your home to their clients.
Emotional Attachment Can Get in the Way
A home is a personal place. No matter what, you will most likely feel some form of emotional attachment to your property. But this could be a huge hindrance when it comes time to sell your property.
You may list your home for more than its worth. Your attachment to your home could sway your decisions around considering a lower counter offer. You might also feel a sense of desperation to sell if you’re on a tight timeframe. This means that you may give in too easily to the first offer that you are presented with without considering potential to others.
The majority of homeowners do not know the real market value of their home. Some may look at Zillow or some other online home valuation. While these sites can sometimes give you a good starting point on your home value, they rarely give you an accurate portrayal of your homes true value. Why? Because they don’t take into consideration certain features between your home and other homes that have sold close by.
Comparing Your Home To Others
There’s a lot that goes into setting the right list price for your home. What comparables are you using to compare your home to? Are you using similar homes with interior square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms, lot size, etc? What adjustments are you making between your home and the comparables? If your home is located in a desirable area on your street (maybe even a cul-de-sac) and a recent home that sold nearby is on a busy street, how much more value do you think your home should have? This is only one small example that should be taken into consideration when comparing your home to other similar properties that have recently sold nearby. Setting the right list price is crucial to selling your home for the highest amount in the shortest amount of time. Most of the time, only a good listing agent will know how to do this.
Working with a Realtor ® will allow you to keep your emotions at bay. This is because you’ll always have the opinion of an objective professional. Having an experienced advisor with you every step of the way will help make the process much smoother and less stressful.
To start with, a reliable and experienced listing agent will help you establish the right listing price for your home. They have no emotional investment in the property. This means that their decision will revolve entirely on market data and logic.
Following Up Without Appearing Desperate
It is easier for listing agents to follow up with buyers as well. When Realtors ® follow up with a buyer’s agent, it’s fairly normal. It is their job to be staying on top of the potential transaction.
But when a seller does the same thing, it can come across as being overly eager. It can also appear a bit desperate to make a sale. This can happen even if that’s not the case. Unfortunately, it can inadvertently signal to the buying agent that they may be able to get the property at a lower price.
From a more personal standpoint, if selling your property on your own, you will also need to prepare yourself to handle negative feedback as to why buyers are not keen on your property. As the homeowner, this could come across as hurtful. Maybe certain aspects of your house that are of sentimental value are complete turnoffs to people who come for a viewing. Are you sure you want to hear negative things about a personal space that you love?
By selling with a listing agent, any and all negative feedback filters through a third party. Your real estate agent will be able to pinpoint ways to extract positive action points from negative feedback, sans the sting. They will also know which feedback to actually pay attention to, and what to disregard.
A filter for feedback, your listing agent will be able to see things about your home that will help in the long run. An experienced and good real agent know what makes a home sell. They know the characteristics that are desirable for buyers in your area.
A Realtor ® can take a completely objective look at your home. They can figure out what you can improve before your first viewing or open house. They will pick up on things you otherwise might not have. This could be possibly because you didn’t notice, or maybe because you didn’t consider these aspects to be flaws.
A Full Time Job
When asking yourself the question “Should I use a Realtor ® to sell my house?” you also need to seriously ask yourself how much free time you actually have.
If you have a full time job, or otherwise noteworthy time commitment elsewhere, chances are you don’t have the hours in the day to effectively sell your home. This is because selling your home is a full time job in itself.
Since it’s the biggest financial transaction you’ll ever make, you will want to make sure it’s done properly. To do so requires a considerable amount of flexibility and time. This means being available at very short notice, and at almost all times during the day, evenings and weekends if there are buyers who want to see or discuss your place.
Letting a listing agent handle this will take a huge amount of potential stress off your plate.
An agent can provide a lockbox, meaning that your property can be viewed even while you are not there. And with a dedicated Realtor ® for whom getting people to view your home is their job, you will be able to ensure more eyes on your property.
The more eyes on your property, the greater the demand. The greater the demand, the greater the price you can charge for your home in the end.
A Listing Agent Has Industry Connections
Real estate agents also know other real estate agents. They know the industry, meaning that they have contacts that they can reach out to about your property that you simply would not have exposure to through listing your home on your own.
The Right Marketing
“Why should I use a listing agent,” you may ask yourself, “given that I can list my house online myself?”
Indeed, you may be able to list your home independently on real estate websites. But this is only step one of a much larger job. To get the maximum possible sales price for your home, marketing (and marketing to the right people) is key.
A customized digital marketing plan, created by a professional who knows the industry and your neighborhood, will allow you to sell your home for the highest possible value. Not only will they be able to help by creating a marketing plan, they should also know exactly what type of prospective buyer to target it toward. If you do use a listing agent when selling your home, make sure they are not just providing the standard MLS and online syndication.
Over 90% of buyers are searching for properties online. And almost every single of one them has some type of social media account. Because of this, it’s imperative that your Realtor ® has a specific digital marketing plan. In other words, make sure they are spending the marketing dollars on the places that they should be (such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube) and not on marketing tactics that will help market their name in your neighborhood so that they can get the next listing. “Just listed” flyers is the perfect example of this. This does nothing to help sell your home, but does help market the agent in your neighborhood as being a “neighborhood expert”.
Targeting the Right Buyer
Being able to pinpoint your potential buyer will help minimize how many times you need to show your home. If you sell on your own, you run the risk of hosting many futile viewings that go nowhere.
It’s a lot of work to keep your house in top shape when potential buyers come to visit. The ideal situation is to only have to do this a couple of times.
An experienced listing agent who has already targeted the right demographic through online advertising will have filtered out people who are just browsing, and bring only serious buyers to your home. They will be able to understand what is important to these people when considering their future home, which saves you as the homeowner a lot of potential hassle.
From the buyer’s perspective, it’s a bit awkward to have a seller present when viewing a property. A buyer may be more likely to rush through your home if you are there at the time.
The Nitty Gritty
Once you have an offer, it’s all downhill from there, right? It’s not quite that straightforward.
What if you didn’t know how to tell if an offer was worthwhile? A listing agent will be able to help you figure out the difference between a good offer and one to pass on.
Not only that, but they will be with you during the negotiating process and are working in your best interests. They will be able to use their experience to negotiate the best possible price. They can also do so without becoming emotionally involved.
With every home sale comes an extraordinary amount of paperwork that is essential in order to close. One part of this is a full disclosure that clearly outlines any problems with your property. This is required by law, and is something that listing agents have experience with.
If a seller does not disclose everything, they run the risk of a lawsuit if something goes wrong later. Listing agents understand the implications of disclosure law. They will be able to help create your disclosure. After all, most of them know all of the things that it will need to include.
What if your listing agent makes a mistake in the process? (They are human too, so it’s not entirely impossible). But the good news is that protection exists. Listing agents have professional errors-and-omissions insurance to protect themselves. This means if problems do arise down the road, they can often resolve themselves without the seller’s involvement. This likely wouldn’t be the case if you sold your property alone.