6 reasons to choose a real estate agent over “for sale by owner”
There are many services you can do without when it comes to selling a property. But many people don’t realise the value that professionals like real estate agents bring to the table. Some property owners have been known to sell houses without using a real estate agent. They choose to do this because of the costs involved in hiring one.
Hiring an average real estate agent can cost you up to 5% commission on the sale price of your property. So selling a $600,000 house would set you back $30,000. With a large fee like this, many people think twice about hiring a real estate agent in the first place. To help you understand the true value of a real estate agent, let’s go through 6 reasons why it’s a good idea to hire one.
There are many online platforms you can use to list your house on. In many cases, you don’t have to be a real estate agent to access them and put listings up. But will online listings really get enough interested buyers looking at your property? Do you have your own professional network of people that can help spread the word about your property?
What a lot of people don’t understand is that real estate agents already have an established network of people they can rely upon to help promote your property. Over the years of them working in the profession they’ve already built up relationships with clients, other agents and real estate agencies. This pool of contacts is what real estate agents use to ensure there’s going to be large groups of people interested in your property on the day of your auction.
Do you consider yourself a great negotiator? Negotiating or haggling price points isn’t a skill that everyone has. But you can rest assured that an experienced and successful real estate agent will have those skills for negotiating and a home sale. A good real estate agent knows how to read the signs and identify a genuine buyer.
If you decide to negotiate the sale price of your house how confident will you be? What if you let emotion get in the way of your decisions? Without an agent guiding you through decisions, there’s more chance you could do something irrational. An agent can also tell you what terms are worth negotiating for and when it’s time to reject an offer and move on.
A lot of people don’t realise just how much time you need to commit to selling a home. If you already work a full-time job how will you find the time to meet people for inspections? If you’ve advertised your house online how are you going to answer all the calls from potential buyers? You’ll always need to be on standby to answer any questions or make inspection bookings for the house.
Remember that real estate agents have years of experience answering calls and following up on potential buyer queries. Real estate agents know how to organise everything from answering all queries and putting a lockbox on your property so it’s easier to arrange inspections. They are very effective at time management considering the fact they are used to managing the sales of dozens of homes at any one time.
So ask yourself this. Do you have any experience managing a property sale from start to finish? Do you have the spare time to make last-minute appointments for interested buyers? If you said no to both of these questions then it’s best you leave it to the property professionals when it comes to the sale of your house.
When you start getting in touch with people who answer your ad, they usually fall under two main groups; qualified and unqualified buyers. A qualified buyer is someone who has the financial resources to buy your house and is genuinely interested in doing so. An unqualified buyer is someone who’s just a dreamer. They could just be a nearby resident who’s curious to see what the house looks like inside.
Real estate agents know how to differentiate between serious buyers and those who are just being nosey. They are trained to ask qualifying questions to figure out how serious these interested people really are. Questions will usually be around how long the buyers have been looking, if they’ve seen any other homes they’re interested in, if they’re prequalified for a loan, and what schools they are looking for.
Having the property owner present during inspections can become an awkward scenario. It’s a scenario that can make a potential buyer uncomfortable. The buyer may end up rushing to get through the house without properly inspecting it simply because they want to avoid the property owner.
Think you’ve got what it takes to negotiate prices for a house? Negotiating for a house isn’t the same as haggling for the price of something on Facebook Marketplace. Real estate agents have specialised experience when it comes to negotiating. Most agents have already negotiated hundreds of property purchases. With that experience, they know how to turn the tables on buyers and make certain price points more appealing.
If you’re the owner of the property it’s likely your emotions will get in the way. You may end up making an irrational decision when it comes to price negotiations. A real estate agent can support you during an auction and keep you on track to making the right decision when a final bid comes through. So instead of you making an emotionally charged response to a buyer, your real estate agent can step in and come back with an appropriate and tactical response.
It’s also important to note that most property owners who choose to sell don’t understand local customs or market conditions. Real estate agents are usually local area specialists who know what’s driving demand. This knowledge gives them an advantage because they can leverage benefits such as a close distance to schools or easy access to freeways during a price negotiation.
There’s always a lot of paperwork involved in a property sale. There is so much at stake and it’s so important to ensure that everything is done according to the legal requirements for property in your state. Property purchase documents need to be filled out correctly. A real estate agent can assist you in reviewing these documents on the day.
One of the most important documents you’ll need assistance with is the seller’s disclosures. By law, sellers are required to disclose any fact that materially affects the property’s value or desirability. If any aspects of the seller’s disclosures or the property sale are misleading, the property seller may be liable for fraud or a breach of contract.
Unless you have professional experience as a lawyer, there’s a good chance you won’t know anything about disclosure laws in your state. Just remember that if you fail to disclose things like a hazard or defect of your house, you buyer could end up suing you. Another thing to consider is that real estate agents have errors and omissions insurance. This helps protect themselves and gives the buyer financial assistance. So the buyer won’t have to pursue you for damages.