Why Use an Agent to Sell Your Home?
When you’re ready to sell you home, there’s a lot to consider. Some home sellers choose to go about it alone and pursue the for sale by owner route (often said as “fis-bo” based on the initials FSBO) in order to save some money by eliminating the need to pay a listing agent (a typical FSBO sale will still pay the buyer’s agent). Obviously, there are reasons why someone might choose this route, but we encourage you to think of some of the reasons to not and instead to use an agent to sell your home.
You may not get as many showing if you go it alone. Real estate agents utilize the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), which is basically a database of homes for sale by other agents that belong to that particular MLS. Our local MLS in San Antonio has powerful search features that allow us to take a buyer’s criteria and find homes that match. The MLS does not show us FSBO listings, so we may never even see your home as a potential for our buyers. In addition, agents may not want to work with a FSBO seller because they are often not up to date on the legalities of selling a home, making the transaction much more difficult and sometimes dangerous. Working with experienced agents and using contract forms from the Texas Real Estate Commission and Texas Association of REALTORS® helps keep everything legal and makes the process much smoother.
Selling your home can be an emotional process. You’ve lived in your home for years and created strong ties and memories in it. People get emotional about their home – it’s just a fact of nature. Having a real estate agent working as the negotiator can help curb some of that and prevent trouble when buyers and sellers clash. As REALTORS®, our job is to keep your best interests in mind without giving up any information that might be detrimental to those negotiations.
Selling your home can be a full time job. Showings, phone calls, questions, documents, negotiations…selling your home can take a lot of time if you don’t have someone working for you. Your real estate agent will set up showings, coordinate with inspectors and repairmen, take the calls, etc. Our job is to help take the stress out of the process and accomplish your goals (do you want to sell for top dollar, do you need to move fast – these are the kinds of questions we ask to know how best to handle your personal situation).
Your agent has a network of people who are in the business and can help get your home sold. Agents do a lot more than stick a sign in your yard and get your home listed on Zillow. We know others in the industry and we talk about your home to colleagues who might have the perfect buyer for your home. We attend events, have coffee with other agents, and have an office of REALTORS® that we talk to everyday. Many agents sell homes via word of mouth. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a conversation where an agent is talking about the kind of house their buyer needs and the proverbial lightbulb goes off in another agent’s head – that’s the exact description of the house they’re helping you sell!
Not everyone should be checking out your home. Agents don’t like to drive around aimlessly looking at homes – we have a business to run – so we pre-qualify our clients, both in terms of what they’re looking for and getting them with a lender so that we know what they can afford. There’s little need to show a million dollar home to a couple making minimum wage (unless they just hit the lottery!). By pre-qualifying the buyers going through your home, we have a better idea of who’s in your home, which saves you time and can also add a layer of security to letting strangers into your home.
Negotiating is about finding the best possible outcome for all parties. Negotiations can wreck a deal more than any other single part of the transaction. Negotiations are not about “winning” – they are about finding the best possible solution for everyone involved. You want to sell you home, but they buyers are asking for a lot of closing costs and some other items. The art of negotiation needs to look at the bottom line and the motivation behind the requests. Perhaps the buyers don’t have a lot of cash on hand, so those closing costs are important. Perhaps we can raise the price slightly to offset those costs to you and make the deal work. It’s all about viewing everything from differing angles and trying to find the best solution.
We view your home with a totally different perspective.You love your home. You know its flaws and have learned to deal with them in the time you’ve lived there. We see your home from a buyer’s perspective. What might be normal for you (that tricky toilet handle you have to wiggle just right) will send a buyer packing. We can help you see your home the way a buyer is going to see it and help decide what items are essential to fix and what items can stay as is. At the end of the day, the sale of your home is a financial transaction and its the numbers that matter, not the emotional feelings that surround it.
Lawsuits. None of us want to be sued. Buyers, sellers, and agents are never hoping that someone will sue them, but it happens sometimes. When a lawsuit arises, you can have some comfort knowing that the contract forms we use have been poured over by lawyers and written in a way that helps protect the parties involved. Real estate agents carry E&O insurance, which helps protect them and their clients in the event of a lawsuit. Could you take on a lawsuit for hundreds of thousands of dollars on your own? What if you lose? Who’s going to pay for the damages? Real estate agents carry this insurance for just that reason. We also carry with us knowledge of the law when it comes to disclosures and responsibilities of the parties so that everyone is performing their obligations correctly.
While going it alone when you sell your home could save you some money, it could also cost you much more. Our skills, experience, and expertise are in the field of real estate, it’s what we do everyday so that we can efficiently assist you in selling your home (or buying a home). We’re here to help you get the most from your home buying or selling experience.
this post is based on an article from ivestopedia
image courtesy of Alan Cleaver