When the time comes to sell your home, you may wonder whether it’s really worth hiring a real estate agent to help you. With house prices increasing, that extra commission can begin to pile up and maybe you’d prefer to have that money in your pocket. Many sellers are tempted to go down the For Sale by Owner (FSBO) route, but it’s not always the best choice for everyone.
Before making a decision, it’s a good idea to take a look into the main advantages of hiring a listing agent instead of selling your home yourself. Doing so can give you an idea of just how much an agent can help you, and exactly how they earn their fee.
Getting the Price Right
One of the most difficult things to do as a seller is to set the right price for your home. It takes a lot of up-to-date market research and insider knowledge to arrive at an accurate figure. The consequences of getting your price wrong can result in either:
- selling your home for far less than it’s worth and consequently losing out on thousands of dollars;
- your overpriced home staying on the market for far too long as no buyer will approach it.
A good listing agent will know the local market inside out and will quickly be able to arrive at the right price for your home. As well as working experience, they also have access to the tools of the trade that make this task easy.
Professional Listings with a Wide Reach
When selling your home, it’s important that your listing is visible to a wide audience of potential buyers, especially when competition is tough. On top of that, it’s also got to look great in order to stand out. It is possible to create a high quality listing yourself, but you’ll need the proper photography equipment—including wide angle lenses to capture entire rooms—the skills to use it, photo editing experience and some good ideas about how to stage your space.
A good listing agent can do all of this for you, and more. Nowadays, an increasing number of agents are able to provide virtual tours and drone photography, offering a more complete look at your home. With a stunning listing created, agents can normally reach a wider audience using MLS (multi-listing services), magazines and their own websites and affiliates.
Buyers Are More at Ease
Many buyers may be a little wary of viewing and making offers on homes that are for sale by owner (FSBO). It’s also harder for many to consider negotiating with an individual rather than a listing agent.
Those buyers that do come to view the home may be uncomfortable being shown around by the current owner. This can lead to a rushed viewing in which they haven’t voiced their concerns or opinions for fear of upsetting the current owner. A listing agent acts as a professional go-between that a buyer can feel more comfortable doing business with.
The art of negotiation doesn’t come naturally to all of us—in fact, most of us are downright bad at it! But for a good listing agent, it’s a key skill, and one they would have honed over many years. An agent can help you dissect any offers that you receive and provide advice as to whether they’re worth considering or not.
When it comes to negotiating, their experience will help you to work out how far you can go. Paired with a deep understanding of the current market, plus research into potential buyers, they can help you respond to any offers or conditional offers with the terms that are most likely to get a buyer to bite.
Experience and Contacts in the Field
A real estate transaction in which everything runs smoothly is a rare thing. Every now and then, paperwork might get filled out incorrectly, or an issue with the home itself might arise. As an owner selling your home yourself, these problems can be extremely stressful, but for a listing agent, it’s part of the job.
Agents have the experience to ensure that any problems that do arise are soon resolved, and they have the connections to make it happen. From lawyers to contractors, real estate agents have a wide network of people they can call on to make your problems disappear.
Selling your home yourself is indeed possible, but the benefits to be gained by using an agent shouldn’t be neglected. While their commission may seem high, they might even end up saving you money in the long run.