Why should I use a Real Estate Agent to sell my home?
This is a very common question that Real Estate Agents, like myself, are often asked by Home Sellers. A Real Estate Agent will matter, when you want to sell a home, for many reasons, I’ll discuss here. So let’s jump in.
When you have been considering selling a home, you may have asked yourself, if you indeed, need a Real Estate Agent to sell your home. You’ve wondered, if you can sell your home and save yourself some money. This thought may be present in some Seller’s minds yet, it should simply be a fleeting, momentary thought. When you have worked very hard, saved money to purchase your home, often giving up other things you wanted, in order to pursue homeownership, you wouldn’t want to treat the selling of your home casually trying to embark on the task of selling a home when you are not a Real Estate Professional. By no means, am I saying that ALL Real Estate Agents should be treated as Professionals because, just like any Professional you’ll want to check their credentials and past performance on selling homes. A Professional possesses distinctive qualifications; someone who is an expert at her/his work. Just like you check a Doctor you visit when you have a health ailment, or a Tax Advisor when you need tax advice or an Attorney when you need legal advice and so on, you want to make sure the Real Estate Agent is a trusted Professional in their field.
So what is all the fuss about what a Real Estate Agent can do for you?
Did you know that a Real Estate licensee is licensed to practice Real Estate and that every few years they must take continuing education courses in order to have their license renewed? And most Professional Real Estate Agents who are dedicated to their profession are constantly seeking new and updated knowledge of the Real Estate Market.
If you hire a Real Estate Agent, what should you expect from one?
Setting a price for your home. It’s not a number that is pulled out of a hat but, by setting emotion aside, it is determined by looking at recent closed sales of other like homes, homes currently under contract and those currently active for sale and competing with your home for sale. It’s not what your neighbors think your home should sell for or based upon an emotional appeal due to your feelings about your home. Sure, as a South Florida Real Estate Agent, I understand what your home means to you, as our homes provide comfort and so many memories but, we can’t let that cloud our decision making and this isn’t always easy to do when we’re so attached to our homes. This is often the #1 area where a Home Seller is adversely affected when setting a price to sell their home, when the very goal of not using a Real Estate Agent was to save money. By not setting the right price, Home Sellers often end up pricing their home incorrectly and find themselves chasing the market only to make less money than had they hired a Real Estate Professional to begin with.
Presenting your Home. How your home is presented to Buyers in the market for a new home is critical in your home standing out from the competition. You’ll see high quality photos and as many photos as the MLS allows. My MLS Board that I’m a member of here in South Florida allows a maximum of 25 photos. How many quality photos do you think my Home Sellers have? Yes, you guessed it – 25 unless there are certain circumstances where the maximum aren’t possible or warranted which is not the norm. Before I even come to take photos of my Seller’s homes, I let them know how to best prepare for photos. Preparation is always key.
Getting your home to be seen by Buyers. A skilled Real Estate Agent knows how to get your home seen by Buyers over the internet. Did you know that over 90% of Buyers search for their home over the Internet? How are you going to get your home in front of those Buyers? Do you have a strong Internet presence? No, then how will you reach these Buyers? You can’t simply rely on your yard sign or posting on “For Sale by Owner” sites to reach Buyers searching for new homes, as most will not search the For Sale by Owners site, as they desire a Professional to handle the Real Estate transaction. Real Estate Agents need to first know how to market themselves over the Internet. Go ahead and “Google” their name. There should be entry after entry of their work over the Internet and if not, skip them because if they aren’t capable of marketing themselves how will they ever be able to market your home for sale?
Negotiating the Buyers offer for you. What should you, as a Home Seller, be looking for from a Buyer who is interested in buying your home? How do you get the top price for your home while, making sure the Buyer is well qualified to make the purchase, whether paying cash or financing: how would you do this? What are your negotiation skills? Do you have experience in negotiating Real Estate contracts or any type of contract, for that matter? A Real Estate Agent will make sure the Real Estate Purchase Contract’s “i” ‘s are dotted and “t” ’s are crossed. As a Home Seller, are you well versed in South Florida Real Estate contracts? Are you familiar with escrow deposits, contract time frames, financing contingencies, inspection contingencies and the importance of adhering to these? A Professional Real Estate Agent knows what these mean and their effect on the Real Estate transaction. Please keep in mind, that you should never receive legal advice from a Real Estate Agent, as you’d seek legal advice from a Real Estate Attorney for that.
Negotiate inspection results. When the Buyer completes their home inspection they may ask for the moon in what they want you, as the Seller, to repair and/or offer a credit towards, as reported in the inspection report. Do you know how to negotiate this for a favorable outcome?
Making sure the Real Estate transaction moves along smoothly to a final settlement at closing. A Real Estate Agent will make sure the escrow deposit is provided, keep track of the financing commitment time period, inspection time periods and be kept informed of Buyer’s Lender’s progress towards Buyer’s loan approval, when financing, in order to meet the closing date. Essentially, keeping everybody on track to meet closing date. How will you do that when you’re likely working a full time job yourself and need to communicate during business hours?
Get you to the closing table. A Real Estate Agent’s professionalism and expertise will get you to the closing table while, limiting the possibility of last minute surprises that can halt a closing in its track. This will have been made possible, due to all the points made above.
So when you say that it is time to sell my home, think twice when you think about going it alone, as a Professional, well-qualified Real Estate Agent will be worth it. Of course, you don’t want to be one of the stories you heard about regarding the horror Real Estate transaction, so make sure that you choose wisely. If you would like to hear some real stories from real people that I’ve represented in my Real Estate transactions, please visit my site and stroll down towards the bottom of the page to read the stories.
This article was written by by Lynn Pineda, your Coral Springs Realtor and South Florida REALTOR® with Keller Williams Partners Realty.