If you're thinking of selling your home this year, one of the many things you might be considering is whether or not you should hire a real estate agent. You think you know a few potential buyers, so you’re being tempted to try to sell your home yourself and just pocket the cash you would otherwise pay an agent. But at the end of the day, will it be worth it?
Knowing a few buyers isn’t the end of a real estate transaction. There are other rigorous steps and processes involved, many of which can be stressful and costly especially when not handled properly. A good real estate professional does much more than just show your home to people. They’ll do everything from paperwork to networking, and make sure they are looking out for your best interests.
In order for you to save time and effort, we've listed down five major reasons why you should hire a local and trusted real estate agent to guide you in your home selling journey.
Part of your due diligence before putting your home for sale is to at least have a good understanding of your local housing market. Such insight will help you in many ways, including knowing what buyers are looking for in a home, whether your area is a buyer's market or a seller’s market, recent sale prices in your neighborhood, listing prices vs selling prices, and so on.
Since the housing market conditions are constantly changing, you need all the help you can get. This is where you can tap into the knowledge of a local real estate agent. Aside from having the latest information about national housing trends and your local market conditions, they can explain what all of this means for you as a seller, so you can make better decisions that maximize your profits through the sale.
You know your primary goal is to sell your home for the best price, in the shortest time possible. But the question is, do you have any idea how you are going to price your property? Since it's one of your biggest investments, you’re more likely to think that your home is worth more and thus, overprice. Such a move is risky because it can deter buyers from checking your property seeing that it is out of their price range. This could lead to your house sitting on the market for longer, losing you precious time and money.
An experienced real estate agent can provide an unbiased eye when they help you determine the right listing price for your house. They conduct a so-called comparative market analysis to study what similar homes in the area sold for. This also includes checking the condition of your home and any upgrades you’ve made, and comparing it to recently sold homes in your area to find the best price. Since pricing can make or break the sale of your home, your agent can help you come up with a number that’s fair but also appealing to prospective buyers.
A good real estate agent has a large variety of tools at their disposal, including but not limited to their social media followers, agency connections and resources, and best of all, access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The MLS is a database used by real estate agents and brokers where they can share information about properties for sale. This ensures that your property gets in front of people looking to make a purchase. Without access to these tools, your buyer pool and your home's selling potential will be limited.
Before putting your house on the market, there are things you need to do to get it ready for sale. Among those include decluttering, deep cleaning, and even making necessary updates, to make it more appealing to prospective buyers, especially for listing photos and during showings.
If you are overwhelmed or wondering what home improvements you're supposed to make, you can count on your real estate agent to give you insightful suggestions. They can point out which parts of your house need sprucing, and which ones are fine just the way they are. You’ll be more informed about which home improvement projects don’t cost much, but will deliver the best return on your investment. Moreover, a reliable agent will also highlight any upgrades on your listing to make it stand out in your market.
Selling a home means you will have to deal with a ton of paperwork, including real estate documents, reports, and contracts laden with industry jargon that can be overwhelming. Not to mention that each state has its own requirements when it comes to things like seller forms, disclosures, appraisals, among others.
A reliable real estate agent will take the time to explain the purpose of each document before you fill them out, clarify the terms before you agree and sign on them, and answer any questions you may have. By reviewing all the necessary documents with the help of your agent, you can avoid any costly missteps that could occur if you try to handle them on your own.
Aside from thinking about the asking price you want for your house, you also need to address other terms of the sale, such as contingencies, closing costs and other fees, as well as moving date. You'd be going head-to-head with not only the buyer, but also other parties involved, including the buyer’s agent, real estate attorney (if the buyer has any), home inspector, and appraiser. Even if you’re a skilled negotiator yourself, having a real estate agent who will protect your best interests is critical. Since they have studied your property with all its details and features, and know what buyers are looking for in your area, it’ll be a lot easier to sell your house on your terms knowing that you’ve got a trusted real estate agent representing you at the negotiating table.
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