Although there are resources to help you and benefits to handling this task alone – like saving some of the commission fee – there are more known downfalls than advantages when it comes to selling your own home. Selling a house can be a complex process. Here are seven tasks a good realtor will take care of for you.
Setting the Price
The selling process generally begins with the determination of a reasonable asking price. Your real estate agent, or realtor, can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in your local marketplace, as well as the price, financing, and terms and conditions of competing properties. Often, your agent can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the saleability of the property. These are key factors in marketing your home and selling it at the best price.
Knowing Your Property Details
In addition to the price of your home, you need to know the details of your property to sell it. Before listing a property and inviting prospective buyers in, it is critical that you ensure you have full information on the property, including all relevant documentation. This may include having your water tested, your property surveyed, or your title searched. A title search will make sure that everything that could block the title transfer (such as an outstanding mortgage or lien) has been discharged - all things that an agent has experience completing.
Marketing exposes your property to the public, as well as to other real estate agents, through a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, and other resources. You would have to personally incur the cost for all the marketing if you were to attempt to sell on your own. On the other hand, an agent will know when, where and how to advertise and which medium, format, and frequency will work best for your home and your market. However, though advertising can be valuable, the notion that advertising is the biggest seller of real estate is a misconception. The National Association of Realtors’ studies show that 82 percent of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts from previous clients, referrals, friends, family, and personal contacts.
When a property is marketed with an agent's help, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Agents will generally pre-screen and accompany qualified prospects through your property. When selling your house privately, screening calls, booking and conducting showings, and answering questions all become your responsibility.
Your agent can help you objectively evaluate every buyer's proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections, and financing. Your agent can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.
Monitoring, Renegotiating and Closing
Between the initial sales agreement and the closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, if there are unexpected repairs that require the buyer to obtain financing or a problem in the title is discovered. The required paperwork, alone, is overwhelming for most sellers. Your agent is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing.
Getting Expert Assistance
Finally, consider the scale of your transaction. Selling your home is one of the biggest financial decisions you'll make. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to solve it without the help of a professional? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the relatively small cost of hiring a realtor and the large potential risk of not hiring one, it's smart to find a professional to sell your home.