Selling a home is nothing like finding a buyer for a piece of furniture or even a car; it’s a complicated process with a great deal of paperwork. Unless you’re a real estate agent yourself, you’ll need some help if you want to sell your home for top dollar!
And if you wish to sell your home for the highest price, you can’t cut corners. Trying to save money by listing it as an FSBO (for sale by owner) may result in losing more than you expected.
There are several reasons to use a real estate agent to sell your home. Here are some ways working with a real estate agent is more beneficial than trying to sell your home by yourself:
1. Access to the MLS
The MLS, or Multiple Listing Service, is a private offer of cooperation and compensation by listing brokers to other real estate brokers. It is a one-stop shop for home buyers and sellers.
The MLS is where the buyers are looking and it’s the most up-to-date resource. Syndicated sites are not updated as frequently.Charity Timmens, Integrity Home Group at Keller Williams Avenues
Being featured on the MLS is crucial for successfully selling your home. It can give your property the most prominent exposure. You have a guarantee of active buyers viewing your listing, thus increasing your chances of selling quickly.
When featured on the MLS, the property is exposed to more qualified buyers working with an agent who has, more often than not, been pre-approved for financing.Jeff Oman, Source One Realty LLC
This tool alone can find a buyer for your home. Without it, you will have a hard time generating the right traffic to your listing.
2. Buyers are Leery of FSBOs
Buyers are generally not interested in an FSBO listing. With FSBOs, there are often no legal documents or proofs of transactions. Many people have found themselves in situations where they lost their money because the transaction was not official; in other words, a scam.
With a real estate agent, if the seller asks for a deposit, documentation must prove that the seller can no longer back out of the deal.
Very few sellers know how to handle the sales process. Luckily, when you add an agent to the equation, neither party (buyer or seller) has to worry about moving parts. The agents can take care of both parties, providing all the proper documentation and ensuring everything runs smoothly.
When the transaction goes through a real estate agent or brokerage, neither party is at risk of getting scammed. Overall, it’s a much more pleasant experience for everyone involved. It’s no wonder that buyers prefer working with real estate agencies.
3. Real Estate Agents Act in Your Best Interest
A real estate agent’s primary job is to sell your house for its maximum value. When you’re working with a listing agent, you can be sure that everything they do is in your best interest. They want to sell your home just as much as you do.
Real estate agents are required to have a real estate license, which allows them to facilitate sales of properties. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), an agent must act in the client’s best interest, even if that means neglecting their own best interest. It is their job to remain loyal to the client and prevent any conflict of interest. Therefore, a real estate agent cannot accept work from a person if it may cause a conflict of interest. For example, they cannot buy a property from their client, secretly knowing they’ve settled on a lower price than the property’s market value, and then immediately sell it for a profit.
We are always putting forward and working toward the best price for the seller. Ultimately, in the listing contract negotiations, you recommend the price backed by comparables and data then the client decides on the final price taking your knowledge into consideration. Agents have more access to and understanding of comparables than an FSBO.Jeff Oman, Source One Realty LLC
Your listing agent must disclose all information about the property to the homeowner. This can include factors that may influence the house price, the identities of potential buyers, and so on. Additionally, a real estate agent cannot hide their relationship with a potential buyer if there is one.
4. Listing Agents are Marketing Experts
Even if you consider yourself a marketing guru, listing agents have access to and knowledge of marketing tools specific to real estate. Marketing is not only for designing pretty social media ads. Professional real estate agents know which channels to use to communicate to the right audience most effectively. They know which markets to target with their listings. They know what buyers look for in a property, and they can position your home in a way that’s appealing to potential buyers.
They know how to approach home buyers and what offers appeal to them. They are also skilled in pricing properties and getting the maximum value without scaring buyers away.
I think now that social media and the big tech platforms are more important than ever. We have access to targeted advertising on social media that the average FSBO doesn’t have or doesn’t know about. These marketing tools and know-how allows us to put a listing in front of more buyers.Kimberly Miranda, Keller Williams Realty
When the time comes to do a showing or an open house, a listing agent will know exactly how to prepare your home. People not in the real estate industry rarely understand what buyers look for and what questions they will pose. An agent knows what to say and will answer any question the buyer might have. A great real estate agent can paint a beautiful picture of any house.
In addition to preparing your home for an open house, a listing agent will hire a professional real estate photographer. Using professional listing images to market your home will generate more traffic online and help you find your buyer quicker. In fact, professional listing images get 2x more clicks than amateur real estate images.
Professional photography and digital marketing draw in the most interest and create increased demand for the property, putting the sellers in a multiple offer scenario. Professional real estate photography is much better than using smartphone images because it demonstrates a sense of professionalism to the seller as well as the buyer.
Mark Evan Israelitt (Izzy), Cornel Realty, LLC
Other marketing strategies include virtual tours, single listing websites, aerial videos, twilight photography, and interactive floorplans. Real estate agents have relationships with marketing companies, which makes the entire process hands-off for the seller.
Adding a Matterport 3D tour is another vital marketing tool because people can walk through virtually! Buyers can complete a thorough virtual walkthrough and when they call for a showing I know it’s a serious buyer.Mark Evan Israelitt (Izzy), Cornel Realty, LLC
5. You’ll Earn More Money for Your Home
Without real estate experience, you can easily undervalue your home and lose out on an opportunity to make more money. That often happens when the seller is in a hurry to sell their house. Setting the price too low can land you at a significant loss. Unfortunately, it’s a common occurrence with FSBOs. FSBOs lost 16% of the market price in 2015.
A price that’s too high is no good either as you’ll have a difficult time finding a buyer, and end up with an expired listing. Buyers and buyers agents will recognize that your house is not worth the price you’re asking. If that’s the case, it will take you a while to figure that out, too, until you eventually lower the cost.
You can’t stay on top of real estate market trends, and you’re not expected to! A listing agent knows precisely when the market fluctuates and how much your property is worth at any given moment. They will help you identify the perfect price. Their job is to maximize the potential value of your house and sell it for that value. According to NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, working with a professional agent can earn you an average of 10% more on your property.
6. Agents Know the Entire Home Selling Process
Sellers tend to focus on the fact that they have to pay commission without completely understanding why. The truth is, you’re paying a professional. A great real estate agent is a master negotiator that can get you the highest price without going too high and scaring potential buyers away.
A real estate agent will also take over all the legal aspects of the transaction. You might not realize just how many legal aspects and paperwork selling a home entails! Luckily, you can hire someone who already knows all the ins and outs of the home buying process.
Paperwork is the most tedious part of any transaction. It’s also unavoidable with a transaction of this size. Leave it up to a listing agent to manage the tedious paperwork while you prepare for your move.
Learn more about the home selling process and download the home selling blueprint: https://www.virtuance.com/blog/selling-your-home/
7. Realtors Have a Large Buyer Network
FSBOs have minimal options when it comes to getting exposure. Let’s say you hired a professional photographer for the listing photos and a copywriter for the description. You still don’t have access to the right tools. Posting your listing on Facebook Marketplace won’t get you far, and paying a third-party website to display your property may not generate the traffic you need.
One of the main benefits of working with a listing agent is access to their buyer network and the local MLS. Additionally, you wouldn’t be your listing agent’s only client; they may also have home buyer clients or work closely with a buyer’s agent.
I’m a resource for people looking for an agent in a different market. I will research my contacts, interview them, then make a recommendation. Every time an agent asks for a showing I add them to my contacts. All agents have a public ID which I use for their contact so that way if the agent changes brokerage I still have their details.Mark Evan Israelitt (Izzy), Cornel Realty, LLC
If the real estate agent you’re working with is attached to an agency, you can access even more buyers and professionals in the field. They can get tips from their colleagues and connect you with the right people.
8. Selling a Home is Time-Consuming
Selling a house is rarely a matter of a couple of days. However, it shouldn’t take you longer than a few months to sell either. Realtor.com claims that in August of 2020, homes were on the market for an average span of 56 days. That said, an average buyer takes around 45 days to get their mortgage loan in order. Do the math, and you’re left with 11 days to find the perfect buyer.
From the time a property is listed to when the closing documents are signed it takes about 80 to 90 hours of my time over the course of 30 to 45 days.Kimberly Miranda, Keller Williams Realty
Eleven days is a good number to aim for, though each case is very individual. You might think 11 days is a miraculous number, and you might be right. FSBOs rarely sell in record time. In fact, in 2017, around 18% of FSBOs couldn’t sell in the timeframe chosen by the sellers.
Right now it’s approximately 2 weeks from listing to an offer. The current low inventory is driving great interest and multiple offers. I work with both buyers and sellers.Mark Evan Israelitt (Izzy), Cornel Realty, LLC
How fast you can sell will largely depend on the location, price, condition of the property, and other factors. A Realtor can help you meet your goal and sell your property faster.
If you’re not sure how to go about the process of selling your house, it might be a bit late to pursue an education in real estate. However, it’s never too late to hire a professional real estate agent. They will save you time and money while making the entire process less stressful. With a great listing agent, you can list your home through the right channels, price it to sell (for maximum value), and find your ideal buyer.