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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Why Hire a Real Estate Agent to Sell My Home?

This is an update of an original article posted here in 2008 titled "Go it alone or hire a real estate agent?"  

With the real estate market showing signs of recovery (fewer homes on the market and prices rising), I anticipate more sellers will consider the question of whether to hire an agent or go it alone.

Selling a house is more than placing a sign out front and maybe an advertisement on Craigslist!
  • Pricing.  Do you know the real market price of your home?  What you paid for your home or how much money you put into it over the years does not really equal the market price.  A market analysis with recent actual sales is the best predictor of a real market price.
  • Time.  Unless you price way below market there will likely be an investment of time required to get your home sold.  Do you have time for scheduling appointments and being present when potential buyers want to view your home?
  • Safety.  Who are those individuals who will be coming in your home? While most real estate agents do not usually know their clients very well, they do have mechanisms in place to verify identify and ability to purchase a home. In this day and age, safety is a real concern for all, including professional real estate agents.
  • Marketing Plan.  How are you going to market your home?  A sign only works if your target market is people driving by your home!   You need to identify who will most likely be your buyer and target efforts at that pool of buyers.
  • Experience.  Have you previously completed such a transaction?  Experience is a great teacher - just ask any real estate agent
  • Preparing Your Home.  A potential buyer will either be interested or turned off all within the first ten seconds after they arrive.  Think curb appeal, remove clutter, clean, neutral paint.  An inspection before you place it on the market with or without an agent should be considered.
  • The process.  Even if you have the negotiation skills of a car salesman, you need to understand the process.  Have you looked at all the potential closing costs so you know where you stand?  What about buyer inspections?  What about seller disclosure requirements? 
So should you go it alone or hire a professional?  Think about this... just because you can does not mean you should..

If you are considering selling your home and considering whether to go it alone or hire a real estate agent, call me.  I will answer your questions and even provide a free market analysis.

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