Do I Need a Real Estate Agent to Sell My Property?
If you’ve decided to sell your home, you’ve just answered the first in a long series of questions. The next will be, “Do I need a real estate agent to sell my property?”
Technically, you can sell a property without enlisting the services of a real estate agent. But there are plenty of reasons why you should consult with one anyway, ranging from convenience to legal issues to potentially attaining a higher selling price. Here’s what you need to know.
Achieve much higher visibility. Only licensed agents can enter a home into the multiple listing service, or MLS. Once your home is in the system, any licensed buyer’s agent in the state can share it with their clients. The listing will also show up on multiple websites which draw from the MLS.
Realtors connect clients with faster sales. Many buyers are under pressure to find a new home quickly, either because their own home has sold, they’re relocating for work, or some other pressing reason. These buyers usually go straight to a realtor and ask to see every home in the area that fits their criteria, and quickly. This is true even though they’ve often done research online first. If your home is not represented in the MLS and by an agent, the reality is that a “FSBO” (For Sale by Owner) home will most likely be lower on the show list of a buyer’s agent.
Avoid unnecessary hassles. An experienced real estate agent can tell you if your home needs updates to show better and spot any other problems that could hold up the sale of your home. With this information at hand, you can address those problems head-on rather than be surprised at the last moment during a promising negotiation.
A seller’s agent protects your interests. By law, your real estate agent is bound to fiduciary duty to their clients. This means they must act in your best interest. Their expertise can help to avoid the disputes that can and often do occur after a real estate transaction is completed, or help extricate from any disputes that might arise.
A real estate agent knows how to market your home correctly. Because they talk to buyers and sellers every day, real estate agents understand current and upcoming trends in the market. They know which buyers will be most interested in your home, which standout qualities will attract interest, and how to leverage that information to get more visibility for your listing.
Benefit from the services of an experienced negotiator. Negotiations are a large part of a real estate agent’s job. Aside from haggling over price, a skilled real estate agent can get you the best terms and close a deal quickly, without unnecessary delays and hassles.
Agents can find just the right buyer for your home. Aside from working with their own buyers, real estate agents network constantly with other agents. If there is a buyer out there looking for a home just like yours, a real estate agent will find them, including through networks, real estate caravans and their brokerages.
Agents can handle the tremendous amount of work needed for a transaction. A real estate transaction requires a considerable amount of work. Who is going to coordinate with the buyer’s home inspector, the termite inspector, the appraiser and the potential other inspectors who will visit the home? Who will coordinate with escrow? There is a tremendous amount of effort required, and the agent will assume that burden.
Agents can provide the multiple required documents and help you find the necessary affiliate services. When you sell your home there are multiple disclosures a seller should provide to the buyer, some required by law and all necessary to help protect yourself as a seller from future liability. You will also need to connect to an escrow company and a title company, at a minimum, in order to complete your transaction. An agent can assist you with all of these matters. Absent an agent you will be on your own, and most individuals have no idea how to handle this situation.
Save yourself the hassle. Selling a home can quickly become a maze of paperwork and legal red tape. Experienced real estate agents navigate this maze every day. They have already mapped out the path of least resistance. Save yourself the stress and hassle of endless paperwork and legal hang-ups, and consult with a seller’s agent instead.
As for those legal hang-ups, give us a call if you have any questions or dilemmas. Our real estate attorneys can help you sort out any complications so that the sale of your home can proceed as smoothly as possible.