Whether you are buying, selling, or both, it's important to have someone in your corner who knows the market and knows the business of buying and selling homes. For both buyers and sellers, your agent will not only treat you ethically according to our stringent Code of Ethics, your agent will also offer professional advice and an objective point of view, will handle paperwork and other minutiae, and will negotiate on your behalf to get you the best deal you can get.
Read more to see why you should always hire a Realtor®.
6 Reasons sellers should always hire a Realtor®
For a seller, the benefits of having a Realtor® far outweigh the money spent on agent commissions.
1. To Take Advantage of Professional Advice
Your seller's agent will be able to explain the selling process to you from start to finish so that you know what to expect. They will make sure they know what you hope to get for your home and will offer comparable home sales prices so you know what is reasonable to expect.
Before listing your home, your Realtor® will offer advice on everything from what repairs and updates are needed before listing the home and a list of reputable vendors who can do the repairs and updates to staging your home for photographs.
2. To Get an Objective Point of View
The reality is that we love our houses and we love the things we put in our houses. We love the colors of our walls and the tiles on our floors. We love the photos of our families and the cute artwork our kids draw for us. But buyers may not love those things. In fact, they may downright dislike them. Because people are all different, we all have different tastes. Your Realtor® will be able to help you determine what items to leave out and what items to pack away before you list; and what features to leave as-is and what features to change (like that bright purple wall that needs to be painted in a neutral color). Your Realtor® will offer an objective point of view to help you declutter and depersonalize your home so that potential buyers can envision their own things and their own families in the home.
3. To Secure a Higher Sale Price
According to the National Association of Realtors®, "FSBOs [For Sale By Owner] typically sell for less than the selling price of other homes; FSBO homes sold at a median of $260,000 last year, significantly lower than the median of agent-assisted homes at $318,000." That's a difference of about 18%, leaving quite a bit of money on the table, even after paying agent commissions.
4. To Achieve a Faster Sale
Unless you already know someone personally who wants to buy your house, it's likely that it will sell faster if you use a real estate agent. Your Realtor® will list your home in the MLS (which then goes out to numerous third-party sites like Zillow and Realtor.com). Your Realtor® will also list your home on all their social media platforms and their website (if they have one) and use their connections within the business - like their fellow agents and agents they have worked with in the past - to help your home sell faster. Your Realtor® will host an open house (or multiple open houses) to reach the general public faster and will advertise that open house in the MLS and on social media. More exposure generally means a faster sale (for a higher price versus selling it yourself).
5. To Have Someone Else to Handle all the Minutiae
How valuable is your time? Do you work? Do you enjoy spending time with family and friends? Selling your house on your own will definitely take away from your regularly-scheduled life. Having a Realtor® help you sell your home just makes a seller's life so much easier. Your agent will assist with staging, take professional photos, offer digital (and possibly print, depending on the market) advertising, manage all showings, compile and review offers, make sure that paperwork is handled appropriately, ensure that deadlines are met, and a host of other smaller tasks like putting up and taking down yard signs. Having someone else to handle the mundane tasks can free you up for more important things.
6. To Have an Expert Negotiator Handle All Negotiations
Not only will your Realtor® compile and review offers, but they will also provide expert advice on which offers are best. They will review all negotiable items in the contract and handle all negotiations between the seller and the buyer's agent on the seller's behalf. They don't call it "the art of negotiation" for nothing. Knowing how far you can push without pushing a buyer away is an art form, and sellers who are emotionally-invested generally have a difficult time seeing that line.
6 Reasons a buyer should always hire a Realtor®
For buyers, except in unique circumstances, having a buyer's agent costs you nothing. Sellers pay the buyer's agent's commission, so for a buyer, there are no downsides to having a professional real estate agent assist in the purchase of your home.
1. To Take Advantage of Professional Advice
Your buyer's agent will start by making sure you understand the buying process and making sure they know exactly what you are looking for in your new home. They will probably ask questions about details you may not have even thought of but are important to you.
Your Realtor® will be able to send you homes that fit your criteria directly from the MLS as soon as they hit the market. They will be able to see what homes are coming soon so that you can be the first in line to view them.
Your agent will offer advice on areas that meet the criteria you are searching for. Looking for a neighborhood with great walking trails? Your agent will tell you which ones have miles of beautiful trails.
Your Realtor® will be able to advise you on pros and cons of buying a new build home versus buying a resale home.
And your Realtor® will also be able to give you a list of reputable and trustworthy service providers - from loan officers and inspectors to insurance agents and home warranty companies.
2. To Get an Objective Point of View
Buying a home can be an emotional process, and sometimes buyers lose perspective. Yes, that kitchen is spacious and the front porch is lovely, but the house needs a new roof and it's 58 minutes from your job. Having an objective observer to weigh the pros and cons with can be extremely beneficial during the home-buying process.
3. To Buy for a Reasonable Sale Price
Because buying a home can be an emotional process, it's easy to fall in love with a home and risk over-paying for it. Your Realtor® will provide you with a list of comparable home sales to make sure you are not paying over market value for the home you love.
4. To Have Someone to Handle the Mountains of Paperwork and other Details.
An official offer on the promulgated form by the Texas Real Estate Commission is eleven pages long, with over a dozen negotiable items. There are numerous addenda available, and your Realtor® will know which ones are necessary for your particular home purchase.
Your agent will also keep up-to-date with communications from the lender (if applicable) and the title company, will assist in understanding the inspection report, and will make sure that important deadlines are met.
5. To have a Negotiations Expert On Your Side
As I mentioned, just in the main 11-page contract, there are over a dozen negotiable items, with more negotiable items on the various addenda. You need a negotiations expert to fight for the best terms for your home purchase, which is so much more than just the sales price.
6. To Have an Emotional Rock to Lean On
"Lean on me when you're not strong. I'll be your friend. I'll help you carry on!" Bill Withers was probably not a real estate agent in his spare time, but the sentiment rings true. Buying a house can be an emotional roller coaster, especially during a strong seller's market when your offers keep getting rejected. But your Realtor® will be your rock. They will be persistent and determined. They will be your friend that you can lean on when you're down and they will hug you when you finally finish up at the closing table.
Whether you are buying or selling, you need a Realtor® to be with you from start to finish, offering professional advice, keeping track of the details, and making sure you get the best deal possible.
Click the photo to claim your free Ultimate Guide to Katy, TX!
Carolyn Barnes, Your REALTOR® & Katy Expert