Hiring a Real Estate Agent — Five Top Reasons
When it comes to real estate, novices might not realize that buyers and sellers are on opposing sides of a negotiation. After all, they both want the same thing, right?
Well, no, that’s not the case. The aims of a seller directly oppose the goals of the buyer. More specifically, the buyer wants the property for the lowest possible bid with the highest possible concessions from the seller. The homeowner, on the other side, wants the highest possible profit while giving up the fewest allowances to the buyer.
And yet … they each want the transaction to complete and the home to change hands.
That’s why you need an agent when selling your house. Check out these five things your agent provides.
- Money, money, money – recent studies indicate that sellers not using agents, or FSBO (for sale by owner) lost as much as thirty percent over sellers using an agent. Regardless of whether you use an agent, likely your buyer will, so you still end up paying the commission … but getting nothing in exchange. When both buyer and seller use agents, they often split the commission, and each of you gets representation.
- Paperwork – unless you buy and sell often, you probably don’t have a full understanding of all the documentation that goes into a real estate deal. Modern purchase agreements often top ten pages. Along with that are local, state, and even federal requirements. If you need a contingency or the buyer asks for one, that adds more paperwork. Then there’s proof of mitigation paperwork for mold, termites or other pests, and a host of other possibilities. Even if you’re set on going this alone, you should consider hiring a broker for a flat fee to review your paperwork. Miss-filed or missing documents, mistakes, or omissions can cost thousands in legal fees.
- Comparable sales – when you go it alone, setting the wrong price can jeopardize your sale or lose you money. Your agent knows what the comparable sales are, even those in the “pending” stage, that you do not have access to for price setting. You may think the house across the street that sold for $X is comparable to your, but your agent knows about upgrades or concessions that went into that sale. Your home could be worth far more.
- Fiduciary responsibility – an agent has the legal obligation to represent the client’s interests first. Doing so means protection of your confidentiality in the negotiations, the revelation of your financials, and other confidential information a buyer’s agent might ask you to share. Your agent knows what’s proper and what’s not for the buyer to know.
- The art of the deal – negotiating the contract that sells your home for the most cash back to you isn’t always about the selling price. Sometimes it about who pays for items during closing or what repairs need doing ahead and which won’t get you the best return on your investment.
Unless you’re skilled in all these areas, it makes sense to hire an agent to represent you and protect your interests. If you’re ready to sell, don’t go it alone. Reach out to your real estate professional today.