There are many more buyers than sellers
in the market, so why should you spend money for a real estate agent to market
your house? Heck, you could just put it on Zillow, put a sign in the yard and
tell your friends on Facebook.
Finding a buyer is the easy part, and
realtors are much more than marketers.
My value as a 30-year agent is the
knowledge of years of home selling in this market. My
value to my clients in this market really comes when we start receiving offers. Offers come in all shapes and
sizes. If we receive multiple offers, we have to assess not only how
they fit your needs and wants, but we also have to play by the rules of the
contract, the lender, the insurance company, the title company, etc.
Let’s say you are lucky enough to
receive multiple offers on your home, now what? Do you just choose the highest
price? What if one of the offers comes in with a letter describing their family
and how they would be a perfect for the neighborhood? (Be careful with
these letters, as there could be discrimination lawsuits from bitter bidders
who did not get the winning bid). What happens if they ask for inspections?
What if they ask for warranties? What if the house doesn’t appraise? What
happens if you have 3 identical offers but 3 different lenders and 3 different
agents? How do you differentiate between
the offers? Does the contract call for title insurance (almost all do), do you
know which lenders, title companies, home inspectors, and agents are reputable?
Do you know which ones realtors stay away from?
We also have to know what might be
customary during certain markets, might not be in this market. Then we have those awkward situations
that make it difficult to overcome without prior knowledge of going through the
If you are selling yourself, how do you
collect earnest monies? How do you set
up an appraisal? Should you be there for an inspection or an
appraisal? What if the buyer’s lender says they cannot get the loan done
As I mentioned, in the current sellers’
market, my value, and a good agent’s value, comes from experience in dealing which
these issues on a regular basis. Attorneys are not good substitutes for agents
when it comes to the whole home selling process. They specialize only in the legal process.
Orchestrating all the players in a home
purchase is worth the fees, especially in a market where multiple offers on a
home is the norm. Remember, in a seller’s market, sellers are usually selling
for a much higher price than in a traditional market so even with the selling
fees, the net to the seller is usually much more than selling on their
own. Sellers also have peace of mind knowing that they have not left
money on the table or have the worry of possibly getting sued.
Before you throw a sign in the yard,
make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. With agents trying
to secure your listing (with the promise of a buyer), there will be investors,
strangers taking photos of the house, people walking through your yard (buyers
are getting desperate), and calls at all times of the day & night. Are you really up to it?
Talk to a professional before you choose
to go it alone. A true professional will give you all the information you
need and then you can choose which course of action to take.
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