Real estate sales are hard work for both buyers and sellers. Buyers need to sift through thousands upon thousands of listings to find a home that has the right features and is within their budget. Sellers need to somehow come up with a fair price for their pride and joy and then juggle multiple interested buyers through all the stages of the selling process. Both parties also need an understanding of the housing market to help them make informed decisions. And then, there is the negotiating!
It’s no wonder then that many people see a real estate agent as a “necessary evil” – someone they have to hire on the basis of commission simply because they don’t have the time or energy to take care of all of this themselves. If you feel that way, you might not be aware of all the ways in which a professional real estate agent can help both buyers and sellers not only sell their homes with ease but also get them the best deal.
A real estate agent isn’t just a luxury. There are plenty of very good reasons why you should consider hiring a professional real estate agent.
Professional real estate agents may already have buyers lined up
Real estate agents represent both buyers and sellers. Usually, an agent/agency has a whole list of people looking to buy homes and what they are looking for as well as actual properties. When you come to a real estate agent to sell your home, they might already have a buyer on record that’s looking for exactly the same thing.
Remember that an agent usually works either at an agency or with fellow agents who share and/or swap clients and properties. This means that they already have a lot of data in front of them. Real estate agents have the ability to make connections as they arrive rather than going it alone and starting from scratch.
The most powerful weapon a real estate agent has up their arsenal is the MLS (Multiple Listings Service). This is a massive database filled with past and present real estate properties in the market. It’s like the blue book for real estate. Its main purpose is to help real estate agents make accurate appraisals by looking at what homes sold at which prices. However, it may also contain listings of people currently looking for a home that can be cross-referenced with new properties coming in.
Most professional real estate agencies country-wide use the MLS as one of their chief resources. This allows them to find buyers and sellers and put them together much faster than using almost any other method.
Professional real estate agents aren’t emotionally attached
A big hurdle to overcome when selling your home is that you’re so emotionally attached to it, and who can blame you? Of course, you’d feel a strong connection to a place where you’ve felt safe, made so many memories, and where you have lived with your loved ones. Saying goodbye to your home is always a difficult thing to do, even if you’re upgrading your lifestyle or embarking on an exciting new chapter in life.
As a result, it’s not uncommon for sellers to overvalue their home because of its sentimental value. Obviously, interested buyers don’t have that same connection. Thus, there is a discrepancy in what the seller is asking for and what the buyer is willing to give. Even though they are on your side, a real estate agent doesn’t have these rose-tinted glasses through which they view the home. This allows them to make a completely objective assessment of the home’s value and advise the seller accordingly.
In extreme cases, people also subconsciously sabotage themselves because of this. It’s easy to put less effort into selling your home when you are still somewhat attached to it. In this case, a real estate agent can help keep things moving along smoothly.
Professional real estate agent know their way around paperwork
One of the biggest headaches people deal with when selling a home is paperwork. No one likes it, yet it makes the world go round. Selling a home definitely entails filling in and sharing more than enough paperwork. From the original sales contract to certificates of occupancy and compliance to financing and mortgage documents to tax records – the bureaucracy is enough to make your head spin.
For a professional real estate agent, this definitely won’t be their first rodeo. Where normal buyers or sellers need to do hours of digging online to find out everything required to legally complete a sale, it’s just a matter of course for a professional. In fact, most people end up hiring a lawyer anyway to make sure that they conform to all the legalities.
However, a lawyer isn’t going to help you price your home, advertise it, and show it to buyers. Seems like a better deal if you are going to pay someone, to hire someone who can provide all these other benefits as well. A real estate agent can help you have everything ready at the right time and make sure that the paperwork is in order from both the buyer and the seller’s side.
Real estate agents know how to negotiate
If you’re like most people, you probably dread the negotiating process when selling your home. It’s definitely not a skill that everyone has and it can be an awkward and challenging prospect. Both parties come from different situations and have different ideas about value, timing, etc. All of this can make handling negotiation in a calm and professional way very difficult.
To make things even harder, if both parties aren’t very knowledgeable about the market or real estate, it can just become a “he said, she said” situation.
For professional real estate agents, negotiating with both buyers and sellers is one of the most crucial skills. That’s why either people with good negotiating skills become real estate agents in the first place or why real estate agents quickly nurture this talent. Knowing what they are talking about and having the hard facts, also means they can back up their argument in a tough spot.
That’s why it’s equally as beneficial as a buyer or seller to have an expert negotiating on your behalf.
Real estate agents understand the current market
This might just be the biggest advantage that hiring a professional real estate agent has to offer. No matter where you are, the housing market is a tough thing to get a grip on. There are so many different factors and variables to take into account and these change all the time. You may also need to consider the national market as well as the local market.
The most important thing that understanding the market allows you to do is to price your home correctly. Sellers often make the mistake of either pricing their home too high and chasing away potential buyers or pricing it too low and not making as much money as they could. Pricing your home too high could delay your selling process considerably, leaving you in a lurch for longer than necessary.
Finding the right price for your home is all about a balance between getting fair value for your home and helping you sell it as quickly as you need to.
However, understanding the market is also what enables real estate professionals to advertise your home more effectively. Market conditions and the local demographics not only affect the price of the home, but can also tell you what kind of properties people are looking for, where they are looking for it, and which features they find most appealing.
Professional real estate agents know where and how to market a home
Probably another one of the biggest advantages hiring a real estate as a seller is the fact that you’ll gain much more exposure for your home. Sure, with the internet, home sellers have unprecedented access to selling to marketing their homes themselves through listing sites like Trulia or Zillow. However, it’s debatable how targeted and effective these marketing channels actually are. For one, just think of how many timewasters there are with so many people haphazardly searching for a home.
Another important marketing advantage of a real estate agent is that they know exactly which features of a home to highlight. This comes from their understanding of the market conditions and which type of people are looking for which features when and where. They’ll know exactly what to mention as well as what to take pictures of. Some might even help you take more professional looking photos which are one of the best ways to make a listing more enticing.
Lastly, real estate agents have access to certain marketing channels that normal people don’t. These include directly working with other real estate agents using mailing lists or by using a service like the MLS (Multiple Listings Service).
Professional real estate agents can help with home showings
Although buying or selling a home is a very important decision in your life, your whole world doesn’t revolve around it. Chances are, you have a job you need to go to every day and many other responsibilities to take care of. However, most buyers want to actually see a home at some point (multiple times in most cases) before pursuing it.
However, as both buyers and sellers have their own schedules, this can often be a big stumbling block during any sale. On the other hand, a real estate agent’s whole career is facilitating the buying and selling of homes. They are more likely to be able to synchronize with both sellers and buyers in order to arrange viewings.
As a professional, you can trust an agent with the keys to your home in order to show potential buyers without having to adjust your schedule at all. From a buyer’s perspective, a real estate agent can also go view a home on your behalf and report back to you with photos and videos.
As a seller, it also takes up your time to keep preparing the home for a showing. Staging can be a very powerful selling tool and can help your home make a good first impression. Not only can a real estate agent take the time to do this for you, but they are also probably better at it and have had to do it before.
Nowadays buyers and sellers use professional real estate agents too
Lastly, there is a good chance that if you’re not using a professional real estate agent, then you’ve handicapped yourself in a sale. Many people think that real estate agents are only involved in the selling of homes, however, nothing can be further from the truth. Today, many buyers also use real estate agents to help them find the right home, mostly because they are too busy to put the time and effort into it themselves.
That means both buyers and sellers frequently use realtors today. If you decide not to use a realtor, the other party in the sale might have access to all these benefits we’ve just discussed while you don’t. This will put you at a disadvantage from both a buying and a selling perspective, especially when it comes to negotiating the price of the sale. At the very least, you’ll be leveling out the playing field, and at most, you’ll be giving yourself the upper hand.
You don’t have to go it alone when selling your property
We hope that this article has opened your eyes to all the ways a real estate agent can help facilitate a real estate sale in a way that’s professional, swift, and easy. Because they do this every day, real estate agents have the resources, know-how, connections, and skills to pull it off. Don’t think of their commission as an unnecessary expense, but as an investment. Chances are, it will pay itself back in more ways than one. Are you looking to move to the Fenton area? Enlist the help of a friendly professional!