SELLING YOUR HOME WITH A REAL ESTATE AGENT – OR GO IT ALONE
If you have decided that now is the time to sell your home, you might be thinking: should I hire a Real Estate Sales Representative or do it alone. Have you ever considered repairing your own car? Anyone can buy the tools and parts. However, most of us just do not have the knowledge, training, experience or the expertise and commitment of time to do the job properly. Besides, there are plenty of experienced professionals to do the work for us.
If you are tempted to do it yourself and “save” the real estate commissions this article will be of great help to you in making your decision. Selling your home is quite a complex procedure, involving large sums of money, stringent legal requirements and the real potential for very costly mistakes. It requires a tremendous depth of knowledge and experience, as well as substantial amount of time to follow-up on every detail promptly and properly.
Will you really “save” the real estate commission?
Most buyers equate a “For Sale By Owner” sign with a “bargain.” They assume you will sell for a discount because you do not have to pay the real estate commissions, and, as a result, they’ll probably offer you less than Fair Market Value. Negotiating your price upward to regain even a part of the anticipated commission savings will be difficult at best.
Do you have the time?
If you do it alone, how much will you really save when you factor in the considerable time you will have to invest? Without a Real Estate Sales Representative’s support, you are the one who will have to write and pay for the ads to market your property, remain available day or night for calls from prospects, run the open houses on weekends and show your property on short notice, screen potential buyers, fill-out the paper work and do the dozens of things required to sell a home. Do you really have the time for all this? And what is your time worth – the time spent away from your family and friends and work?
How will you reach potential buyers?
Do-it-yourselfers are faced with the problem of how to market their home effectively. How good are you at writing hard hitting advertisements that will stand out from all the others and entice prospects to call you? Where should you run these ads, when, and how often? Do you have the time and patience to handle telephone inquiries? Are you prepared for the cost of advertising – including a professional-looking “For Sale Sign?” Real Estate sales people are experts in effective advertising and cover all these costs as part of their service to you. Moreover, when you work with a Real Estate Sales Representative, your home receives a far-reaching market exposure through the Multiple Listing Service. MLS® is a computer-based system that relays valuable information about your home to a vast network of Real Estate Sales Representatives and potential home buyers in your market area. Remember, the greater exposure the greater the chances for a higher price. Also, most Real Estate Sales Representatives work for real estate companies that have their own websites or real estate online web portals which will feature your listing; these websites are generating thousands of visitors a day.
Do you really know the true market value of your home?
Setting a sales price is perhaps the most difficult and yet critical step in the home-selling process. It requires extensive knowledge and training, as well as access to sophisticated market-analysis developed over years of experience. Do-it-yourselfers usually lack these resources and often end up guessing at their asking price.
If you set your asking price too high, many prospective buyers will be frightened off without even seeing the property; too low and you will leave thousands of dollars on the negotiating table needlessly. One of your Real Estate Sales Representative’s most important roles will be helping YOU decide upon and negotiate a realistic asking price for your home that meets your sales objectives.
Are you ready to “pre-screen” every prospect?
Do-it-yourselfers are faced with the challenge of interviewing every person who responds to their ads or “For Sale Sign.” How do you go about this arduous task without offending those who are clearly not serious or qualified buyers – and yet protect your own interests and security? Do you have the skills and experience to ask the right questions over the phone before you let a prospect visit? How are you going to find out whether they are really qualified to purchase in your home’s asking price range?
Pre-screening prospects is absolutely necessary to weed out the “looker” from serious buyers. Your Real Estate Sales Representative knows how to do this effectively, saving you many hours of time and quite a few headaches.
How are you at selling and negotiating?
Selling real estate is considerably different from selling most other products or services. Many do-it-yourselfers attempts to over-sell, smothering the buyer with every detail and nuance about the property. Few understand the subtle differences between a home’s features and the potential benefits to the buyer. Few know how to ask the right questions and uncover the buyer’s true needs and wants. Even fewer know how to complete the sale successfully through firm, impartial negotiation.
Real Estate Sales Representatives are skilled intermediaries with considerable ability to market your home successfully. Would you not feel a lot more comfortable knowing an experienced Real Estate Sales Representative is on your team negotiating the Highest Price Possible for your home?
Are you up-to-date on real estate laws?
Remember when you bought your home and had to deal with all these papers thrust in front of you for your signature? Well, selling your home is equally complex from a contractual and legal standpoint. If you attempt to sell it yourself, you will either have to prepare all your own legal documents when an offer comes in, or translate the language in the offer presented from the buyer. In the excitement of receiving an offer, are you confident you will be able to recognize terms and conditions that are not in your best interest, or worse, are legally risky? Real Estate Sales Representatives know how to protect you from these potential legal pitfalls, and will work to help ensure your interests are properly protected.
Let a Real Estate Sales Representative help you sell your home.
Most of those who sell their homes do so with the assistance of Real Estate Sales Representatives. Of those that try to do it themselves, most change their minds and end up going with a real estate professional, because the process is too complex, too time consuming, and too dangerous without the help of a professional. Working with a licensed professional to sell your home, someone who is a member of a Real Estate Association, entitles you to an exceptionally broad range of services and benefits unavailable to do-it-yourselfers.
The trademarks MLS® is owned by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identifies the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under licence.