A brokerage fee can represent a lot of money, so I understand why many people consider selling on their own. For most sellers, however, the time that a Realtor can save them (in addition to the headaches!) ends up saving money in the long run!
So why spend the money to hire a real estate agent?
Because finding the buyer is just the tip of the iceberg. A professional Realtor will save you both money and time, over and over again, during the course of the transaction. Most sellers do not realize how complex the typical real estate sale has become, and just how many obstacles must be overcome to get that contract all the way to settlement. A good real estate attorney can certainly draft a purchase agreement, but that is just one component of a successful sale.
Here are just a few examples of how an experienced agent can save you money:
1. Preparing for the appraisal process. We have seen a substantial rise in the number of appraisals that are coming in low; estimates by local lenders suggest that as many as 1 in 5 appraisals have been below sales price this year. A low appraisal is often a deal breaker in a “for sale by owner” transaction, but an agent’s experience in this area can frequently save the deal.
2. Negotiations. Your bottom line is about a great deal more than sales price. The objectivity of a third party, and particularly one who is familiar with current market conditions, can advocate your position to your advantage. Understanding how the buyer’s financing can affect you as the seller, analyzing concession requests, counseling you on which repairs are appropriate, and leveraging market demand to your benefit, all can add thousands of dollars to your bottom line.
3. Coordinating the loan approval. There is nothing more frustrating than taking your home off the market and preparing to move, only to find out at the last minute that the buyer doesn’t qualify for the loan. Experienced agents know what to look for when assessing the pre-qualification of a potential purchaser, as well as how to protect you as the transaction progresses. In addition to staying on top of the loan process, your agent can make recommendations that will prevent you from being charged “surprise” miscellaneous fees at closing.
These are just a few examples of how professional Realtors can save you money. They also save you time, and a great deal of stress, simply by their knowledge of the process and access to their network of reliable affiliate service providers. My office sells close to 100 homes every month, and very few of those transactions are without bumps. The guidance of an experienced, knowledgeable agent is an invaluable resource to a seller wanting to maximize net proceeds from the sale, as well as to save time and frustration.
Before you risk going it alone, you owe it to yourself to interview a professional.