3 Advantages of Using an Agent to Help Sell Your Home

Why use a RealtorIf you are one of the many sellers listing a home this spring, you know that in this advanced age of technology, you have more options than ever. There’s the traditional route, with the help of an agent and brokerage, or you can go on your own, using a flat-fee listing, an auction, or a “for sale by owner” (FSBO) website. Or if you’re braver still, you can go totally newfangled, selling your home on Facebook or Twitter. Of all of these options, using an agent is ostensibly the most expensive for the seller; yet the majority of home sales in this country are still those traditional transactions, with agents representing both the buyer and the seller. Why? Because there are actually many reasons the help of a Realtor® makes selling a home less expensive, less stressful, and more successful. Here then, to wrap up our series of seller articles, we offer this final entry:

3 Advantages of Using an Agent to Help Sell Your Home

1. Expertise

Most people don’t have $100,000 to waste, and most home sales represent transactions that exceed $100,000. Real estate agents are the experts for these transactions. Why wouldn’t you want them on your side?

Because your agent has access to the most recent data on market conditions, particularly the local ones most relevant to you, s/he can provide truly current information on property values, comparative sales, and buyer financing. With this information, you have a much better chance of selling your home at the best price in the shortest amount of time—and with the least stress. 

2. Marketing and Networking

Yes, you stand to save money if you don’t have to pay an agent a commission on the sale of your house. But consider this: without the agent’s considerable resources in getting your home noticed, that onus falls on you. You pay all advertising costs, and you must stay on top of them constantly to ensure you’re getting good value for quality exposure.  And, you are out this money you spend, whether you sell your house or not.

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) represents the most well known and most popular comprehensive service for listing and searching through homes on the market.  Not all FSBO services allow you access to this database, though you can sometimes pay additional fees to get your home on the MLS. But the disadvantage of such a listing is that no one, other than you, promotes that listing any further.

Realtors help with paperwork

In comparison, a Realtor ® not only uses the MLS, but also works within a professional network that sellers alone don’t have access to. In getting your listing publicized, agents market your property to other real estate agents as well as to the general public. The National Association of Realtors(NAR) reports that “in many markets across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer.” But this couldn’t happen very easily if you didn’t have your own agent, making sure other local agents know about your home for sale.

Your agent also has a network based on his/her years in the field. The same NAR study shows “82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts.”

Finally, open houses, which can be draining to host yourself, become the responsibility of the agent. You don’t have to be there nights and weekends, opening the door to strangers. Plus, many buyers don’t even feel comfortable looking at a home in which the current owner is present, so now you no longer have to be. Most importantly though, buyers brought into an open house by other agents whom your own agent has contacted are more likely to be serious, pre-qualified for financing, and ready to buy.

3.Support in Negotiating

The process of selling a home is fraught with complicated details, and because it is a legally binding contract, pragmatic sellers would want a representative looking after their interests. The paperwork alone could be enough to drive a busy person, who along with selling a house, has a job and family to deal with.  A Realtor ® completes this paperwork for you, and helps you evaluate offers and counter-offers.  Agents also suggest what kinds of concessions are fair and which aren’t—considerations that vary based on the time and place at which you are selling—and make sure you do it all legally. A bullet-proof contract not only protects you, it also smoothes out the process, making a successful escrow more likely. How much more likely? HomeGain reports a 1,000 participant survey in which data show sellers did “50% Better in getting their homes sold using a Realtor® than selling on their own.”

With all of this information in mind, you should at least talk to an agent before you decide how you want to sell your home this spring. Get started with ZipRealty by finding a local expert who can help.