Should I hire an agent to sell my home?

Selling a home can be quite an adventurous journey. In the many years I’ve been helping people sell their homes, I’ve found four compelling reasons owners should invest in hiring an agent versus selling on their own. An experienced real estate agent can efficiently guide you on the path to your ultimate goal, which is usually selling quickly at the highest net price. A secondary goal I work with a lot is timing the closing to coordinate with other life events they have going on. Here are the five main areas of expertise that an agent can bring to the process.

1. What’s the home you’re selling really worth?

While it’s easy to get information about home sale prices and statistics, typically it’s a more global overview of what’s going on in the market. While this is good, every neighborhood and area has their own peculiarities that affect prices and market time and you’ll want to be sure to take these into consideration in your marketing plan. Knowing this before you put your home on the market is essential. When your home sits on the market at the wrong price and doesn’t sell quickly in todays sellers market, buyers perceive your home as less desirable because no one has contracted it quickly. By the time you lower the price and do get a sale, statistically the sales price is lower than you would have gotten if you’d of listed it at the right price from the beginning. You’ll want an agent who knows how to guide you in the right direction from day one. Also note, from a study by Collateral Analytics, “FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.”

2. Are you a good negotiator?

In my opinion, this is the number one reason you’ll want an experienced real estate agent. First is negotiating the contract. There are many things in addition to the sales price that will impact your bottom line. Even after the contract is ratified, we’re not done negotiating. From the inspection repairs, to the appriasal to working with the buyers lenders, there will be many times you’ll have to protect your bottom line from being whittled away.

3. Ok, so you’re under contract, now what?

There are over 100 possible steps that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Having someone who’s knowledgable and comfortable to anticipate anything that may come up will be invaluable in navigating your way through it.

4. And WHY is there so much paperwork!?

South Carolina has many different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale (and these change ofter so if you sold a house two years ago, don’t be too confident you’ll need the same paperwork.) In addition to the sales contract are the necessary disclosures and addendums to protect you and limit your liability for any future issues.

My last advice is something I’ll pass on from Dave Ramsey, the financial guru. He advises: “When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”