What can a listing agent do that I can’t do?
Why should I pay someone just to market my home when I can do it myself?
I was a real estate agent for a couple of years when I was in my twenties; why should I list my home with an agent when I know all about the business?
These are all good, relevant questions that many people ask themselves when it comes time to sell their homes. Now that tech-savvy homeowners have access to social media as well as a number of real estate websites, it’s only natural for them to believe that they can market their homes just as well as any listing agent can. That could be true in a few cases, but when it comes down to it, real estate agents know their stuff. They understand how home selling and home buying work; they know exactly what to do and what not to do. If you’re not sold on the idea, take a look at these five advantages of hiring a listing agent, and then decide for yourself.
- Real estate agents know the local market. Doing your research on the ins and outs of real estate transactions is commendable, but chances are the knowledge you garner comes from a broad perspective on real estate. Realtors® are experts in their local markets. What might work (or what might be legal) in one region might not fly in another. They also have access to details on what has sold in your area. Your Realtor® can put together a report on prices of similar homes in your neighborhood and help you make an educated decision about price points, upgrades you might need to make, etc.
- Your agent comes with an unbiased opinion and an eye for detail. Most real estate agents work with both buyers and sellers, so your agent will know exactly what buyers want. He or she has seen firsthand what buyers love and what turns them off. For example, you might absolutely adore that collection of garden gnomes in your front yard, but a potential buyer might view the yard as cluttered. You certainly don’t want that to be their first impression of your home. A Realtor® has an eye for details like curb appeal, wall colors, and furniture placement to optimize the size of rooms. Don’t be surprised by their honesty!
- Realtors® have access to a broader spectrum of exposure and advertising. Sure, you can list your home on multiple websites that buyers might peruse when they start looking to buy a home, but only your real estate agent has access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), which is the primary source agents use to search for homes for their buyers. Ergo, when your home is listed on the MLS, it is front and center for every buyer’s agent to see.
- A real estate agent knows what works when it comes to marketing. If your agent has been in the business for a while, he or she knows exactly what to do to market your home. They’ve learned from experience what works and what doesn’t. Should you sent out flyers? Should you focus on modern technology to market your home? Agents learn over time what type of advertising is best for various types of homes and sellers. They’re also experts at figuring out the best parts of your home to focus on and what will attract buyers.
- Agents have finely honed negotiating skills. They have no attachment to the home, and as we’ve said before, they have an unbiased eye. Many homeowners let their emotions get in the way of pricing a house correctly. Real estate agents are trained in negotiating the best price for your home. They also have access to all recent transactions, tax records, and appraisals and can do a comparative market analysis to gauge the average price of similar homes in the area. Pricing your home accordingly might help nudge that indecisive buyer toward your home instead of the one three streets over.
One of the most important things to remember about real estate agents is that they are considered experts in their field. Not only do they go through extensive training in order to obtain their licenses, but they must also attend continuing education classes. They are well informed when it comes to best practices in negotiating and marketing, and they know real estate law. When you hire an agent to list your home, you’ve made the right first move to sell your home.