13 May Do I Need a Real Estate Agent? Pros and Cons
More than 90% of home sellers use a listing agent, and there’s a simple reason: selling a house is hard and complicated work. In the right market at the right price, a house can sell within a few days of listing. Under more challenging conditions, it might take a few weeks or months. No matter what, selling your house means:
- Determining the right asking price
- Staging your home to look its best
- Making any necessary repairs (or budget-friendly improvements)
- Marketing your home online and in the community
- Hosting open houses
- Negotiating the sale
Here are just 5 reasons why you should sell your home with a professional real estate agent:
1. Save money
On average, for sale by owner (FSBO) homes sell for less than those listed with an agent. According to the National Association of REALTORS, in 2014 “the average FSBO home sold for $210,000 compared to $249,000 for agent-assisted home sales.” That’s almost a 17% difference in average sale price — which means more money in your pocket even after the agent’s commission.
2. Agents know the market
Experienced agents know the local market and understand how to price your home, qualify potential buyers and aggressively negotiate. In the St. Louis real estate market, for instance, an experienced agent knows what local buyers are looking for, and the unique selling points of each neighborhood.
Most importantly, a real estate agent knows how to price your home correctly. In addition to their knowledge of the local market, a licensed Realtor has access to the MLS — the most comprehensive database of available homes for sale. Your home’s asking price is based on the most accurate nearby listings and “comps” — sale prices of comparable homes in your area. Setting the right price is the most important step in setting up a fast and profitable home sale.
3. Your house will look its best
With insider knowledge of the local real estate market, an experienced agent knows how to present your home to potential buyers — and will work with you to ensure your home looks its absolute best. An agent will make sure that important factors like professional photography, home staging, and open houses are well planned and organized. Because when it comes to selling a home, it’s all in the details.
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4. Less paperwork and contracts to deal with
Difficulty understanding and performing paperwork is the second most frequently cited challenge by FSBO sellers, according to the NAR. Today, 50+ page contracts are not uncommon — and that doesn’t even include addendums and riders! A professional agent knows the language and is experienced in navigating the complicated paperwork involved in selling a house.
5. Agents know how to negotiate
Effective negotiation is both a science and an art, and an experienced real estate agent understands how to win the best deal possible. Think of an agent as your personal advocate and business advisor. From negotiating counter-offers to ensuring you have the time necessary for home inspections and more, a real estate agent is in your corner every step of the way.