Selling a property is not a cakewalk. It’s actually a long and tedious process – and for first-time sellers who only have surface knowledge about how the market works, it can be very confusing. Now if you’re planning to sell your property, you’d want to weigh down your choices to decide what’s the best and the smoothest path to a successful transaction.
There are a lot of reasons why some home sellers choose the FSBO (for sale by owner) way when listing their property but the key reason is always this: the exorbitantly high agent commission fees. However, the truth is real estate agents charge according to the value they offer. (The rule of thumb here is: the more $ = the more valuable the service is.)
However, if you think you can save a lot more money by doing all the work by yourself, here are a few reasons why you might want to reconsider:
1. Real estate agents are up to date on current events and are well-versed in the ins and outs of the real estate business.
No one knows the real estate market in your area better than a property agent. They have access to recent market sales in your neighborhood and they are well-informed about the factors that affect the property market. This includes new housing government policies that can affect the price and demand as well as other economic conditions.
A lot of information, such as historical sales prices and price trends of nearby homes, is now available online. But what you lack is the knowledge of how to use the data to show the true value of the property and how to make a deal work to your advantage.
If you want to sell your property fast and at a top dollar price, hiring a professional will definitely give you the upper hand.
2. They know how to market the property strategically.
Let me tell you an old but interesting story: Colby Sambrotto, the founder of ForSalebyOwner.com, tried to sell his condo unit on his own. However, months passed and he wasn’t getting any quality leads. That’s when he decided to hire an agent (which is ironic) but with the help of the agent, his property attracted several offers and he was able to seal the deal at a price way over what he originally expected.
It’s a pretty clear example of how much value a real estate agent can bring to the table. They don’t just sell the property. They market it. Real estate agents know the right marketing strategy to implement to get your house in front of the right buyers. This, of course, increases your chance of closing the best deal.
3. Agents have a large network of professionals. (They know exactly who to tap on)
Real estate agents are great networkers. They are connected to a stream of professionals not just in the field of real estate but in other areas that help homeowners sell their properties. For example, if you’re planning to renovate your property to increase its market value, real estate agents can refer you to trusted contractors, plumbers, painters, home staging companies, and other services or professionals you might need.
Real estate agents naturally have a wide network of property buyers, sellers, and tenants as well. They might have a ready buyer who is looking for a property in your area!
4. Agents pay attention to all details which impact the selling process.
Being detail-oriented is one of the key traits of a successful property agent. Real estate agents don’t just look at the landscape of the real estate market. They pay attention to minuscule details that often go unnoticed such as the condition of the house, the neighborhood context, policies, and government regulations, etc. Property agents are also aware of any new developments in the vicinity, such as future MRT lines, that could boost the property’s value.
These things can be very complicated to deal with. This is where agents can come in handy. They are with you every step of the way to make sure everything is handled well.
Professional real estate agents take pride in providing a service that protects the interest of their clients. They count their client’s win as theirs too and so they make every effort to be thorough and organized throughout the process.
5. Agents are experts when it comes to negotiating.
Having sharp negotiating skills is crucial in real estate. Selling a property isn’t really hard but selling a home at or over your asking price requires many years of experience.
A lot of times, purchasers may try to negotiate a lower price or testing waters with a ridiculously low price offer.
How do you identify a serious buyer and start meeting in the middle in terms of the price?
This is basically the final step that will conclude whether it’s a successful deal or not. Agents have many years of experience which has honed them to know exactly what to say and how to negotiate (if necessary) to close the best deal possible.
6. Hiring a Real estate agent will save you time and effort.
If you happen to have all the time in the world to prepare your house, study the market, implement marketing strategies, and assist potential home buyers every time they come to view the property, then you’re probably going to do just fine without the help of a real estate agent.
But keep in mind that selling your house can be emotionally draining. For some homeowners who don’t want their emotions and sentiments to get in between the transactions, and who don’t really have the time to do the workload needed to sell their property, hiring a real estate agent is their best option. Agents would take over the task from the beginning up to the extensive and quite complicated process of gathering a stack of all the documents needed to sell a house. It’s way more convenient.
7. Agents give home staging advice.
When you hire a real estate agent to handle your property, they will do all the necessary things needed to make it appeal to buyers. Does your property need to be staged? Your real estate agent will take care of that. He/she will be the one who is going to look for a trusted home staging company to dress the house for a quick sale.
Agents understand how important time is when you put your property up for listing. The longer the house sits on the market, the lesser its value becomes. So real estate agents will go the extra mile and even use their resources for the property to be sold as fast as possible.
8. Agents provide expert advice on pricing matters.
Most homeowners price their property on a sentimental or emotional basis. Understandably, you as the owner would value it at that amount because it is one of your most prized possessions.
But if you remove the human element in the house – the feelings, the emotion, and the sentiment and view it as a commodity, you will be able to price your property within a reasonable range. This is one of the benefits of having a real estate agent. He/she will be able to guide you and give you professional advice on how to price your home correctly.
9. Real estate agents got your back from start to finish.
Real estate agents rely mostly on referrals and positive feedback to grow their business. This means that they will do everything in their power to provide a service that will make their clients happy. For them, their network is their net worth and so they value connections not just on a surface level. So if you decide to work with a real estate agent to help you sell your property, you can rest assured that he/she has got your back from start to finish.
On the other side of the coin, if you’re determined to take over an agent’s task and handle the selling process independently, let’s take a look at what it would take for you to successfully sell your property all by yourself:
Your time and effort to research the process and market.
Whether you’ve done it before or you’re new to the real estate industry, you still need to do your due diligence. Research relevant and up-to-date information about the market condition and familiarize yourself with the process.
You need to determine the fair market value of your property.
Know how much your property is worth. The price of your property can direct how long it is going to stay in the market. If you price it too low, it might get sold right away but you got less than what you should have. However, if you price it too high, it might not attract buyers at all. Therefore, you need to determine the goldilocks price.
Take care of the staging.
Make the effort necessary to sell your property quickly. Stage the house if needed. You can either do it yourself or hire a home staging company to make things easier for you. Aside from staging, you also know the condition of your house better than anyone else. So, check for damages in the roof, plumbing, and electrical wiring and fix it before listing the house.
You need to have access to property portals.
Property portals are the key platforms to use for getting buyers, however, to get access to the portals, you require a RES license and it costs a few thousand dollars.
Advertise, advertise, advertise.
After the home is staged, you need to get into the nitty-gritty of marketing. Take high-quality photos of the interior spaces – the living room, dining area, and bedrooms. Next, spread the word and upload your listing onto property portals like Propertyguru.com, and 99.co. (But again, take note that you need to have access to these property portals) You can also create social media campaigns and other advertising strategies to up your marketing game and show your property to a large number of people. Lastly, host a property viewing.
Negotiating skill is a must.
Being good at negotiating takes years of practice and a great understanding of the market as well as the buyer’s needs. Note that negotiation is different from bargaining. If you’re good at negotiating, you don’t have to bargain.
You need to handle the consequences.
You may end up getting buyers who have agents representing them. The co-broke agents would only help direct buyers your way if you are willing to split the commission with them. That would reduce the amount of money you save by 50%.
So, what do you think? Is hiring a real estate agent the right path for you? Or do you have what it takes to sell your house yourself? The decision is entirely up to you.
BUT here’s something to chew on:
While you might think paying between 1-4% commission to the agent may sound like a huge price to pay, the agents are taking care of many things behind the scenes to make sure you get your money’s worth.
So, at the end of the day, it may be in your best interests in terms of time, effort, and money to engage with a property agent to sell your house.