If you’re thinking of selling your home, your mind may be swirling with questions about the process. While it may be tempting to try selling your home on your own, there are many reasons why you may want to consider working with a professional real estate agent. To gain insight, it’s helpful to understand what a real estate agent does and why you might want to hire one. You also may want to consider hiring a Realtor®, which is a professional designation for real estate agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). NAR members subscribe to a strict code of ethics for real estate professionals.
Why You May Need a Real Estate Agent
Just as you’d likely hire a licensed professional to make repairs to your home, hiring a real estate agent can help give you peace of mind and confidence throughout the selling process. Below are 10 reasons why you may want to hire a real estate agent to sell your home.
1. Real estate agents can help price your home to sell.
Generally, as the seller, your primary goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible at the best price, so you can move on to your next place. However, a significant factor in making a quick sale is ensuring your house is appropriately priced for the market. As the homeowner, it’s easy to think you know what your home is worth, but there’s likely a bit of subjectivity that goes into your estimate. A real estate agent has a more fact-based process that involves pulling comparable recent home sales within a specified radius and reviewing your home against these to determine a fair asking price. If he or she is a professional with no emotional attachment to or biases against your home, your real estate agent can guide you in setting a competitive price that makes sense for the real estate market in your area.
2. They have home selling expertise.
Whether you’ve sold a home in the past or this is your first time, working with a real estate agent can help you gain home selling knowledge that only an expert can provide. That’s not to say tackling the process on your own is impossible. However, since a real estate transaction is likely one of the largest financial transactions you’ll ever make,1 it makes sense to leave the ins and outs to a professional to help ensure all goes smoothly.
3. Real estate agents offer valuable professional service.
As a seller, you can expect to pay a commission to your real estate agent at the closing. That factor alone is the reason behind many “For Sale by Owner” situations. However, it’s worth noting that many real estate agents offer their sellers certain perks at no additional cost, such as a professional photographer to take beautiful photos of your home, a deep-cleaning session, staging advice and more. All of these extras can make a big difference when it comes to how quickly your home sells and may not cost you anything out of pocket.
4. Real estate agents recommend ways to sell your home faster.
One thing most sellers wrestle with is whether they should tackle certain home improvement projects before listing their home for sale. A real estate agent can offer advice that will help you make an educated decision before you invest in a big home project that may or may not pay off during the selling process.
5. Only real estate agents can get your home on the multiple listing service (MLS).
One of the biggest challenges of selling a home without a real estate agent is finding the best way to distribute your home listing to potential buyers. Advertising is a pay-for-play process, so selling your home on your own will require you to spend money up front in order to get your listing in front of as many eyes as possible. Working with a real estate agent provides your home access to the MLS, which is generally considered to be the primary system all real estate agents use to search for the most up-to-date home listings. MLS listings are what most buyers look at when searching for a home.
6. Real estate agents have important connections.
Another benefit of working with a real estate agent is his or her access to valuable connections in the industry. Whether it’s putting you in touch with pros who can help with home repairs or simply sharing your listing with other real estate agents in their office who may have interested clients, your real estate agent can offer resources that may be superior to tackling the process alone.
7. They market your home professionally.
Marketing your home doesn’t begin and end with the listing. There’s much more that goes into it. Real estate agents are constantly marketing your home via their own websites, social media, videos, flyers and through events like open houses or broker luncheons. That alone may be a great reason to work with a real estate agent to sell your home. Not only is marketing your home on your own time-consuming, but you may not necessarily have access to all of the tools that a real estate agent has at his or her disposal.
8. Real estate agents take the time, so you don’t have to.
Speaking of time, selling a home requires a significant time commitment that most people simply don’t have. If you have a job or a family, it will be challenging to manage the entire selling process, from marketing your listing to scheduling showings and handling negotiations. Working with a real estate agent takes all those responsibilities out of your hands and allows you to focus on other things like keeping your home show-ready and finding a new home to move into once your current home sells.
9. Real estate agents handle the negotiation process professionally.
One of the trickiest, yet most important, aspects of the selling process is handling negotiations with potential buyers. A good real estate agent will tackle negotiations professionally and work hard to sell your home for the maximum price so you don’t have to give up any additional sale proceeds aside from agent commissions. Real estate agents handle negotiations day in and day out, so you can feel confident in their ability to look out for your best interests.
10. Real estate agents can offer objective support.
Let’s face it: selling a home is an emotional process. Your house is more than just four walls and a roof; it’s the place you called home and where you created memories that are special to you. Hearing feedback from potential buyers could be a tough pill to swallow – whether it’s something about the house or yard they don’t like, or maybe they do like the house but offered a lower price – having a real estate agent with an objective mindset can help to keep your emotions and stress at bay.
Once you’re on your way to selling your current home, be sure to keep homeowners insurance in mind when purchasing your next home. Learn more about Travelers home insurance options for helping to keep your biggest investment safe and sound, and when you’re ready to get started, get a home insurance quote or contact your local independent agent.