I was asked this very question the other day. Why should we hire you? Why should I list my house with you? What can you do for me? I get these questions quite a bit. The National Association of REALTORSJ ran ads a few years ago showing someone with a scalpel in his hands on the phone with a real doctor who was giving him surgical instructions. Funny and a little over the top but the point was made. I think in any field it is important to have the expertise of a trained and experienced professional. While you might be able to sell your home on your own a good REALTOR® provides a you with a unique skill set.
Selling a home by-owner is easy, right? A yard sign, post a few pics online and just wait for the offers. Unfortunately for the for sale by owner, more than 2/3 end up listing with a REALTOR®. Those that are “successful,” on average, will net slightly less in sale proceeds than if they would have listed with an agent.
Put simply what you don’t know can cost you well more than the commission you believe you are saving; it can cost you valuable time in the market. Here are 10 reasons why you shin terms of both time and money. Here are some reasons why it’s essential to work with a REALTOR®.
While our job is to get you the best possible terms and price a good REALTOR® will prepare a buyer or seller as to what to expect. We sit down with you at the beginning of this process to educate you on what you will expect and to prevent any surprises. For example, every seller is prepared to pay a REALTOR® a commission but are you aware that Massachusetts taxes every seller at the closing? This tax can be thousands of dollars, and more than one seller has been shocked to see this on a settlement statement at closing (none of my sellers though!). If you are buying are you pre-approved by a lender? Have you sat down with your REALTOR® to figure out what you get for your money? Are you familiar with each step in the buying process? We will focus on setting realistic expectations and guiding you through the process so buying or selling doesn’t seem so overwhelming.
People are visual by nature. Most buyers will make a judgment on your home right away. If your yard or walkway is a mess or if the house hasn’t been painted in 20 years than they will assume the interior of your home has issues. Most buyers can’t walk into a very cluttered home and see the potential. Your REALTOR® should be honest with you and tell you what you need to do to get ready for sale. We can call a stager or photographer that I know and trust. They will make suggestions and help present your home in the best possible light,
Your home has appeal and it is our job to push that appeal through all the most popular web sites and social media outlets. Conveying that to others isn’t easy and making sure that we hit all these outlets can mean you connect to buyers that you may not reach selling on your own. Expanding your audience is important. A good REALTOR® will present your home to anyone and everyone that is looking.
Home pricing is based on recent comparable home sales and on competing homes on the market. Many do it yourself sellers haven’t been inside these homes and, therefore, are missing critical information for differentiating among homes and setting an asking price. Pictures only tell part of the story, seeing a home on a web site and deciding that yours is similar isn’t the best course of action.
Knowledge of Local Market:
A REALTOR® will know where to advertise to buyers and where buyers are coming from to see your home. What are the market conditions in your town or even neighborhood? Maybe your neighborhood isn’t as fantastic as you think due to the fact that the local dump is down the street. Is it a seller’s market? If so, tell me why and show me what has sold in the area. How long are homes in town staying on the market? What is the sale price v. the listing price? What is going to be the biggest challenge in selling my house?
We are able to give you an honest assessment of your home, not only on the price but what you will face in objections from a would-be buyer. Most importantly we can avoid potential mistakes you could make. I recently had a seller who after 6 months of selling on his own called me to his home. The home needed paint inside and out. BADLY. Their reason for not painting was that “the new buyer’s may want to choose their own colors”. We spoke about how this could be holding them back as buyers look at the house on the outside and assume it as run down on the inside as well. My seller painted and fixed some other cosmetic items and soon enough we had a buyer and closing.
You may negotiate deals at your current job but are you sure you know how to negotiate a real estate deal? There are a ton of moving parts. What is the buyer’s situation? Are they looking at a number of other homes? Just one other home? What do you know about that home? Is it more appealing than yours? What if the buyer presents an offer you want to counter, or one that is way too low for you to even consider? Do you counter that one? What would you do if the seller wouldn’t fix something or come down on a too-high price?
By using our experience, knowing the local real estate market we can put deals together. Also, by having your REALTOR® as a buffer you ensure that emotions out of such an important financial decision.
We Stay Calm:
Buying or selling a home can be very stressful. It is probably the biggest financial decision you will make. You have accepted an offer, booked the mover, met with your attorney and you’re ready to move onto your new home. Whoops, your new buyer is on the phone asking for $10,000 off for new gutters and $25,000 off because the appraisal came in too low. The easiest thing in the world is to yell and say forget it. REALTORS® know how to deal with even the most stressful situations all without losing their cool. Whether you want to prevent a buyer from backing out of the deal or you need help telling a seller about repairs that need addressed, your REALTOR® will be there and will know just what to say without alienating the other side.
We don’t have set office hours. I am often asked “are you working on Saturday or Sunday?” The answer is a resounding YES! To the chagrin of our significant others, we answer calls at 10pm, we meet clients at 8am on Sunday, and we do this because this is what is needed to help our clients put a sale in place. We work on your hours and we are always available. If you are selling your own home are you able to show your home to a buyer in the middle of the day with only a few hours notice?
There are tons of real estate web sites out there that will tell you in seconds what the valuation of your property is. How accurate are these really?
Many are simply not accurate because they do not consider, and aren’t able to consider all factors. For example, what is the criteria each site is using? Are they taking into account the neighborhood? If your property has 4 acres but only half an acre is usable is it really much more valuable than a similar home with a flat one-acre lot? Does the web site take into consideration the finished basement or attic? Does it account for the new granite and stainless kitchen?
By doing it on your own you are putting yourself out there in a constantly changing market without the understanding and reliable source of information a REALTOR® can bring. With a top local, experienced REALTOR® on your side, you can let go of (most of) the stress and trust that good things that are about to come.