It's a tough market for trying to sell a home. Should you get a real estate agent or do it yourself? In these economic times, you may be considering handling the sell yourself. "For Sell by Owner" saves you the 6% commission fee that goes to the brokers. |
That’s a lot of money you would rather keep in your pocket. Stick a sign in the yard and wait. Sounds easy enough, but it may not be as profitable as you think. Here’s why hiring a real estate agent is a better move, especially in these tough economic times:
* Market Knowledge: A professional agent has his thumb on the pulse of the housing market in your area. He knows what houses are going for and can help you determine a fair price that will be competitive. By the way, the commission fee is priced into the home price. He also knows exactly what’s on the market and how it compares to your home. He knows what people are looking for and what will sell. Do you know all of this? It would take a lot of time and research that you just don't have, to gain the type of knowledge an agent comes with.
* Marketing Tools: When you hire an agent, you have the backing of the entire brokerage firm. With this support come all the marketing tools the firm has to offer. Sure, that means putting your house in all the local trade and real estate magazines as well as the classifieds, but the most important feature is the MLS listing. This is a nationwide data base of all the homes on the market that agents can peruse and find homes for their clients. Potential buyers can also do their own research using an MLS number. For sell by owner homes are not qualified for an MLS listing and the owner must put the listing on a FSBO site. You cannot count on agents even looking at this Web site. With an agent, he does all the leg work and you don’t pay for a thing until the house is sold. FSBO means you have to do your own marketing and pay for it all up front.
* Disclosures and Contract Knowledge: Have you ever bought or sold a house? There is a ton of paperwork to be signed - lots of legal stuff that the agent can explain in a simple sentence for you. Do you know how to draw up contracts so that they are legal and binding? A real estate agent has all the correct and legal documents for your state already on file and ready to go, plus they know what they all mean. It would be easy to get into a legal mess over disclosures and contracts if they are not correct.
* Negotiations: This is very important! A potential buyer is going to place a bid on the house. Is it fair? Should you take it? An agent will guide you through this process. Generally, the buyer will make the lowest bid that is fair and the seller will counter with something between the asking price and the bid. Other issues are thrown in there, like aesthetic improvements and closing costs. If you lower the asking price, you can ask for the buyer to share in the commission. It is an agent's job to sell your home. That is all he has to do. And, he has clients and colleagues with clients who want to buy a home. In between going to work, geting ready to move and dealing with all the other responsibilities you have, how much time do you have left for the sale of your house? Yes, a sign in the yard has sold homes, but that is not the norm. Your agent is in the midst of the area housing market and will do what he can to sell your home. Remember, he doesn’t get paid until he sells it.
With the changed market scenario in real estate, selling your house in a buyer's market is more difficult as a home owner. When dealings are critical, it's time to turn to the experts from Real Estate Louisiana for advice and guidance. Visit www.realestatelouisiana.com .
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