Here are 7 reasons why you should hire an agent to sell you home.
- It’s harder to keep your emotions out of the sale.~Selling your home is typically an emotional process.
Having an agent keeps you one step removed and makes you less likely to make mistakes such as overpricing your home, refusing to counter a low offer because you’re offended or giving in too easily when you have a deadline for selling your home.
If you forgo an agent, you’ll also have to deal directly with rejection every time a buyer’s agent tells you her clients aren’t interested. “As the homeowner, it can be quite upsetting hearing some of the comments that are made by buyers and oftentimes their agents,” says Lee Barrison.
2. It’s not your full-time job.
Can you rush home from work every time someone wants to see your home? Can you excuse yourself from a meeting every time your phone rings with a potential buyer? At the end of a long work day, do you have the energy to take advantage of every possible opportunity to market your home? Are you an expert in selling homes? Do you have any experience doing so? Your answer to all of these questions is probably “no.” An agent’s answer to all of these questions is “yes.” In addition, by going through an agent, you’ll get a lockbox for your front door that allows agents to show your home even when you aren’t available.
3. Agents have a larger network than you do.
Yes, you can list your home yourself on Zillow, Redfin, Craigslist and even the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that agents use. But will that be enough? Even if you have a large personal or professional network, those people will likely have little interest in spreading the word that your house is for sale. You don’t have relationships with clients, other agents or a real-estate agency to bring the largest pool of potential buyers to your home. A smaller pool of potential buyers means less demand for your property, which can translate to waiting longer to sell your home and possibly not getting as much money as your house is worth.
4. You subject yourself to needless showings.
An agent can find out whether someone who wants to view your house is really a qualified buyer or just a dreamer or curious neighbor. It’s a lot of work and a major interruption every time you have to put your life on hold, make your house look perfect and show your home. You want to limit those hassles to the showings most likely to result in a sale.
5. Negotiating the sale is tricky and awkward.
Even if you have sales experience, you don’t have specialized experience negotiating a home sale. The buyer’s agent does, so he/she is more likely to win the negotiation, meaning less money in your pocket.
“An experienced selling agent may have negotiated hundreds of home purchases,” ~Lee Barrison
Not only are you inexperienced, you’re likely to be emotional about the process, and without your own agent to point out when you’re being irrational, you’re more likely to make poor decisions. Kean says an agent can turn an emotionally charged, inappropriate response from an offended seller to a buyer into, “The seller has declined your initial request, but has made the following counteroffer.”
Sellers who go solo also typically aren’t familiar with local customs or market conditions.
6. You can’t see what’s wrong with your home.
Agents are experts in what makes homes sell. They can walk through your home with you and point out changes you need to make to attract buyers and get the best offers. They can see flaws you’re oblivious to because you see them every day – or because you simply don’t view them as flaws. They can also help you determine which feedback from potential buyers you should act on after you put your home on the market to improve its chances of selling.
7. You put yourself at risk of being sued.
A lot of legal paperwork is involved in a home sale, and it needs to be completed correctly by an expert. One of the most important items is the seller’s disclosures. “A seller of real estate has an affirmative duty to disclose any fact that materially affects the value or desirability of the property.Unless you’re a real-estate attorney, your agent probably knows more about disclosure laws than you do. If you fail to disclose a hazard, nuisance or defect and the buyer comes back to you after they’ve moved in and found a problem, they could sue you. Agents can make mistakes, too, but they have professional errors-and-omissions insurance to protect themselves and to give the buyer recourse so the buyer may not need to pursue the seller for damages.