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The Commonwealth Blog

Monday, November 6, 2017

Why You Still Need a Realtor When Listing Your Home in a Seller's Market

If you’re living in a seller’s market, you may have heard stories from neighbors who sold their home within three days of putting it on the market or received well over the asking price when buyers got into a bidding war. After hearing these stories, you might think that your house will practically sell itself once you list it.

Although it can be tempting to go the for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) route when you live in a seller’s market, it’s still in your best interest to work with a Realtor. Here are six reasons you should work with a listing agent, even in a hot housing market.

You Need to Price Your Home Right from the Start

It’s still possible to overprice your home and scare buyers away in a seller’s market. You may think you can price your home by using a consumer tool like Zillow’s Zestimate, but the data that powers these tools is not always accurate, which could lead you to over- or undervalue your home. A Realtor has access to the current market data for your area and can use this information to help you price your home correctly.

You Want to Reach as Many Qualified Buyers as Possible

If you stick a “For Sale By Owner” sign in your front yard, you might not have as many buyers beating down your door as you think. 88% of home buyers work with a real estate agent or broker, and many buyer’s agents avoid showing their clients FSBO homes because they don’t want the hassle of working with a (potentially inexperienced) seller. When you work with a listing agent, on the other hand, they’ll help spread the word about your home to a large network of buyers (beyond the MLS and real estate websites like Zillow and Redfin).

You’ll Connect with Other Trusted Real Estate Professionals

A good Realtor can tap into their network and give you recommendations for:

  • A photographer (who can take listing photos of your home looking its best)
  • A professional stager (who can help furnish and lay out your rooms to appeal to buyers)
  • A home inspector (who can provide an honest assessment of your home’s condition before a potential buyer brings their own inspector in)
  • Home contractors (who can make repairs based on issues that the home inspector identifies)

Your Realtor Will Handle Time-Consuming Tasks

If you’re already working full-time, do you really want to spend all your time outside of work marketing your home and arranging showings? It’s your Realtor’s job to handle these time-consuming tasks so that you don’t have to. And, since they have more experience with marketing and showing homes than you do, they’ll be able to present a more professional front to buyers.

You Need an Experienced Negotiator on Your Side

Do you know what to do if you get multiple offers on your home? Or if a buyer includes contingencies with their offer? A Realtor has experience handling these types of negotiations and will be able to communicate with the buyer’s agent on your behalf. They’ll also be able to keep emotions out of the negotiation process, which can be hard to do when the seller is handling the negotiations directly.

You Need Someone Who Understands Real Estate Law

A Realtor can help you navigate contracts and closing paperwork so that you can protect yourself legally. If any complex legal issues arise during the home sale process, they may also be able to refer you to a good real estate attorney.

Ultimately, you’ll want a Realtor on your side regardless of market conditions because they can help you get the best possible price for your home. They should be very familiar with the market and local home buying trends, which will allow them to set you up for success.

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