If you are thinking about selling your home, your options are pretty much limitless. There are ample companies who claim to take the work out of it so you can easily do it yourself, but how easy is it really?
Most of these companies will charge the home seller a pretty steep fee, offering them an internet ad on the company FSBO site, a for sale lawn sign displaying the owners home phone number, and if your lucky, maybe an ad or two in a local paper. But unfortunately, that’s where their service ends. You’ll still have to have to take your own time to arrange viewings and showings (if you get any takers), you’ll have to meet the potential buyers face to face, limiting your negotiating power, you’ll still have to involve a lawyer, and because you will involve him earlier in the game (if you’re smart) you’ll pay additional fees, and if the buyers experience problems half-way through the deal, do you have access to an array of professionals and specialists to help get the deal done? Did you know the local hardware store only charges about $5.00 for a for sale sign and you can advertise online for free? If you think you’ve got what it takes to sell your home on your own, why in the world would you consider paying a company hundreds of dollars for a sign and a couple of ads?
We have a saying in real estate; „You can’t save the same commission twice“. At the moment there is a slanderous ad campaign running against us „Joe Blow Real Estate Agents“ that claim you can pay yourself. In this era of the educated home buyer, do you really think they’re going to let you lay claim to the „thousands of dollars“ you are saving by not using a real estate agent, or do you think they’re going to want their fair share of those savings? Right out of the gate you are exposing yourself to the proverbial lowball offer, because the buyers are going to know that you aren’t paying „Joe Blow“.
A real estate agent, right from the get go, is going to educate you to current market trends and a realistic pricing review of your property’s value. One of the surest ways to realize the most from the sale of your home is to price it right, right from the start. You can pay a property fee appraiser a few hundred dollars for this, or you can enlist the services of a real estate agent, who in most cases, will not charge you if you are listing with them.
Your agent is also going to handle all calls and arranging all viewings on your home. They know the questions to ask to help you qualify potential purchasers, limiting the lookie-lous and tire kickers. They are going to tell you to take the afternoon off, while they deal with the buyers, knowing your time is valuable, and appreciating that you do have a life.
Your agent is going to handle negotiations on your behalf, ensuring offers to purchase are in writing, that conditions in the agreements are met, and if trouble rises halfway through your deal, your agent will have access to professionals and specialists that may well keep your deal together. Your lawyer, on the other hand, makes more money when you are fighting, and is paid by the hour. At this point in the game, your real estate agent hasn’t cost you a cent.
Your agent is going to stay with you after the deal is firm. They are going to assist you in getting ready for your closing day, and they aren’t going to charge you any extra for the sold sign they have installed at your property. If the buyers choose to back out now, your agent is on your side to keep the deal in place. If the buyers do walk with good reason, all this still hasn’t cost you a cent.
Your agent is going to take care of all the advertising and web site development for your property. They are going to take care of all potential buyers, they are going to provide you with solid agreements of purchase and sale, all the necessary forms you require, and they are going to be able to refer you to all the specialists and professional services you will require in order to get your deal done. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons you might really want to consider working with a real estate agent is also the best… you will only pay your real estate agent if they sell your property.
The real estate commission is only paid upon the successful closing of a property, deducted from the proceeds of sale, and paid directly from your lawyer. You don’t even have to write the cheque. The industry is evolving, and there are agents out there that will provide fee for service contracts. As a home seller, perhaps the most invaluable piece of advice I can offer is this… From the property to the agents, in real estate, you really do get what you pay for. Just ask „Joe Blow“.
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