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  • 4 (NEW) Reasons Sellers Should Hire a Real Estate Agent

    Once you decide to sell your house, the next question becomes “do I hire a real estate agent?”. You may shy away from the idea initially because the numbers on paper may scare you. If you choose the right agent, the big price tag will be worth it. Choosing the right real estate agent to work with and represent you is crucial! Not to sound like a Debbie Downer, but you will not actually know how someone works until you have experienced working with them which is why doing your homework and speaking to past clients of this agent is a brilliant idea.

    A seller's goal is to net the most money they can when selling their house. Part of that plan may be to eliminate professional representation in order to save money. Unfortunately, if a seller does not employ an agent, it can come back to bite them in the toosh! When a seller hires a real estate agent, they are only increasing their chances of netting the most money because a real estate agent's knowledge, contacts and negotiating skills are priceless. Sellers should hire a real estate agent because agents have experience and training which provides insight from start to finish that simply can not be found online.

    From an outsider's perspective, real estate seems simple and fun! Agents take people to look at houses, write a contract and receive a big paycheck. Well I have news for you, it is nothing like that. Clients do not see the day to day lives of agents and the amount of time invested into each of our clients. Driving qualified traffic to a sellers house entails so much more than taking pictures, putting it on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and letting it sit until a deal falls into your lap. It takes work. A lot of it.

    Top 10 Things

    Nothing would be worse than finding out you left money on the table because you sold your house yourself instead of hiring a professional. Sellers should hire a real estate agent to ensure they receive the best price, terms, marketing and advice in order to know what to do when offers start pouring in! Through negotiating the offer to negotiating the inspection terms to unforeseen obstacles that come out of left field, your real estate agent will be able to better navigate what to do in situations that may feel overwhelming to you, the seller.

    Sellers should hire a real estate agent because sellers do not have time to play the real estate agent role. There is a reason that people choose real estate as a career and hang their licenses with brokerages. There is a reason people specialize in certain areas of real estate-residential, commercial, retail, industrial, apartment buildings, investments. Agents choose what area they want to be an expert in and learn it like the back of their hand because buying and selling real estate is a huge transaction with a lot of details, deadlines, paperwork and, in the case of residential real estate, emotions.

    Reason 1: Driving Qualified Traffic to Your House

    Sellers should hire a real estate agent to bring you, the seller, qualified traffic which means buyers who are ready, willing and able to submit an offer. As your real estate agent, I will be generating leads, managing showings, following up with all buyers who toured your house, asking the right questions to the buyers agent, holding open houses (if you allow of course!), sending out neighborhood mailers, door knocking, calling my database of clients and agents telling them about your house that just hit the market and touting your house at all office meetings and home tours. The list goes on and on.

    Knowing that not all of these strategies will work for every seller, online marketing works for everyone. Online marketing does not interfere with anyone's day or time, no one has to leave their house and it really does not need any involvement from the sellers at all. Nor does it cost you, the seller, any money. I pay for that! Between my personal social media sites, my brokerage's social media sites and international connections and paying for online marketing advertisements, your house will not be missed. And, of course, it will appear on all of the major home searching websites.

    Without a real estate agent, you will be trying to manage all of this (and more) on your own. There is a lot of constant communication with others when getting your house ready for showings day in and day out. The sellers job is to make sure the house is show ready. The agents job is to coordinate showings and follow up with anyone who has seen the house. Why bring yourself more stress when you can hire a professional and ask your real estate agent to deal with all of the pre-qualifying?

    Reason 2: Let Your Real Estate Agent Do the Dirty Work

    Another reason sellers should hire a real estate agent is for their expert negotiating skills and transaction management. Without a professional to guide you in the right direction, how do you know if the contract terms are advantageous? How do you know if the costs the buyers are asking you to incur are your responsibility and reasonable? What will you do if the buyer's financing is shaky? What will you do if the house does not appraise? What will you do if you can not agree on terms in general? Any of these examples can happen throughout any transaction.

    Negotiating is not just delivering a message from the seller to the buyer's agent. Negotiating is managing, conducting or bringing about by discussion and settlement of terms. As a professional real estate agent, I am trained on how to negotiate and I can do so without being emotionally involved. This is a very important quality and characteristic that an agent must possess, otherwise, I would just be the messenger.

    Reason 3: Sellers Can Be Too Emotionally Involved

    When sellers hire a real estate agent, the real estate agent is not attached to the house in any way, shape or form. The real estate agent is an unbiased third party. The agent will see your house with a fresh set of eyes giving you feedback on what you can do to prepare your house to be show ready and on the market. Unfortunately, we all become used to our houses and have a hard time seeing what may need to be done to make the house visually pleasing and inviting to potential buyers.

    As the seller, you may be too emotionally attached to the house. I have to admit, I am guilty of it too! I would think my house beats out any of my competitors; therefore, I should be asking top dollar for my house. Most sellers will have a skewed perception of their house. A seller is biased to their own house; therefore, whether a seller realizes it or not, the transaction is fueled by emotions. With an agent selling your house, the agent will look at the value analytically by running comparable sales, knowing how desirable the location is and successful off market transactions that have closed to help support a list price.

    The real estate agent will know how to separate business and emotion. If the seller is open minded to hearing what the real estate agent has to say about improvements to the house (within reason obviously) as well as negotiations and repairs then the seller will be ready to rock and roll. Remember, there is not a dollar for dollar price match when it comes to selling a house. For example, if you put $80,000.00 into your house, it does not mean that the house is worth $80,000.00 more. It may be a challenge for sellers to let go of that idea.

    Negotiating on price, terms, close of escrow date, inspection repairs, etc. can be extremely emotional as well. If you were to deal directly with the buyer(s) and no one gets along, how will the house go under contract and close? It simply can not. The real estate agent acts as a buffer between the buyer and the seller. Your real estate agent will be clear headed and give you unemotional advice that makes sense and will allow the transaction to move forward. Funny how the buyer and the seller have the same goal yet the emotions of one or both parties, on occasion, will prevent the house from closing.

    Reason 4: Use Your Agents Network

    Sellers should hire a real estate agent because, over the years, they have made great contacts. These relationships truly help the deal move along smoothly and you, the seller, can trust the contacts who are recommended to you. These contacts include:

    -Real Estate Agents
    -Title Companies
    -Inspection Companies
    -Insurance Companies

    My relationships with other real estate agents comes into play when a real estate agent I know brings us a buyer. I know the reputation of the agent, how the agent works, how serious their buyer is and, as silly as it sounds, how serious the agent is about making sure the deal closes. Working with a part time agent who does not make their buyers transaction their priority is going to be much more challenging to work with than working with a full time agent who knows the importance of communication and deadlines.

    My relationships with mortgage officers and title companies also play a huge role in how quick the transaction can close and, again, how smoothly the transaction will play out. If one or the other is aloof, does not work on the weekends, constantly misses deadlines, etc., it can make for a nightmare transaction. Even something as simple as having a working partner's cell phone number to contact after work hours and on the weekend would make a huge difference. It is all about relationships!

    Throughout the transaction and even after the transaction, you may need additional resources that do not pertain to the transaction itself. I like to be your resource for life and whenever you have a need for a painter or a roof company, give me a call and I will send you a short list so you can start finding someone to help you with those things.

    Overall, a real estate agent will help you, the seller, throughout the entire duration of your transaction. The most important thing is for you to trust and like your real estate agent. You will be spending a lot of time with your agent and you will have unforeseen challenges arise; therefore, your agent needs to be there to take care of them. Without an agent, the deal might not close. Lean on your real estate agent when you have concerns and need to find solutions to possible obstacles.

    One last thing, you get what you pay for! If you choose an agent who charges less then expect a lesser quality agent. I have heard multiple times over the years of representing buyers that sellers have chosen a listing agent because “he was cheaper than the other guy” and he did not take professional pictures, he was unresponsive and he did not even tell his clients when the house closed. I did. Please make sure that you check your agent out because whether we work together or not, I want you to have a positive real estate experience.
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