Some homeowners decide to try to sell their homes themselves in order to save the commission charged by a real estate agent. But handling your own sale means you will be responsible for placing ads, answering phones and showing your home to strangers. What’s more, buyers who know you are saving on the agent’s commission may offer less for your home, wiping out the financial incentive to do it all yourself.
You may decide an agent’s commission is a bargain the first time that a would-be buyer shows up unannounced at dinnertime. Also, be aware that a real estate agent probably knows a lot more about the business of selling a home than you do. Here are a few of the things a Realtor can do for you:
- Help you establish a fair asking price
- Promote your home to other agents and list your property in the MLS.
- Create, pay for and place advertising for you
- Schedule appointments to show your home to prospective buyers when you aren’t available
- Weed out buyers who will not qualify for a mortgage
- Refer you to sources for insurance, inspections, legal counsel and financing
- Help you negotiate with the buyer
- Make suggestions to help make your home more attractive to buyers
When you list your home with a Realtor, he will examine recent homes sales in your area and prepare a comparative market analysis to find out what other comparable homes are selling for. This will assist you and your Realtor in determining your home’s fair market value and deciding on an asking price that will attract interested buyers without being too high or too low. Many perfectly acceptable homes may languish for far too long because the owner insisted on an unreasonably high selling price. Your Realtor can help you maximize the sale price you get for you home without overpricing it.
Your Realtor will also list your house in the MLS, or Multiple Listing Service, a computerized database of sale properties. This ensures that your home will be available to all Realtors in your area to show prospective buyers. Having your home or property listed in the MLS makes it instantly available to all potential buyers. Having your home or property listed in the MLS is critical in achieving the widest possible exposure for your home.
According to the National Association of Realtors, approximately 80% of all U.S. homes are sold through Realtors using the MLS and homes listed on the MLS average net proceeds of 7% higher than homes sold for sale by owner.
Other functions your Realtor will perform include advertising your home, holding open houses, and showing your home to prospective buyers. He will present you with offers you receive, assist you in negotiations with the buyer, prepare the sales contract, make closing arrangements, and handle the voluminous mountains of paperwork involved in a real estate transaction.