By Meghan Belnap
Selling your home without an agent is often an appealing idea because you can forego the commission rates. The major downside, however, is you lose out on all the important qualities and experience an agent has when they do the work themselves. Here are four reasons why selecting a reputable, local real estate professional is beneficial for sellers:
Your real estate agent knows how to get the buyer to make the purchase as close to the asking price as possible. They do this work for a living, so agents understand the ins and outs of contract and price negotiations. Another factor is the market conditions—agents have to stay on top of changes, so they can make the most money on commissions. They know what items they can negotiate and what things are best to avoid.
No Emotional Connection
One of the biggest things about hiring a professional that sellers find appealing is the fact that an agent is not biased. They're not connected to your property, so they see it at face value. Things like older home equipment, cracks in the sidewalk or areas that you can improve before the open house are more visible to the the agent than the person who has lived in the home for years. With no emotional connection, the agent can make decisions that many homeowners are afraid of or unwilling to make.
Does your schedule afford you the time to talk with every person interested in your home? Probably not. Additionally, agents must accommodate the schedules of prospective buyers and show them your property when they're available. If you go the For Sale by Owner (FSBO) route, then you must handle screening buyers and scheduling showing times yourself.
One thing most people do not realize when they choose to go the FSBO route is that they're legally responsible for anything they don't disclose to the buyer. Even inadvertent omissions can cause you to incur a lawsuit. Breach of contract may occur when the owner accidentally forgets to mention something hazardous about the property.
Property agents and brokers have insurance that covers them if they miss something a buyer finds a nuisance or danger after signing a home contract. You have nothing to protect you should you miss something.
Agents spend a lot of time and money earning their real estate license. Knowing the local market and laws is a necessary part of the business. If you're not a legal professional, you could put yourself in danger of a lawsuit if you decide to sell your home on your own rather than hiring a professional to handle the process.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She finds happiness in researching new topics that help expand her horizons. Looking to purchase a home? Belnap recommends working with Dee Evans, ABR.