Why you need a real estate agent when selling your home

    The Emerald Coast real estate market can be a very complex thing, and having a knowledgeable realtor by your side will help to insure that you get top dollar for your home, while also keeping you out of legal trouble. It happens to be easier than ever before to find resources to sell you own home, but it is not necessarily the best decision. According to the 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, eighty-seven percent of buyers recently purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker, and only eight percent (down from nine percent) of recent home sales were FSBO (For Sale By Owner) sales. This is the lowest percentage recorded since 1981, proving that hiring a realtor is still the norm when selling your home.  You may have heard friends or acquaintances have had success when FSBO, but you have to take into account that successful transactions do not always happen, and that they probably had someone with a legal or prior real estate background assisting them behind the scenes.

    Real estate agents know the local market and how to price a property so it will sell and sell fast. Pricing your home too low or too high can result in it sitting on the market for long periods of time, becoming stagnant, which may end up costing you more money in the long run. You will also need to be aware if it is a buyers market, because you may even have more trouble selling given the large inventory of available homes in your area.

    You’ll have to handle your own open houses and field phone calls from brokers who will know the business better than you. This often means having to answer tough questions that you may not know the answer to. Consider the fact that if you work full time you need to be able to show your property, and some work schedules do not permit that much flexibility.

    One of the perks of hiring a real estate agent is that they know how to market your home to potential buyers, giving you more visibility than if you were trying to do it yourself. The MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is the most common way for other realtors to find your listing, and this is something only realtors and brokerages have access to. Once on the MLS, your listing may then also gain additional exposure by feeding into popular sites like Realtor.com. They also have tools such as flyers, email blasts, postcards and other marketing platforms that may be confusing to the average person, unless you already work in marketing and are familiar with how to use them.

    Preparing all of the legal forms and disclosures will also be your responsibility, and if you’re unfamiliar with the guidelines and requirements, you will take the risk of financial and legal liability. This may be one of the more important factors to consider when trying to sell on your own, because you don’t want to make any bad financial decisions by trying “save” a little bit of money. Similar to bad pricing of your property, this can also cost you more than you bargain for if you do not know what you are doing.  Relying on the buyers agent to make sure forms are filled out correctly seems like it would be an ok idea in theory, but remember their number one goal is to protect the buyer.

    Still not sure if hiring a real estate agent is right for you? Our agents will be happy to answer any questions you may have. In fact, they might already have a buyer in mind for you! Click here or give us a call at 850.213.5000 for more information.

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