If you’re thinking about selling your home, you may be wondering if you should hire a real estate broker or go it alone. While the allure of saving on commission fees by going the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) or limited service agent route is undeniable, the advantages you get from enlisting a full-service real estate agent’s services usually surpass potential savings. Selling a home is more than a simple transaction. In this blog post, we delve into how hiring a professional real estate agent ensures your home selling experience is both successful and stress-free.

The real estate agent role in selling your home

professional photography when selling your home
Just one of the services a real estate agent will provide is ensuring your home is marketed with professional photography, showcasing your property’s best features.

A real estate agent doesn’t just list your home for sale then pocket their commission. Your agent becomes your partner, guide and advocate from the moment you decide to sell until the final paperwork is signed. A good real estate agent should be able to offer you a comprehensive understanding of your local market, guide you with a nuanced approach to pricing, and provide an extensive network of potential buyers. Your agent will handle all the heavy lifting, such as hiring a professional photographer and stager to capture your home in its best light and crafting a compelling listing that highlights your property’s best features. Essentially, your real estate agent maximizes your home’s visibility and appeal, helps you navigate the sale process and works to get you the best selling price for your home, all while minimizing your legal liability and risk.

Get market knowledge and pricing expertise when selling your home

real estate agents provide pricing guidance when selling your home

The most critical component when selling your home is getting the price right. If you price it too high, buyers won’t come. Your home will languish on the market until you do a price drop, and at that point buyers will be expecting more concessions from you. But price it too low, and you’re leaving money on the table. This is where a real estate agent’s expertise is invaluable.

Real estate agents have the knowledge and tools to evaluate market conditions, comparable sales and local demand to help determine a competitive price for your home. Ultimately, you decide your home’s listing price. But the information a real estate agent provides ensures you’re not going with a random number or an amount based on emotion.

In the 2023 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers annual report, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that “the typical FSBO home sold for $310,000 compared to $405,000 for agent-assisted home sales.” The wise move it to rely on a real estate agent’s expertise to help you set the price correctly. This strategy will help attract interest to your property and position it for the highest possible sales price.

Expand your marketing reach online and beyond

In today’s digital world, it’s not enough to post a “For Sale” sign in your yard and host an open house on the weekend. The NAR reported that in 2022, for 47% of homebuyers, the first step taken in the homebuying process was to look online at properties for sale. The same report indicated that 96% of buyers used online tools at some point in their search process. This means that you must list your house online when you’re selling it.

First, your home must appear on the multiple listing service (MLS). The MLS is a centralized database of properties for sale. It facilitates the sharing of detailed property listings among real estate agents and brokers, and this is how your listing shows up on sites like Redfin and Zillow. If you’re a FSBO, there are services where you can pay a fee and they will list your home in the MLS for you. But the service usually stops there. You will be responsible for the rest of the sales process.

Real estate agents employ a multifaceted marketing approach that goes beyond a simple listing in the MLS. This includes offering virtual tours, posting on online platforms and social media, and using professional networks. And this is where presentation becomes crucial. It’s too easy for buyers to take one look at a real estate photo online and swipe away. Amateur cell phone photos will do your listing a disservice. To present your home in its best light, professionals should stage and photograph it. A successful real estate agent understands how to ignite interest and drive buyers to your property.

Can you remain objective when negotiating?

The art of negotiation is where a real estate broker truly proves their worth. It’s not uncommon to go through multiple rounds of offers and counteroffers when selling your home. A high-quality listing agent expertly navigates negotiations. They draw on extensive experience with buyer tactics and a deep understanding of current local market conditions to ensure fairness and optimal outcomes.

Selling your home can be a very personal experience, and it can be difficult to maintain objectivity when negotiating with potential buyers. A real estate agent will not have a personal attachment to your property. They can help you evaluate offers purely on their merits and long-term implications. This objective stance can ensure emotions don’t cloud the important decisions you need to make, and it keeps the transaction on track.

Real estate agents are versed in the legalities of selling houses

real estate contract when selling your home
Real estate transactions are legally binding contracts, and your real estate agent can help protect you from legal pitfalls.

Remember that a real estate transaction is a legal contract and process. It can be a complicated and technical process when selling your home, and regulations and legal requirements can vary from one location to another. Real estate agents, with their deep understanding of legal intricacies, actively ensure that your home sale complies with local laws and regulations.

From drafting the initial listing agreement to navigating the closing process, your real estate agent will steer you through the mountains of paperwork involved in selling a home. They’ll create and review contracts, disclosures and other required documentation and minimize the risk of legal issues that could arise post-sale. Their expertise not only protects you from legal pitfalls, it also streamlines the sales process.

Support and guidance before and after you sell your home

real estate agent providing support during the transaction
Selling your home and moving can be a stressful time, and real estate agents often act as sounding boards providing emotional support during the process.

The home selling process can be emotional and stressful. Many times, your real estate broker serves not only as your agent through the transaction but as an extension of your personal support system. They understand the emotional challenges that may arise when you’re selling your home and they can be a steady post when decisions become overwhelming. From giving you guidance on preparing your home for showings to giving you reassurance after a tough negotiation, your agent provides emotional support that is particularly valuable while you’re navigating such a big life change.

Working with a real estate agent is the smart move

Choosing to work with a real estate agent when selling your home is more than a transactional decision, it’s a strategic move. While the FSBO or limited service agent route may seem tempting, the advantages of professional assistance, including market insights and legal knowledge, can significantly outweigh the cost. As the real estate market continues to evolve, the guidance, expertise, and support from a seasoned real estate agent remain invaluable assets in navigating the complexities of selling a home.