Can you really save money by avoiding the use of a realtor? First off, what does a real estate agent actually do for you? In summary, they act in your interest whether you’re buying or selling a home and will typically receive a percentage of the sale once they have successfully closed the deal. Let’s take a look at what they do more in depth...
The first thing that buyers typically do before they even start looking at properties is contact a realtor. This means that there are many buyers in every market that will only be looking at homes listed by agents. The only way to have your home listed in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service, an organization that holds hundreds of computerized listings of US real estate offered for sale) is to go through a realtor. This increases the amount of people who view your home, your showings, and offers. The more people your home is viewed by the better!
Realtors are constantly absorbing and analyzing the housing market. This in return means that they’re going to comprehend how the market works head and shoulders above the “for sale by owner” sellers. This also means they have the background knowledge to list the house at an accurate price. Why does this give the home owners an advantage over listing the property themselves? Research shows when your home is listed overpriced, it leads to multiple price reductions over time and you end up selling at a drastically lower price. The longer a property sits on the market, the lower of a price drop it takes.
According to McAnarney Associates, homes that sold in August 2013 within their first week on the market sold for an average of 2.08 percent above list price. Homes that remained on the market for four months sold for an average of 11.53 percent below their original price.
What about online home estimates you may ask? This will get me close to my home’s value right? Even though online home estimating is a thing, they aren’t nearly as accurate. You’re one of the lucky ones if it’s remotely close. Pricing your home appropriately from the beginning is critical to getting it sold quickly at the best price.
Speed and Accuracy
Paperwork…paperwork…paperwork. That’s something you can expect going into buying home. It’s also one of the most dreaded nightmares in the home buying/selling process. Imagine if you didn’t have your real-estate agent to tell you where to sign on the dotted line. Would you understand all of the lingo in the stacks of papers you were signing? Real-estate agents handle this type of paperwork on a daily basis and know how to speed up the process, as well as complete it efficiently. A Realtor saves you time by serving as a contact between you and the other parties of the contract, preparing and reviewing necessary paperwork, and guiding you through the process to make sure everything is handled correctly.
Realtors are masters at the art of staging a home. In today’s market, presentation is everything! Not to mention they’re also pros when presenting homes to potential buyers. Better showings lead to more money and value in your home and people will be willing to pay a higher price.
Realtors can share information about a home that you wouldn’t otherwise know. They’re trained to see past the appearance and recognize important details about the property you’re looking to buy. They are also taught to recognize the small repairs and improvements you can make to increase the value of your home. According to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, the median price of a home sold using an agent is 16 percent higher than a home sold without the guidance of an agent.
Now bringing it back to the question, “can you really save money by avoiding the use of a realtor?” Unless you’re someone who knows a lot about the legal aspect of buying or selling homes, the answer is most likely no. For most people, using a realtor saves time and money in the end. A Realtor will act as your advocate during every step of the home buying and selling process. They make sure that all aspects of the deal are handled professionally, with speed, and accuracy. Having a real-estate agent can radically impact the offers you’re going to receive from buyers and help you navigate and leverage the market to help you get the best value. When buying or selling a home, a common misconception is that the best way to save money is to avoid using a realtor. In reality, just the opposite is true!