If you are ready to sell your home, you may be wondering if you really need a real estate agent. After all, he does earn a chunk of your money when all is said and done. While it may seem like an unnecessary cost, you may be surprised to learn that hiring a real estate agent may save you money in the long run. Consider these benefits to hiring a real estate agent to help you sell your home before you make the decision to go it alone.
Unless you are able and willing to put your life on hold while you work your way through the process of selling your home, a real estate agent will make your life simpler and reduce the stress of trying to be two places at once. Because real estate is his full-time job, your agent is available to answer questions, set up appointments and address potential buyer's concerns right away. That means you won't need to rush home from work to show your house or take calls at all hours of the day. It also means you won't lose out on potential buyers who expect answers right away.
Real estate agents are in the business of buying and selling property and know how to find deeds, property maps and other vital information about your property. They know how to use the information to help set the selling price. While you may have an idea of the price you want for your home, a real estate agent can evaluate the property's current worth and advise you whether you should go higher or lower on your asking price.
If the last thing you negotiated was your teen's weeknight curfew, your negotiating skills probably aren't up to par with an experienced real estate agent. He knows how to work for you to get the best price for your property without putting the buyer on the defense. He can present your property in the best light and point out benefits neither you nor the buyer would think to consider. If price becomes a point of contention, your agent knows how to get you the best deal.
Experience with Contracts
Because your real estate agent deals with contracts every day, he knows how to protect you if conditions of the sale are not met or if the buyer suddenly backs out of the deal. Your contract will likely include pre-conditions that the buyer must meet in order to continue with the sale. This may include conditions like what happens to the deposit if financing falls through or other conditions that may violate the contract. Because he uses similar contracts every day, your agent can tailor the contract to your needs to offer you the best protection.
Knowledge of Real Estate Law
Your real estate agent is bound by law to protect your interests. He also has extensive knowledge of the law which means you don't need to rely on an independent lawyer every time an issue arises. Instances where knowledge of real estate law comes in handy may include what information you are required by law to disclose to a buyer. For example, some states require the disclosure of stigmatized property, which includes everything from a violent murder on the property to rumors of ghosts in the attic, while other states hold fast to the 'buyer beware' policy that doesn't require disclosure unless the buyer asks. Your real estate agent will be aware of any laws governing the sale of your home and can guide you along the way.
Real estate agents do earn a commission on the sale of your house, but they may save you lost wages from leaving work to show the house or meet with buyers or help you avoid costly errors and protect your interests throughout the sale.