How Hiring an Agent Can Pay Off
So, you are looking to sell your home. However, you don't want to pay a real estate agent a commission. You can clean the house up, take some nice pictures and market it on social media. That's all it takes, right?
Maybe you are looking to buy a home but you think you can get a better deal if you don't have an agent working for you. The commission that would be owed to the buyer's agent could just be taken off the sale price, right?
No matter if you are selling or buying an agent can really pay off.
Did you know that 90% of homes listed as "For Sale By Owner" (FSBO) that fail end in a lawsuit. 90%! Legal fees are not cheap. Did you also know that homes listed with an agent sell for about 13% more on average? Remember how I mentioned sellers sometimes think they save money by not listing their home with an agent? A commission is usually about 6%. That means, on average, sellers that have representation profit 7% more. That number adds up and can make the difference in what life step seller's chose to do next after selling.
When asked what was the most difficult task was when selling their own home's, 17% said getting the right price and 12% said understanding the paperwork. These are two of the main tasks of an agent. This is what we go to school for.
Pricing a home is not as simple as hopping on Zillow and going with whatever random "zestimate" number they come up with for your home. Zillow looks at location, square footage, room counts, tax value, and past sales. That's it. They don't even take into consideration the different upgrades or fixtures inside your home that your neighbor with a similar layout doesn't have. Zillow also does not update in real time. They are often known for having dated and inaccurate information plugged into their algorithms, which in turn makes the information spit out inaccurate. They even had a lawsuit filed against them back in 2017 for misleading users. This January the company did spend $1 million to try and correct their misinformation and bad numbers. However, no big changes are noticed yet. Zillow aside, there is a process and method to pricing a home. Agents do it on a daily basis and are proficient at it.
Now tackling the second hardest task For Sale By Owner's report: paperwork. I often hear sellers claim that since they have been through the home buying or selling process once or twice that they have it figured out. The truth is no two home sales are alike. That paperwork can, and often does, change from one deal to the next. A home purchase and/or home sale is a large legal process. Misunderstanding the real estate law jargon or incorrectly filling out contracts can have serious ramifications. This is where those lawsuits I was telling you about pop up. Many For Sale By Owners try and rely on a buyer's agent to consult them on filling out the legal paperwork. However, their first priority and concern is their buyers. They won't be your best consult.
86% of buyers last year used agent representation to buy a home. A number that has been steadily increasing over the years. Most agents will work with buyers at no cost to them! Their pay comes out of the commission already agreed on by listing agent and seller or a For Sale By Owner and the buyer agent. Having someone look out for your best interests and protect you in one of the biggest financial investments of your life is crucial.
I have helped my buyers spend as low as 75% of the list price when buying their home by knowing what to look for in home value and inspections. I have helped buyers get into a home listed 10% under appraised value by knowing the market and sharing that with my clients. I have also helped buyers save themselves from home repair disasters and money pit fixes countless times by asking the right questions and hiring the right tests to to be done.
There is a reason that 50% of individuals that take the real estate course fail the exam. Navigating the world of real estate does take skill and intellect. It is not a hobby job. An agent can really add so much value to your real estate experience. Literally.