Sure, you’ve heard about the hot, sellers market in the greater Grand Rapids area and maybe that has you thinking about selling your own home. Many feel that now is the time to sell their home and that it would be best to not pay a commission by listing for sale by owner (FSBO). But before you start making your plans, it’s important to know why it is more important than ever to have a strong listing agent on your side.
Picking the best offer
We’ve encountered properties where there are already fifteen other offers on the table by the time our buyer makes an offer. We’ve even heard that some properties have had up to fifty offers. Can you imagine having to sort through fifteen to fifty offers and decide which is the best and most reliable? According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 18% of FSBO sellers felt that getting the right price was one of the most difficult tasks while 12% felt that understanding and performing paperwork was also very challenging.
Purchase agreements can be tricky to weed through because the highest priced offer isn’t always the best. Do you know the difference between contingent and non-contingent offers? How about all of the different loan types? Do you know what each loan requires and how that could affect you as the seller? Or even which banks have a reputation of closing on time or lengthy closings? Chances are you’re probably not an expert in those areas, which is why it is important to have an expert on your side. A listing agent will be able to assist you in picking out the pros and cons of each offer and help you decide on the most solid opportunity while also walking you through the execution of documents.
Sure, you may be saving some commission if you choose to go the for sale by owner route. But what about the money that will need to be spent on the marketing that needs to go into selling your home?
Unless you’re a pro photographer or have the necessary equipment, you might have to spend money on professional photos because you want your home to attract as many buyers as possible. Professional fliers and advertising your home will be necessities as well. On top of that, do you know what repairs and updates are necessary and will actually get you a return on your investment? According to NAR, 13% of FSBO sellers felt that preparing and fixing up their home was a difficult task without the help of a professional.
If you have a listing agent, they’re going to take care of your marketing and help you decide what repairs and upgrades are necessary. Better advertising will solicit more offers which will mean a higher sales price.
You’ll still probably pay a commission
In today’s competitive environment, many buyers are seeking professional advice and very few go in alone, therefore the chances are the majority of buyers who are interested in your home will have an agent with whom they are working. In that situation, you’re now negotiating versus a skilled and experienced real estate negotiator. There’s a good chance that you’ll lose out on even more money because you may not know the best practices.
In summary, a listing agent is truly worth every penny in this fast-paced market. On the surface it seems like you could save yourself some expenses by selling your house yourself, but in reality, you’ll not only get a better price but also a better experience if you have a rock star agent on your side. You’ll have someone to negotiate, someone to market your home, and someone to help you weed through offers and complete paperwork.