It’s understandable – after finally selling your home, it can be tough to fork over the commission fee to a real estate agent. But before you fall into the FSBO trap, consider one very important thing: real estate agents can actually save you money.
While a commission is due at the end of the deal, the cost will pale in comparison to how much you can save through the process. Here are just a handful of ways how agents can save you cash when selling your home.
1. They’ll Price Your Home Right
Who wouldn’t want to list their home for millions of dollars, regardless of what it’s actually worth? Everyone wants to get as much money as possible for their property, but buyers aren’t dumb – they’re probably working with their own agents who are telling them what they should and shouldn’t offer on a property. There’s this little thing called ‘comparables’, and agents use them to gauge what homes are worth in a specific area. And while buyers’ agents are using these comps, so are sellers’ agents.
Here’s the rub – price your home too high, and you’ll send buyers running in the opposite direction. That leaves your home sitting on the market for weeks and even months without a bite. And the longer your home remains unsold, the more it costs you in the long run.
The other end of the spectrum is just as ugly – price your home too low, and you’re basically leaving a ton of cash on the table. The goal here is to make as much money as possible, which means you need to find that sweet spot as far as a listing price is concerned. With an experienced real estate agent on your side, you’ll have the expertise and tools necessary to price your home perfectly to get you the most money come sale time.
2. They Give You Awesome Staging Tips
The look of your home can be totally transformed with a few key pointers from your real estate agent. If you’ve had the same set-up and decor for years, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your home shows well to sellers. A seasoned agent will come in to your home and objectively gauge the space, then (nicely) tell you what’s working, and what’s not.
He or she will make suggestions about what you should get rid of and what you can keep, as well as how your present furniture should be arranged to maximize flow and functionality. Rearranging furniture to its optimal visual appeal will make your home more attractive to buyers.
Real estate agents can even bring in a professional home stager to make major changes to the space. These pros bring in their own furniture and accessories, and can make your home look like something that jumped out of a magazine. It’s a fact that homes that are well staged sell faster, and for more money compared to homes that are left as is. So it’s totally worth it to listen to staging tips from your real estate agent or stager if you want more money in your pocket at the end of the day.
3. They’ve Got Ties With Other Pros in the Industry
The savviest agents are the ones that have an arsenal of experts on the back burner to help you in all sorts of ways along the home selling journey.
Need a few repairs to your home before you put it up on the market? An agent can set you up with a contractor. Apprehensive about the mortgage process? Your agent can put you in touch with a trusted mortgage specialist. And what about all the legal stuff that comes along with selling a property and transferring title? Agents have a lawyer they can recommend to you.
Trying to find professionals such as these that are both experienced and trusted can be a full-time job. Luckily, that’s a hefty chore that you can strike off your list when you work with a competent real estate agent. Forget about throwing money in incapable hands – the experts you work with will come highly recommended, and maybe even with a discount.
4. They’ll Negotiate More Money on the Sale Price
The art of negotiation comes in really handy at the home selling table. Real estate agents are masters of this skill, and will pull all the stops to help you get the highest dollar for your home. The more money you make on your home, the more money goes into their pocket, so you can be sure that they’ll do their darnedest to squeeze every dollar out of the deal possible.
Whether the strategy is to sightly under-price the home to stimulate a bidding war, or to focus on super-motivated buyers that put up a sizeable deposit and offer a quick closing, agents are there to help put the most money in your pocket. And when it comes to deciding whether or not to accept an offer, counter it, negotiate the closing date, or change the contingencies, your agent is there to navigate these negotiations to get you the best deal.
5. They Save You Time
You’ve heard the saying before – time is money. Well, this phrase doesn’t ring any more true than during the selling process. Those who are inexperienced with the ins and outs of selling a property have no clue about how incredibly tedious and time-consuming it can be. It’s certainly not as simple as slapping up a For Sale sign, throw up a few photos online, allow the heards of buyers to flock, then accept the first offer that comes in.
There’s a lot more to it than that, and it can really suck the time out of your schedule. Who has time to take care of all the back-end stuff that comes along with successfully selling a home? Instead, leave it to a real estate agent to take care of all of that – after all, this is their full-time job, and they’re good at it.
Do yourself a favor – avoid the temptation to go the FSBO route in an effort to “save” some money. If you really want to save yourself some cash, work with an agent. Besides saving you money, real state agents will also save you a ton of hassle and headaches. That alone is well worth enlisting their services.