Many people who are getting ready to sell their home wonder if they should sell it themselves or choose an agent. If you’re jumping into the real estate market as a home owner, there are some things you need to know first.
When selling your own home, you’re also on your own with staging. You can do your best to arrange things to market your home, or you can hire a stager to do it for you. As a realtor, I stage for free when you list with me and use your own furniture, saving you thousands of dollars.
Getting the price right is one of the most important factors in how quickly you sell your home. You can investigate the market value, but realtors are specialists in this area. They factor in similar properties in the area through a Comparative Market Analysis. Remember, “For Sale by Owner” signs often attract people searching for a bargain.
Consider the marketing of your home when making a decision to sell on your own or with the help of a realtor. If you sell on your own, you will need to place ads and hold open houses, buy and put up signage in compliance with local laws and more. Realtors list your home on multiple online sites, as well as in the heavily-accessed MLS system. They come with their own signage for the sale and open houses. Many realtors also customize a marketing plan for their clients.
If you sell on your own, you coordinate all showings. You will be fielding phone calls, answering all questions and arranging tours. It’s very common to get people who are less serious buyers at For Sale by Owner properties, so you will have to weed them out by seeing that buyers are prequalified. A realtor takes all phone calls for you, answers all questions on the properties and makes one call to you to set up showings. Realtors can also seek feedback from other agents about your showings to help you improve how your home shows.
When you list your home on your own, you also negotiate on your own. You’ll need to be well-informed and instill confidence in your buyers. You will need to keep their interest high and work to seal the deal as quickly as possible. You’ll need to have an attorney to draw up the contract and handle the closing. When you work with a realtor, he or she has contracts ready. Realtors can write them immediately and handle negotiations. You’ll be working with someone who knows the industry and who can advise you on whether or not your or the buyer’s requests are reasonable. Because it’s what they do for a living, realtors streamline the process, making it easier on you.
Making the Decision
While you might save a little money selling a home yourself, remember you will not save the entire realtor’s fee unless you do no advertising or preparation. And you’ll be investing a great deal of your valuable time, as well. If you have the time to give and the knowledge to run on your own, great! If you’re less steady in the market, lean on a realtor. Realtors guide you through every step of the process.
If you’re in the Northern Virginia area, I would love to work with you! Give me a call to start the conversation.