So I have been asked a few times recently, “Do I need a Realtor to sell my home?” It’s a really good question. I like it. It gives me the chance to think of everything my peers and I do on a daily basis and it also challenges me to reflect on the service I provide and how that should always be relevant and proportionate to a need.
Ultimately, it’s a decision only a homeowner can make and, like anything, it helps to have all the facts before you decide. My mantra is win-win, in every situation, so here are some things to consider when you are looking for the ultimate “win” in selling your home, your investment.
These are the things a Listing Agent should do for you:
- Provide a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for the last six months identifying all of the active, under contract, and sold properties like yours.
- Explain how your home is different than other homes on the list of the comps to help you understand, from a market standpoint, the “best” list price.
- Allow you to ultimately decide on the list price for your home.
- Make suggestions to enhance how quickly and how profitably you sell your home.
- Provide you with a net sheet showing your approximate proceeds at settlement at various sales prices (including taxes, title company fees, brokerage fees, etc.).
- Hire a professional photographer to showcase your home.
- Hire a floor plan expert to develop 2D and 3D floor plans.
- Hire a sign-post company to professionally display your for sale sign.
- Prepare an accurate detailed listing including all upgrades, finishes, tax records, HOA information, disclosures, utilities, and legal information for the property.
- Develop an attractive hand out/brochure for anyone who visits the property.
- Organize and host an open house.
- Pre-qualify each offer (some may require more than others. I.E. if the purchaser is doing 100% financing, the listing agent may want to ask some questions of the lender for added comfort…or maybe your timeframe is sticky and you need to find some middle ground with the purchaser to get the flexibility you’re looking for).
- Provide relevant data for counter offers in support of the seller’s price.
- Review the home inspection addendum. Provide contractor’s estimates for any repairs listed on the addendum so you as a seller can decide how to move forward.
- Negotiate any issues related to an appraisal on the property.
- Navigate any title problems that might delay settlement.
- Work with the applicable city or county jurisdiction to resolve any issues related to structural or permitting violations.
- Review the HUD 1 with you prior to settlement to help verify the proceeds after clarifying each line item.
- Suggest a change in price point or marketing plan if your home is not selling as quickly as you need or want.
- Provide an objective voice to keep you on track to reach your goal. Sometimes this objectivity is the most valuable piece of the puzzle. A realtor’s role is to find a win-win, even between a rock and a hard place.
These are some other things a Listing Agent can and will gladly do to help:
- Check in on the property or meet contractors at your home if you are out of town during the time your home is on the market.
- Help you de-clutter prior to listing your home.
- Refer any variety of contractors you may need prior to listing your home or after the home inspection.
- Advertise your listing pre-MLS in various professional networks and on social media
Of course, it’s hard for me not to tell you that our value proposition at Dwellus goes even further than this list.
Selling your home can most certainly be a “make or break” event in terms of finances but much of that has to do with the elephant in the room . . . market conditions. Is it a seller’s market? Is it a buyer’s market? Have you built enough equity since purchasing the home to walk away with the proceeds you need/want? Is there a lot or a little inventory in your neighborhood at your price point? This information will get you started on the right foot, and it will come to play a role in negotiations throughout the process.
If your home is in mint condition, in a neighborhood where properties sell overnight, maybe you don’t need a Realtor to get a contract on your home. Do you need one to get to settlement? Maybe. Are you willing to take it all on to save the money or do you see value in the service? Will you pay a broker’s fee to a Buyer’s agent? FSBOs (For Sale By Owner) can go smoothly, especially with the help of a Buyer’s agent.
In the end, you get to make the decision, because it’s your home and your investment! Yay to being a homeowner and having the ability to start a new chapter. You made a big decision years ago to buy a house, take on likely your biggest investment, and you’ve loved your home, made it yours, and you really just want to pass it on as easily as possible to a new homeowner. Whether you choose to work with a Realtor or give it a go on your own, just keep the goal in mind and always look for the win-win. Good luck!