We’ve all seen the For Sale By Owner signs, and even the websites. “Wow,” you might think to yourself. “That sounds like a great way to save on the realtor’s commission and up my profit.” or “Hey, if I buy straight from the owner, it will cut out all the extra stuff and make the process easier and cheaper.” You may want to think again. There is a lot of behind the scenes work realtors do on both sides of the equation that can easily turn a layperson’s hair gray.
A realtor knows the neighborhood.
You may think because your neighbor’s house went on the market for an asking price of $400,00 that they received that much for the sale of their home. What you may not realize is that the house actually sold for $358,000 and all the kitchens and bathrooms had just been updated, and the wood floors refinished. Your “exact same house” next door with wall-to-wall carpeting and no recent updates will not fetch the same price. A great realtor will know this.
Part of a realtor’s job is to help you prepare your house to sell. A realtor will be able to advise you on what improvements get the best return on investment for your home, and which won’t make much of a difference. A general rule of thumb is to get $2 back for every $1 spent. A full kitchen upgrade might cost $6,000, but if it gets you back $12,000 on the purchase price, it’s worth it. A fully upgraded basement half bath probably isn’t going to get you the same return. A realtor will also be able to identify what items need to be put into storage so that your home can be properly staged to attract more buyers. You can also expect your realtor to take professional-grade photos so your house shows well online.
A realtor’s knowledge of a neighborhood is also valuable to a home buyer. First, your realtor will do a competitive market analysis. He/she will take these comps and let you know if a house is priced fairly for the neighborhood. Because of their inside knowledge, realtors know what other houses are truly selling for, and how much upgrades are worth. You may look at two houses next door to each other that have a $40,000 difference in price. Even if you can’t see it for yourself, your realtor will know if one house just had a new roof put on and replaced all the windows with the latest energy-efficient product. Realtors also know about local school districts, zoning codes, and the cool features of a neighborhood.
A realtor saves you time.
If you are selling your home, a realtor saves you the time of answering countless phone calls from curious parties and answering their many questions, just for them to decide not to take a look at your home. Maybe you do finally schedule an appointment, and then the buyer doesn’t show. Realtors take these hassles upon themselves.
If you’re buying a home, a realtor can save you just as much time. Realtors will do the searching for you, and once they get to know you, will save you the time of looking at properties they know won’t suit you. Your realtor will take care of making appointments for showings, and if you have questions, they will contact the seller’s agent for you.
A realtor is skilled in negotiation.
Realtors don’t have the emotional attachment to the pink wall your daughter painted with flowers when she was 10 years old, nor are they committed to a house with a farm sink. Realtors are able to be impartial in the negotiation process. They know what home conditions can be leveraged to decrease a price for a buyer or increase a price for a seller. Your realtor will recognize competitive offers and weed out the others. If things get a little heated during the negotiation process, your realtor will take that heat for you. In the long run, you’ll get the best price, whether buying or selling.
A realtor knows the art of closing.
Your realtor understands the fine print and hidden fees of a contract, as well as knowing which conditions are non-negotiable, and which conditions can be safely removed to protect you both as a buyer and a seller. There are moving pieces behind getting a house to closing on time. Your realtor will make sure that everyone behind the scenes is staying on task, and will have their job finished in time for closing. Even after closing, if issues come up, your realtor will still be there for you.
The process of buying or selling a home is more complicated than it appears on HGTV. Having a trusted professional by your side can save you hours of stress, and even save you money by saving you from expensive mistakes. A good realtor is worth his/her commission and more. Get started on your journey today by contacting a local realtor.