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SELLING YOUR HOME:  SHOULD YOU HIRE A REAL ESTATE BROKER?

If you are getting ready to sell your home, you have no doubt looked at all the information available on the internet and thought, “Why shouldn’t I just try to sell my home on my own?  It appears simple and straightforward – advertise it online, show it, negotiate offers – I can do this.  Right?”  Well, the simple and straightforward truth is, some people do “okay” in selling their home on their own…but many do not.  And those who do “okay” will sometimes tell you in retrospect they wish they had hired a real estate broker. Let’s look at why you should think about hiring a licensed real estate broker to sell your home.

A licensed real estate broker is professionally trained and rigorously tested to ensure that s/he knows how to market your home and guide you through the entire process of selling your home.  With an asset as valuable as your home, why not hire a professional and avoid the possibility of a costly mistake?         

                                                                                                                                                           A real estate broker will:

  1. filter those phone calls from buyers who are more curious than serious, or those who are not pre-qualified by a lender to purchase your home, or those people who want to know if you are willing to rent or lease-to-own your home. 
      

  2. knows the market.  S/he knows about market supply and demand, recent sales, median and average sales prices, price per square foot, days on market, absorption rates, ratios of list-to-sold prices, and other local market conditions that can help you make educated decisions about the marketing and sale of your home.
     

  3. A real estate broker can show you comparable sales information to help you set an appropriate price.  Remember, the professional broker wants to sell your home for as much as possible just like you do because s/he works on a commission that is based on a percentage of the negotiated sales price of your home.  But the broker also knows that setting the price appropriately will help your home sell sooner rather than later.  A professional broker can help you set and get the best price for your home.                                                                                                                                        

  4. A real estate broker will present you with a marketing plan for your home.  S/he will help you stage your home, work on curb appeal, and get it ready for the market.  The broker will take professional photos that will showcase your home’s features and will do a great job of describing it.  S/he will design and produce quality printed materials and ads to use in selling your home.  And, if your home needs some work prior to putting it on the market, your broker can be a rich resource of vendors to help you. 
                       

  5. A real estate broker will advertise your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a database of current homes for sale.  This information is instantly available to all area brokers who have buyers that may be interested in your home.  Your broker will also be communicating with other brokers about your home through email blasts, conversations, and possibly an open house just for brokers at your home.   
     

  6. If you market your home without the assistance of a broker, you are responsible for showing your home to prospective buyers who may feel uncomfortable talking about your home in your presence.  Additionally, if you have plans to be away, you will not be available to show your home.  Your broker is there to safely and securely show your home to qualified buyers even when you are not in town.  And your broker is going to provide you with honest and valuable feedback after all showings. 
                                                      

  7. A real estate broker can negotiate with potential buyers and their brokers on your behalf, acting on your instructions.  They must tell you about all offers and discuss the merits of all offers.  They can offer advice or point out certain things that you may need to consider.  Your broker can be a great buffer if a buyer is being particularly difficult.  Your broker can often help you negotiate a better price and terms than you might if you try to sell your home on your own.  Your broker may also be able to salvage what appears to be a weak offer and make it a strong offer.
     

  8.  A real estate broker will accurately handle the volumes of paperwork that need to be completed in a home sale transaction.  S/he will communicate with you and the closing attorney.  S/he will review closing documents on your behalf to make sure they accurately reflect the terms of the contract.
                                                

  9. A real estate broker can help you negotiate any possible repairs that the buyer may request as the result of a home inspection and can recommend possible vendors to make those repairs. 
                                     

  10. A real estate broker is going to be available to guide you through the closing and any questions that may arise afterward.
     

As you consider putting your home on the market, think seriously about hiring a professional real estate broker.  Yes, “hiring”.  You are hiring someone to work for you.  Be sure to interview prospective brokers.  Ask questions.  Give the broker an opportunity to ask you questions.  Make sure you feel comfortable with the broker’s personality, his/her experience/knowledge, how s/he listens to you, and how s/he answers your questions.  Expect the highest standards of professionalism.  A good licensed professional real estate broker can make all the difference in the sale of your home, can help you maximize the amount of money you receive from the sale, and can gently guide you through the entire process to avoid costly mistakes