In most states, you are not legally required to work with a real estate agent, and as a result, you may be tempted to list your home as for sale by owner and work with an attorney for the legalities. However, there are key advantages of working directly with a real estate agent. Here are five signs you should choose a real estate agent over handling matters by yourself.
1. You Want Guidance on Pricing Your Home
An attorney or a title company can help with the legal aspects of buying a home. They can help you understand the contract, check the title for issues, and deal with other legal roadblocks. However, these professionals are usually not in a position to give you advice on pricing your home.
A real estate agent, in contrast, knows the market inside and out. These professionals know what other homes in the neighborhood have been selling for and how long they've been sitting on the market. They also know how your unique amenities add to the value of the home or on the flip side how needed repaiirs may detract from your home's value.
2. You Want to List Your Home in the MLS
Of course, pricing the home is just the start. Then, you need to market it, and the MLS can be essential. MLS stands for multiple listing service, and it is essentially an amalgamation of all the homes listed for sale by real estate agents in an area. When a real estate agent is representing a buyer, that agent looks like the MLS listings for ideas, and if your home is not in there, it won't get noticed by agents representing buyers.
Unfortunately, you cannot list your own home in the MLS. Only local real estate agents who have paid the right fees can use this service.
3. You Want a Real Estate Professional to Market Your Home
The MLS is not the only place that real estate agents advertise homes. These professionals often use a range of other advertising platforms. They may list your home on online databases. In addition, they may decide to showcase your home in one of their newspaper advertisements, on their own website, and in any other places where their agency buys ad space.
This can be invaluable, and remember it's all basically free. With most real estate agents, you don't pay a dime unless your home gets sold—at that point, you pay commission that's usually a percentage of the sale price. If you want to advertise your own home online or in print, you have to pay to do it yourself. That can add up.
4. You Want Professional Quality Advertisements
As an added bonus, real estate agents market homes every day. They know exactly which photographs and descriptions are the most likely to sell, and they craft the advertisements accordingly. Unfortunately, when you're working on your own, you usually don't have that specialized experience or expertise.
5. You Want Help From a Professional With a Huge Network of Content
Formal advertising is only one piece of the equation when you work with a real estate agent. These professionals also tend to have a large network of other contacts who can help you. They often know a lot of agents who represent sellers, and just through word-of-mouth networking, the perfect buyer may hear about your home because their agent has talked with your agent.
In addition, many agents represent both buyers and sellers. If you hire a real estate agent to sell your home, that individual may already be working with the perfect buyer.
To learn about additional benefits or to ask questions, contact a real estate agent directly.