The only reason to try to sell your home without the aid of professionals is to eliminate the agent’s commission, but you eliminate more than that. As of last month, College Station homes have been sitting on the market for just over three months on average.
Meanwhile there are over a thousand active listings with more than 160 new listings pending. If you are trying to sell your home on your own, you’re going to have to compete with a thousand other sellers who probably have the expertise of a professional real estate agent on their side.
A Few Good Reasons to Sell Now
If you’re thinking about selling now, you are not alone. For almost a decade now, mortgage rates have been at a historical low however they have been ticking up slowly but surely over the last year. The NAR® warned that the rate could have easily climbed up to over 4.6% as of the end of 2017 but according to Bankrate, the average 30 year mortgage rate is currently just under 4.1%.
At the same time, home prices have been steadily going up. Housing prices rose nearly 7% between 2015 and 2016. Numbers like that are encouraging more homeowners to think seriously about selling at a profit. Add to that the fact that generally speaking, with a limited inventory, there are fewer sellers to compete with if you do sell – not necessarily in College Station right now.
Before the housing collapse in 2007, there were over 4 million homes on the market. Last November, that number was less than 2 million. Largely due to limited inventory and slowed new construction, expect home prices to continue to go up unless or until the interest rate reaches 5%.
10 Reasons to Use a Professional to Sell Your Real Estate
Most homeowners only have a vague idea about how the local market is doing and how much they can get for their homes. Frankly, sellers can find so much information online that they may feel as if they have all of the information they need to try an FSBO (For-Sale-by-Owner) transaction. Before you get carried away, here are 10 reasons why you should use a professional.
#1: Without a Professional, You Lack Strategic Vision
You’ve checked homes in your neighborhood on Zillow and believe you have a good idea of what your home is worth. Now how do you go about selling it for that price? Have you put together comps that go beyond simple price comparisons, which delve into features that those homes may or may not have that yours lacks? Do you have a strategy for advertising that your home is for sell? Here’s what you get with a professional:
- Detailed market analysis that includes more data and expert analysis than you could find searching MLS listings online
- A marketing strategy that includes both online advertising and shoe-and-leather promotion targeted at a much bigger pool of stronger leads than the ones you could find on your own
- The ability to set your home’s sale price at the right amount so that it isn’t lingering on the market for months and months
#2: You are at the Mercy of the Buyer’s Agent
Even if you are doing an FSBO sell, your buyers will likely have their own agent working for them. If you don’t have a seller’s agent, you are going to be at a disadvantage when negotiating with a professional real estate agent that is working to get the best deal for the buyer.
If you had an agent on your side, they would be working to get you the best deal for your home. Plus, many buyers’ agents will discourage their clients from considering FSBO homes for sale, leaving your home languishing on the market. The longer a home sits on the market, the harder it is to sell.
#3: Without a Pro, Selling Takes up All of Your Time
Being a real estate agent is a full-time job. If you are trying to sell your home on your own, do you have the kind of time necessary to devote to selling your home? If you don’t, you’re going to miss potential buyers who may want to see your house when you aren’t available.
On top of that, you could end up wasting huge amounts of time rushing home to meet bad prospects who can’t afford your home or aren’t really looking to buy right now. When real estate sales are handled by professionals, they do all of the groundwork weeding out bad leads.
Not to mention the fact that it is their job to show your house so you don’t have to drop everything to be there when someone shows some interest. Your agent handles that part.
#4: You Make More Emotional Mistakes without an Agent
Your home is not only the most expensive purchase you will likely make in your lifetime, it is also the most emotional typically. Sellers are often parting with decades of memories when they decide to sell. Remember, those memories aren’t included in the sale price and buyers won’t pay extra for sentimental value.
When you are an FSBO seller, you have no buffer between you and buyers who may have some negative things to say about your house. You may take it personally and blow off a strong lead that with a few carefully chosen words and negotiated repairs could have been the perfect buyer for your home.
A professional agent keeps your emotions in check. They communicate with the buyer instead of you so that they can speak dispassionately. They also explain things to you so that you don’t fly off the handle at a low bid but rather work to find some kind of compromise. Check out my sellers guide for more information.
#5: Without an Agent, DOMs (Days-on-the-Market) are Longer
Long DOMs are killers when trying to sell a home. As stated before, the more days or months a home spends on the market, the harder it is to sell. Potential buyers start to think that there is something wrong with the place since no one has shown any interest, even if there isn’t.
Inevitably, FSBO sellers have to start reducing their price in order to generate new interest. Or, you could hire an agent to help you move your home off of the market faster. Professionals know that they have 90 days or less to make a sell before they start seeing negative returns so good real estate agents have strategies for doing just that.
#6: Without an Agent, Your Home May Not be Open Ready
While you may have already listed your home, your home may not be open ready. Without an agent giving you the unbiased facts about what needs to be fixed, cleaned, updated, or removed from your house, chances are your home is not ready to be shown.
If you start showing your house before it has been professionally cleaned and staged, you are going to lose some of your best leads right off the bat and they will not be coming back. Check out this blog post about getting your home prepped for sale.
#7: Getting the Listing Price Right is harder Without a Pro
Perhaps the biggest make or break decision when selling a home is deciding at what price to list the home. You could look at similar houses in your neighborhood and what they sold for but that’s not the only measure. Similar houses may have been renovated or include features that your home does not, like a pool and deck or a fully finished basement.
Professional agents have access to detailed comps that lay people do not in order to accurately set the price. In addition to comps, setting the listing price accurately requires expert analysis of the local market. The number one reason for long DOMs is overpricing.
#8: Without a Professional, You Could Get into Legal Trouble
Maybe you haven’t considered this, but you could actually get yourself into some pretty serious legal trouble selling your home on your own. FSBO sellers often focus so much on saving $15K in commission without considering how much legal paperwork goes into selling a home.
Professionals know exactly what T’s need to be crossed and what I’s have to be dotted in a home sale. If they make a mistake, they have insurance to cover them. FSBO sellers do not and will likely get sued for non-disclosure or some other error.
#9: Without an Agent, Your Buyer Pool is Very Limited
Whether you know a lot of people looking to buy or not, compared to a professional real estate agent, your buyer pool is very limited. You could place a Facebook ad or a notice in your local paper but those are the tools of amateur home sellers.
Hiring a professional gives you access to their marketing and advertising skills. You will likely have your home listed on their professional website and they can find leads outside of your local area from buyers looking to move to your neighborhood.
#10: Top Reason to Use a Professional – Negotiating the Best Deal
Last but not least, the number one reason you should care about real estate sales being handled by professionals is to get the best deal. Agents are professional negotiators. It is the main reason sellers choose to work with an agent instead of going it alone. It is a professional agent’s duty to negotiate the best deal for you and that’s a comfort and skill most FSBO sellers do not have.