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  • Writer's pictureValerie Thompson

I don't need a REALTOR, they said.

Scenario: You have a toothache and are told the only way to feel better is to have a root canal. Do you do it yourself? NO! You call your local dentist, and he/she takes care of you. You go home feeling much better and {hopefully} never have to do that again!

Scenario: You want a new look. You saw this picture of a model on Pinterest and thought, "Wow. What a lovely haircut. I want that same look." Do you do it yourself? NO!! Some may say yes...but let's be honest. Color from a box and your own hands with a pair of scissors are not to be trusted. You likely call your stylist, schedule an appointment and after one amazing scalp massage, a couple hours in the chair and one great conversation later, you have the most beautiful haircut and color this side of the Mississippi.

Scenario: You are considering selling your home. You've never sold anything before other than those lamps you no longer wanted on one of those Facebook "for sell" groups and you got mad because your English degree cringes knowing it's supposed to be "for sale" instead, but #sold them on there anyway. Do you put a makeshift sign in the yard and hope for the best? NO!! You call your local real estate agent, and she helps you prep your home and stage it, considers the right price after doing a comparative market analysis on your home, puts a sign in the yard and puts the listing into your market's MLS (multi-list service), and helps market the home to all area agents, and through all the proper advertising avenues. The REALTOR handles every aspect of the sale, right up to closing when you receive your proceeds check. You sit back and relax knowing you did the right thing and that commission you paid your agent was more than worth it, especially given she was able to sell your home for far more than you ever thought!

So, what's the point? You hire people for what they're trained in and what they're good at. You also pay those people what they're worth. You don't negotiate the gallon of milk at the grocery store, do you? You don't haggle the lady at TJ Maxx to lower the price of the sweater you want because you think it's worth less, do you? We all know you don't ask the power company to reduce your power bill because you think it is high, even though you know ran your heat more than usual last month and the Christmas lights were left on 24/7.

So, why would you try to sell your home on your own? Or, why would you not want to pay someone to help you do it? REALTORS are qualified and licensed individuals who are continually educated to ensure they always have the most updated knowledge, tools and resources to serve their customers and clients: YOU! Our experiences in the industry build our portfolio in order to offer you the most real-life answers to your questions. We generally know the market better than anyone, and have a great network of other agents, mortgage lenders, attorneys, inspectors, appraisers, electricians, plumbers, exterminators, painters, contractors, interior get the our back pockets.

I'll spell it out for you. The top reasons you should have a REALTOR help you list and sell your home:

  1. Getting your #home listed so it will be seen. Just putting a sign in the yard and telling your neighbors about it don't put it where people will see it. If you want your home sold quicker, listing with an agent will ensure it's put into the local MLS and pushed to all other online home search engines. You must be a licensed agent to list in MLS, so even FSBOs (for sale by owners) must pay a fee or commission to get listed properly.

  2. The number one reason most folks choose to sell their home on their own is because they feel they're saving money on not paying a commission. Statistics prove this isn't true. Typical homes listed with an agent sell for a price 15-20% higher than those of FSBOs. And, many folks that are looking to buy FSBO homes are likely not working with an agent either (think negotiation nightmare) and are looking for a "deal"...i.e. a big discount and lowball offers. You could very well leave money on the table and not in your pocket.

  3. Agents are forced to put YOU first. Literally. We are bound by a code of ethics to treat every transaction with the utmost moral and ethical attention, and as the seller's agent, we put our sellers first. Put in simple terms: A realtor is bound by law to act in a seller’s best interest. If for some reason they do not, a #seller has recourse in court.

  4. You may not really get out of paying commission anyway. Most buyers DO have a buyer's agent they're working with. And I don't know any agents that work for free. Your home will never be a priority for those agents if you're not willing to work with them...meaning, pay them, for bringing you a buyer.

  5. You'll be the amateur at the negotiation table. Without a listing agent, sellers often go into a transaction handicapped or uneducated. REALTORS are professionals that know how to negotiate for their clients. Not only price, but often it comes down to many other things: repairs, dates, earnest money and deposits, inspections and due diligence periods. And, deciphering through documents like purchase agreements, finance contingencies, amendments to address concerns, etc. can be a nightmare. If you just read all that and have no idea what 90% of those things are, you need an experienced agent. Also to consider, legal real estate documents protect you, the seller. If you did it on your own, would you be protected?

  6. A Magic 8-Ball won't tell you the perfect list price. Neither will a "Zestimate" or your gut. Underpricing your home obviously leaves your money on the table. Overpricing your home will likely leave your #FSBO listing in the dark with no showings and no sale. There are no online tools that can be as accurate as having a #REALTOR that physically evaluates your home and is able to compare it to other active listings and sold homes in the area.

  7. There is a difference in marketing a home and selling a home. You will not sell a home by just listing it on popular sites and waiting for the offers to come in. A licensed real estate agent has the tools and resources, and in my case, a marketing and advertising background and mind, in order to place your #home in the best places at the best times to maximize exposure and recognize the home's best qualities and amenities, and ultimately "brand" your home for the perfect #buyer. All this can be a time-consuming and costly process that is generally included in the commissions you would pay at the sale of the home.

  8. Most homes aren't in perfect condition. Most buyers have high expectations. Marry those two and you need some contacts on your side to address any issues quickly and properly. As mentioned above, REALTORS have all these folks in their little black {iPhone} book. Would you know how to handle a leaking toilet, a title issue, a termite problem, a funding misunderstanding, or other unknown problems two days before you're supposed to close on your home you tried to list yourself?

  9. Selling a home should be a business transaction, not an emotional one. As a seller, sometimes it's hard to take emotion and sentiment out of the process. Allowing your agent to represent you and handle all parts of the process will ease any overwhelming feelings you have. Another gift of most agents is they are often great {unlicensed} therapists. They will allow you to vent, yell, sometimes curse, talk-through, over-analyze, cry, laugh, and pray. And anything else you deem necessary to help.

  10. Are you prepared to answer every phone call, be at every showing, negotiate all deals and type up all the documents...then follow up with all the folks along the way, schedule all the inspections and repairs, and do it all over again if the deal falls through because the guy bailed and you didn't have the proper documentation to hold him to the deal? If not, a real estate agent is. Selling a home is full-time job. If you've already got one, or are enjoying retired life, give someone who this is her only job the opportunity to do her job.

BOTTOM LINE: Do yourself a favor and don't try to sell your home yourself. Allow the professionals to help. Most sellers that start off thinking they don't need a REALTOR, end up getting one anyway. Call me. I'm here for YOU!

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