Many sellers in the Bay Area wonder why they should pay the high cost of a real estate agent, considering how much information is readily available to help them do the job themselves. This is definitely a good avenue of thought; after all, many people successfully sell their home on their own every day.
Do not forget, however, that the vast majority of For Sale By Owner properties end up listed with a real estate agent for a reason. While some people succeed in selling their home, most don’t. If your home stays on the market longer because you are doing it yourself, you’ll probably end up wasting more money than you would have paid in a commission.
If you’re wondering if hiring a real estate agent is really worth it, here are some things to consider.
1. Agents in the Bay Area have experience and education
If you hire a real estate agent, you do not have to know everything about selling real estate. Doing it on your own, however, means you have to learn how to do the job an agent spends years mastering — and you have to do it fast. As Henry Ford said, when you hire someone smarter than you are, it proves you are smarter than they are.
Of course, not all agents are the same, so it pays to interview several agents to make sure you get the right person for the job.
2. Agents in the Bay Area offer valuable price guidance
Pricing your home correctly is the single most important thing you can do to get your home sold quickly. Agents do not price properties for sellers, but they do guide their clients on making the right choice. An agent will provide you with comparable sales to analyze and advise you on market conditions and local supply and demand to help you choose a competitive, realistic price.
3. Agents know local market conditions
Market conditions in the Bay Area govern the entire selling process, and how you will proceed. Agents can disclose important information like average days on market, median and average sales prices and the average per square foot cost of comparable homes to develop a smart strategy.
4. Agents act as a buffer
Do you like the thought of clearing your schedule and showing your home to lookie loos who are not interested in making an offer? That is one reason to hire an agent. A real estate agent will remove spam from property showings and visits, filtering phone calls that will not go anywhere while inducing serious buyers to make an offer immediately.
5. Agents have strong negotiation skills
Most people do not like the idea of negotiating directly with buyers over their home. Consider this: what if a buyer hates certain aspects of your home that you lovingly added over the years you have lived there? If both parties are represented by an agent, the buyer can rant all they like about the aspects they despise without hurting anyone’s feelings. Your agent, meanwhile, will be best able to handle negotiations in these tricky situations without ruffling feathers.
Not only do agents spend a career perfecting their negotiating skills, they also have the advantage of being distant from the emotional aspects of the sale. A good agent does not merely deliver messages between parties; they are also trained to best present their client’s case and agree to hold any client information confidential.
6. Agents understand real estate regulations and rules
If you want to sell your home in the Bay Area on your own, you will need to learn the legal rules governing real estate transactions in your state. This includes who must sign documents, who can conduct the transaction and what to if encumbrances are discovered that slow down the sale. There are also many state-mandated disclosures that apply to the physical condition of your home.
Make one small mistake and you risk being taken to court or losing thousands in the deal.