In this market, when homes can sell in days, many sellers think they don’t need an agent. While it is important to place a home on MLS and market the home in the best way possible, that is just the beginning of a good agent’s job.
In a seller’s market, it is still important to price a home right. An experienced agent that knows the market is critical to pricing a home right. Many “for-sale-by-owners” (FSBO) don’t know the true value of their home because they don’t have the most accurate closing information of similar homes sold in their neighborhood. If a home is priced below value, the seller didn’t maximize their return on their investment. If a home is priced too high, the home often sits on the market for an extended period of time which typically gives buyers the idea that is something is wrong with it.
An agent is also helpful in multiple offer situations. It can be overwhelming to a seller that is not familiar with residential property contracts when choosing the right offer. Price isn’t always the most important part of a contract. Will it appraise? What happens if it doesn’t appraise? Can a buyer terminate up to the closing date and still get their earnest or option money back? *Wait* What’s earnest and option money? Is the seller being fair and equal to all parties? Is it a qualified buyer that will financially make it to the closing table?
In my opinion, the most important job an agent has is when an offer is received and executed. Buyers have many “outs” in a typical Texas residential property contract and sellers have many timelines to hit to shorten these “out” periods. An experienced agent knows what to look for in an offer to help diminish these pit falls for a seller before going under contract. If a seller fails to hit these timelines and anything is missed a buyer could walk away the day of closing with no penalties.
Another responsibility of a good agent is to negotiate any repairs that a buyer will request. An inspector’s job is to find things wrong with the home but that doesn’t mean the seller has fix everything on the inspection report. An agent that is familiar with the workings of a house is crucial in negotiations. For example, we have had buyers request upwards of $20,000 in unnecessary repairs. If our clients didn’t know or have an agent, they could have wasted that $20,000 on things that aren’t required for a buyer to have. When it comes to repairs being completed, Realtors typically have their own vendors and contractors that work at a discount or a great price for them. That alone could save you some money.
The ultimate goal of a seller is to get the most money for their home in the shortest amount of time, get to the closing table, collect their check and move on. Using an experienced Realtor to help navigate through the process can save time, headaches and most often, money. Many sellers think they are saving money on commissions, but typically a realtor nets them more money in the long run, all while making the selling process less stressful.
There are resources out there for those still interested in FSBO. However, the time, energy, stress, and potential money savings should be reasons to at least meet with a local agent and discuss what they can do for you. If you’re in the Dallas-Fort Worth area we would love to meet with you and talk about your options.
Taffney Wilson, Team Wilson Realty