And the more experience your real estate professional has, the more you have to make up for as a solo home-seller. The bottom line is that not using a broker can cost you more money than you'd invest in his or her commission.
Based on an article from RealTimes, the online news service of the National Association of Realtors, here are answers to the question: What can a real estate agent bring to the sale of your home?
1. Increased appeal in the marketplace. Home sellers don't fully realize that clearly seeing a home through the eyes of a buyer dramatically increases the chances of the home selling quickly and at a higher price. Only a real estate agent's experience can guide a seller to properly show a home to its best advantage.
2. The right listing price. A real estate agent knows the marketplace and your neighborhood and is fully qualified to prepare a detailed market analysis. Plus, a broker knows the competition and what to expect from buyers.
3. The Multiple Listing Service. Your home is listed for all real estate agents to see?and sell! Now the MLS is part of an international database, so your buyer could come from anywhere in the world. A real estate agent is prepared.
4. A referral network. A real estate agent is in constant touch with a wide array of professionals and consumers?all of whom might send the right buyer to your door.
5. A professional yard sign. A sign can funnel buyers' calls right to the qualified real estate professional with the answers they need.
6. A flexible flyer. A flyer about your home can be distributed many different ways, to potential buyers as well as other brokers.
7. Financing expertise. There are many ways in which to financea home today, and a broker is prepared to discuss the options most advantageous for you, the seller.
8. Tours. Your broker can arrange tours of your home for top producing sales agents who would benefit from seeing your home first-hand.
9. Open houses?arranged by your broker for the public and other real estate professionals.
10. A direct mailer. This can be launched with "Just Listed" cards to your neighbors and nearby move-up and rental neighborhoods.
11. Classified ads. Ads might also be taken out for your home. Writing and placing these is an art in itself.
12. Ongoing information. Your broker will tell you about marketing conditions and the competition on a regular basis. This can keep you up-to-date with the market so you are prepared to make decisions.
13. Finding "quality" buyers. Your broker can help buyers find the best financing alternatives and quickly pre-qualify and pre-approve them for mortgages, giving sellers a high degree of security toward closing.
14. Sales skills. A real estate agent who knows his/her business and the local area is invaluable in taking action to show the buyer the neighborhood, competing properties, the special features of your home, the facts about the school system, shopping, etc.
15. Negotiation skills. Your real estate agent will negotiate the purchase agreement and, in doing so, represent your best interests. There may be situations in which dual agency applies.
16. Multiple offer expertise. If more than one buyer makes an offer on your home, it takes an immense amount of know-how and integrity to handle the deal properly.
17. Organization of closing details. From following up with the buyer's mortgage application, to ordering appraisals and inspections, to reviewing the settlement figures for accuracy....your real estate agent does it all.
18. Availability. Throughout the transaction, your broker was your partner. Last-minute contingencies concerning the contract or anything else not complete before closing, can smoothly be managed by your broker.
19. Closure. Your broker will be at your side at the closing table,
prepared for any eventuality and ready to shake your hand with congratulations.
20. Loyalty. Your broker won't forget you or your needs, and will be ready to again be of service to you or anyone you know.