As the market picks back up, you may be thinking about finally listing your home. With this major decision comes another difficult choice: should you use a real estate agent? Agents are paid by commission and you might be tempted to list your home on your own with the intention of saving a little money. However, the advantages to using a trained professional outweigh the disadvantages—and they may actually get you more money for your home. It is, after all, their job.
If you want to list your home on your own, then be prepared for a myriad of additional work, including home staging, piles of paperwork, and negotiation headaches. “Homes that are represented by professional agents generally tend to make more money than those for sale by owner,” says Steven Calcagni, President of Calcagni Real Estate. And, Calcagni reminds us, don’t forget that even if you’re listing solo, your buyer may be using an agent. This means that negotiating a price will be trickier if you don’t have an agent to help you make the most knowledgeable decisions.
Also, without an agent, you have a ton of work cut out for you in terms of showing your home and making yourself available on short notice. Still not convinced? Here are several additional reasons why, according to Calcagni, the help of an agent is the best thing you can do for your home sale.
MLS: This is the biggest reason to go with an agent. The MLS is a home listing database. Anyone who is buying with the help of an agent will be looking on the MLS, and if you don’t have an agent, you will not have access to it. Not only will you not be able to showcase your home there, but you can’t shop for comparable homes to help set an appropriate price.
Stage off: “An agent knows exactly how to set up your home to make it appealing for buyers,” says Calcagni. “They have seen hundreds of homes, sometimes even thousands.” Additionally, it may be hard for you to remove furnishings you’re particularly attached to, like that antique wagon-wheel coffee table.
“You agent can help you make unemotional, unbiased decisions about what should stay and what should go in order to attract good attention and avoid negative,” says Calcagni. “Unless you specialize in interior design, this will be a difficult task for you to do solo.”
Pricing: “I can’t stress this enough,” says Calcagni. Even the most knowledgeable for sale by owner (FSBO) sellers can’t harness the vast market knowledge of an agent. “Comparable pricing is key in this industry, and if you list your home for the wrong price, you may be sabotaging your sale.”
Marketing: Agents have network resources unavailable to FSBO sellers, including an abundance of contacts, marketing materials, online platforms and social media networks ready to blast your listing. “Marketing your own listing takes up a ton of time,” cautions Calcagni. “Aside from all of the time you will spend putting your listing out there, you will also spend hours going back and forth with potential buyers, many of whom may not be serious about purchasing. Your agent will do this for you.”
Details, detail, details: Closing fees. Contracts. Regulations. Sales guidelines. All of these details are extremely important when it comes to selling your home, and they can be both confusing and time consuming. “If you forgo some important paperwork or misfile a form, you can delay or derail your sale,” warns Calcagni. “An agent is already an expert—let them take over and save yourself, time, stress, unnecessary expense … and a headache.”
For more information on selling a home, please contact your Calcagni Agent or visit www.calcagni.com