Thursday, May 20, 2021 / by Jo Reimer
When folks are looking to buy or sell a home they often wonder if they’ll need a real estate agent. After all, don’t Listing Agents just put a property on the MLS and stick a sign in the yard? How hard is that? Or if you approach the Listing Agent on a house you’re interested in, can’t they just write up the offer for you and skip an agent for yourself? Yes, but they’re protecting the SELLER’S interest. Who is protecting yours?
A Listing Agent should have a solid marketing plan to get your home sold as quickly as possible and for top dollar. That goes far beyond just putting a sign in your yard and putting it on the MLS. The Listing Agent should market your home to other agents, do social media advertising, get your home staged, advise you on what repairs to make, do research to make sure yours is priced correctly, arrange professional photography and drone footage, measure rooms, and much, much more. People are often surprised at what all a good Listing Agent does to market their property correctly.
In this super-hot and crazy market where properties are receiving multiple offers and often way over list it may beg the question: Is having an agent necessary? The answer is YES! Do you know how to handle multiple offer situations? Does the highest price offer mean that you’re going to net the most? Sometimes it doesn’t. What does Pass/Fail Inspections mean? Are you familiar with property condition disclosure law? Do you know what to do if the buyer doesn’t perform in a timely manner? Do you know that 22% of For-Sale-By-Owners end up in lawsuits for various reasons? Trying to save a few bucks can cost you much more by not having a real estate agent handling your listing.
Okay, so what about an agent for the buyer? Absolutely! A Buyer’s Agent protects your interest in the transaction. They can keep you from paying to much by doing a comparative market analysis to see what similar homes in the area are selling. An agent with a keen eye, while they aren’t property inspectors, may see a potential issue with the property that isn’t on the Property Condition Disclosure. What if it’s a Property Condition Exemption? Do you know what the difference is? What does that mean to you? The Listing Agent doesn’t represent you which means ANYTHING you tell them is NOT confidential. That means they can tell the seller your situation and use it to THEIR advantage, not yours. Do you know what information to disclosure and what not to disclose? How are your negotiating skills? There are car sellers that sell cars with no negotiation necessary because people don’t like to haggle. One price, that’s it. Pay it or don’t get the car. That’s not the way it works in real estate. If you’re not comfortable negotiating or know real estate law you’re much better off having an agent protect your interest. And, in most cases, the Buyer’s Agent’s commission is paid by the seller so having your own agent may not cost you anything. So doesn’t it make sense to having someone represent you?
So, if you’re a seller, do you need someone who’s strictly a Listing Agent? If you’re a buyer do you need someone who’s only a Buyer’s Agent? While there are many agents who specialize in one or the other any agent can handle either side of the transaction. The same agent who listed and sold your house can also help you buy your new home. You don’t need multiple agents to get the job done. You need one who represents YOU and your best interests.