The Home Buyer's Korner

Information presented should be used for educational purposes only.

July 8th, 2015

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GREATER METAIRIE LOUISIANA

The Home Buyer’s Korner

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Why Use A Listing Real Estate Agent?

Sold Home For Sale Sign in Front of New HouseUsing a real estate agent does include a cost factor and many home sellers assume by selling a house themselves is a great way to save money. It’s true seller may save on the commission by selling their home on their own, but all too often sell a house without a real estate agent may actually cost you more money than the commission saved.

Previous home sellers often claim they saved thousands selling their home and they sold it within days of deciding to put it on the market without an agent. The other side of this story is they often sold it unknowingly under value and left a lot of money on the table. An experienced real estate agent will often made up for the commission they charged by pricing a house right and working for the seller’s best interest. And, few home owners rarely understand the art of pricing a home right to sale.

Experienced real estate agents understand the right way to marketing your home and know where to display your house in places home owners seldom consider or have access to.

When you try to sell your home on your own at first glance it may appear you can save five, six or seven percent of the sales price by avoiding a real estate commission. However, the fact remains that most buyers work with real estate agents when they are looking for a house. If you haven’t priced your home correctly and include the real estate agent representing the home buyer, then you’ve eliminated most home buyers in your market. Reducing your interested market can greatly extend your home’s time on the market and adds all kinds of hidden cost.

If you do agree to pay a buyer’s agent, you are only saving half of a commission. However, you aren’t being represented by the buyer’s real estate agent who then has the upper hand in negotiations and the selling process. The home buyer’s agent will have the best interest of the buyer in mind, not yours and it would be completely acceptable to negotiate much of the closing cost to their benefit and not yours.

If you under price or over price a home it can be a very costly mistake. When a home first comes on the market is the best opportunity to sell a house. More often than not home buyers are waiting for the perfect location to them and priced right from the beginning.

If a home comes up for sale that is overpriced, serious home buyers won’t look be interested. An overpriced home will then sit on the market for month until the price is lowered. Remember home buyers are being represented by real estate agent and getting good advice. Additionally, when home buyers see a home has been on the market for an extended period, home buyers begins to start to wonder what is wrong with it. Even if the price is lowered to the right value several weeks later, the home still may not sell for what it would have sold for if it had been valued correctly to begin with.

Houses become stigmatized the longer they are on the market. A home owner that no longer lives in the home that has a stigmatized listing is very bad. Every month a home sits vacant it costs money from paying the mortgage to keeping it maintained.

Under pricing a home can cost just as much money as over pricing a home. When you under price a home you will most likely sell it very quickly, but there is a great chance you will sell it for less money than it is worth. It’s true that under pricing a home can stir up a lot of activity and produce many offers.

Properly valuing a home is the most important aspect of selling it, but without a lot of experience it’s simply impossible to do. Without MLS access and understand all the vacancies between each listing; it’s very hard to get information and accurately evaluate recently sold homes.

There are many companies that now offer low fee MLS service. Pay a few hundred dollars and get your home entered into the MLS, but there are many problems with using this type of service.

  1. The service will never evaluate your homes unique features and access their value.
  2. You the home owner still has to take all calls; do all the marketing; set up showings and you’re now exposing yourself to negotiating with a professional with no representation.
  3. You most likely will agree to pay the buyer’s agent if you enter the home in MLS and probably underestimated your home already. Once you have paid the MLS listing company, buyer’s agent, and very likely got out negotiated, not to mention you likely underestimated your home value are you really saving much money?

Recently sold properties in your area are the most important piece of information needed to value a home. People have access to active listings through websites like Zillow, but only licensed agents have access to MLS, which lists sold homes. Active listings can provide an idea of your homes values, but you have no idea if houses are overpriced or what price they will actually sell for. Every house is different, because every house has different features and locations. A real estate agent is an expert at determining value based off of these characteristics.

Zillow provides a Zestimate for house values and many people assume this value is accurate, but it’s created with artificial intelligent software and often off by as much as 20 to 40 percent. As a general rule you should never value a home based solely on a Zestimate.

It is almost always better to use a real estate agent to sell a home instead of selling a house yourself. When it’s all said and done, a real estate agent will make you more money on the sale of your home even though they charge a commission.

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