Last year, many metro areas saw double-digit home-price increases. However, this past quarter, there has been a significant slowdown in those increases, according to Trulia's Price and Rent monitor. Now that the winter ground is beginning to thaw, and spring is approaching, ushering in the busiest time of the year for home sales, what about those homeowners who have been thinking about selling but remain on the sidelines, waiting for their homes to increase in value?
It's natural for any owner to try and maximize profits when it comes to putting their home on the market. And one tactic many prospective sellers consider when trying to cash in is cutting the realtor commission by selling the house themselves!
Well, here's a reality check. Selling your home yourself is not the money-saving solution you may have thought it would be. The dollars you think you'll save on commissions is often a wash when you consider the higher sales price an experienced agent – with pricing expertise, negotiating skills, and access – can bring in. Real estate professionals have the resources to get top dollar for your home, and they can secure an accepted offer more quickly and get the deal closed on time.
The numbers don't lie. Statistically, a home on the market listed 'For Sale By Owner' (FSBO) takes longer to sell (and eventually sells for less) than its realtor-represented counterparts. According to data from the National Association of Realtors, FSBOs accounted for 9% of home sales in 2012. The typical FSBO home sold for $174,900, compared to $215,000 for agent-assisted home sales. That's a big difference!
Realtors know the business inside and out and have experience with each and every step of the home buying and selling process. According to Trulia, there are a recommended set of questions to ask a potential agent to get the right fit for you and your home. Finding the right one is key. At the end of the day, it's what they do for a living, and their number one goal is to get your house sold quickly – for top dollar.
Here are five keys points that prove the "DIY" approach should be reserved for small home repairs – not home sales – and why you should always work with a real estate professional:
The most essential component to getting your house sold is to price it correctly. Price too high and it simply sits on the market, becoming a stale listing. Price too low and you lose money. Home sellers have an emotional connection to their homes and tend to think they are worth more than what the market will bear. An experienced Realtor knows the nuances of your local market, how to price based on those specifics, and then justifies the price of your home to potential buyers.
Selling your home is a business transaction – a major one. There are three significant negotiations in the sale process: the initial offer, the counter-offer, and the post-offer period that includes inspections and requests for concessions. You need a skilled and objective negotiator on your side during those discussions.
You want your home to get the maximum exposure to the greatest number of potential buyers. Not only will a professional prepare all the marketing materials, coordinate the Internet marketing, and hold open houses, he or she will also network regularly with other agents who may have interested buyers... maybe even your buyer.
The vast majority of potential buyers are going to be represented by an agent of their own. FSBO deals can often deter agents who prefer to work with another real estate professional or who worry about receiving their own half of the commission. And if you do plan to pony up a buyer's agent commission, you're really only saving 3%, not 6%, on the sale.
Getting The Transaction Done
A professional has the experience to work through the sale process efficiently, stepping in when there are financing problems, dealing directly with buyers' objections and complaints, keeping the closing on track, and facilitating the contracts and escrow to a successful, smooth close.
All are key to getting a great deal done, so you can move on to your next great real estate adventure!
This article originally appeared on Trulia.com
Michael Corbett is Trulia's real estate and lifestyle expert. He hosts NBC's EXTRA's Mansions and Millionaires. In additional to his regular segments on ABC's The View and Fox News, he is a national best selling author with three critically acclaimed real estate books: Find It, Fix It, FLIP IT!; Ready, Set, SOLD! and Before You BUY! Follow him on Twitter @1MichaelCorbett
Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.