Why List with a Realtor (preferably me!)

When it comes to selling your home, you have options.  These options involve vastly different levels of service, and cost the seller anywhere from nothing at all (private sale), to a non-refundable up-front fee (Property Guys, etc, who you pay even if you don't get a sale), to a small percentage of the final sale price (Realtors, who get nothing if your home doesn't sell).  

I won't sit here and say that using a Realtor is the only right option because for some people, the other options do work better.  I compare it to someone representing themselves in criminal court: some people are capable of handling it themselves, others get a bit of advice but still do most of the work alone, and others hire a trained experienced professional to work for them.  When the stakes are that high (jail / losing huge amounts of $$$), do you really want to find out the hard way that you aren't one of those people that can do it without professional assistance?  Screwing up a real estate deal normally won't lead to jail, but can easily lead to the complete loss of a massive financial investment.

Realtors are able to provide assistance in many areas during the process of selling a home.  This includes (but is definitely not limited to) providing advice on pricing and staging,  creating a marketing / advertising plan, helping with showings, negotiating the best deal, and making sure all legal requirements are met. To properly price a home, it is not enough to look at the asking price of other houses currently on the market.  The goal is to sell, not just list, and many of the houses for sale in the Creston valley have been listed for several years without selling.  That would usually mean that those homes are priced above what people are willing to pay for them, so how can those listings be used to set your price?  As a Realtor, I have access to information on what the homes in our area have actually sold for.  I know if the sale was to a family member for less than market value, or if the buyer was willing to overpay to get a specific feature.  From talking to buyers, I know what people are willing to pay for certain types of properties.  Using this information, I can help make sure your home is priced where it needs to be for a successful sale. 

Technology and media have had a huge effect on this industry.  TV shows have given buyers a somewhat distorted vision of what home-buying is like, and has changed their expectations to meet that vision.  The internet allows buyers to check out literally hundreds of properties virtually before ever stepping foot inside one that they intend to buy.  As a Realtor, a large part of my job is making sure that your property stands out amongst those hundreds the buyers are looking at online so that they want to see yours in person. This includes suggesting options for staging and de-cluttering, obtaining professional photos, and ensuring that the write-up details the highlights of your home, allowing buyers to picture themselves enjoying living there. 

It is often beneficial to have someone involved in the transaction whose view is not affected by an emotional attachment to the home.  Emotions and memories are what make a house a home, and often add perceived value to the seller.  The problem is that they buyers have no such memories, and therefore will likely disagree on that value.  Without an unemotional voice being involved on the seller’s side to look at the financial aspects instead of the emotional, a deal is unlikely to be made. 

There are many other areas where a Realtor can benefit the sellers during a home sale, including assistance with organizing and handling showings and open houses, negotiating all aspects of a deal, and ensuring all laws and regulations are followed properly.  Stay tuned for Part 2 on this topic for more details!

Please comment or contact me if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.