Should You Hire a Realtor in Today's Market?
Updated: Jul 8, 2021
Is it worth using a Real Estate Agent when you sell? Especially in today's market where housing are being snatched up faster than they can be listed. Why do they cost so much? What other avenues can you take to save money?
I am a Real Estate Agent, so my opinion here is very biased as I attempt to explain the reasons why you should use a Realtor over selling on your own. I will also further elaborate that you hire the right agent so that you can have the most success.
To determine whether you should hire an agent or not, you need to be confident in your ability to navigate a Real Estate transaction, confident in your marketing abilities, and be willing to do the legwork to accomplish selling your home (schedule showings, properly list your home, create net sheets for each offer, etc.) When you sell your home, all the responsibility and liability are fully on you as an individual and if you fail to preform you can find yourself in a tougher circumstance than before. Make sure to fully understand contracts and their consequences. I say all this not to discourage or cause people to fear to try this on their own, but to highlight the value an agent can provide. A brief list of the services and benefits hiring a Real Estate Agent should have.
Buffer between parties
Access to large marketing platforms and materials
Networks for professional services
Showing Scheduler and Feedback Systems
There is more to this list, but this gives you a general idea for the benefits for hiring a Realtor. This isn't including all of the statistics about the value they offer by being able to sell your home for a higher price and also the stats of being more successful at actually selling a home. If you desire those stats, visit the bottom of this webpage to get them.
So if you do decide to hire a Real Estate Agent, you are going to want to price them out and see the exact value they add. That can be difficult, since there aren't any great platforms that you can rely on to gather that information. Here is what you need to do. You need to have a "job interview" with multiple agents. You are paying them, you can be as picky as you want! Here are some things you need to ask as you are interviewing them.
How long have you been an agent?
What do you charge?
What services do you provide with that charge?
How many contracts do you allow yourself to handle? (if they handle large number of contracts personally then your file may not be a priority)
Do you have any testimonials or reviews?
Just remember, you are the boss! You are hiring them, so ask those tough questions and evaluate them accordingly. You should know exactly what your money is going towards. From interviewing them you should have some clear answers on what they offer and charge. You will find a very large range of pricing and services. If an agent can't tell you what services they are providing, then they may not be adding the most value for their money. (There are plenty of part time agents who do this as a side job and don't have great systems to take care of you)
Side note, the cheapest isn't always the way to go for two main reasons.
-You get what you pay for
-Loss of negotiating abilities
Let me fully explain. My pricing is broken down into two percentage prices that highlight my full value I offer with each commission package. I offer a 6% and a 5% package. Both include paying for the Buyer's Agent Commission. The difference between the 5% and 6% is the investment I put into marketing your property. The more money and items I put into marketing your home, the more likely you are to have higher offers. But I can do a basic listing with a lower risk marketing for a 5%. The difference between the two is recouping the cost of hiring me with a high potential of getting a better offer. Not every agent have itemized what you received with each commission price. That is why you need to ask what is fully offered with their commission price. (are they doing a preliminary home inspection, professional photos, etc.) If you are doing a 6% commission agreement and they aren't doing some more aggressive marketing strategies, then you are giving up money. ASK THEM where your money is going.
Second is the negotiating abilities. If you are able to talk them down to a lower commission, how good are they at negotiating? Obviously that is very conditional upon the market. Right now you can talk down the commissions on agents because it is a more difficult market for them, but take how they negotiate down or what they adjust to meet what you are hoping for commission. If they adjust with no type of negotiating, you have to ask yourself if that person will then try to negotiate when someone is trying to talk down your home.
There are Real Estate companies and agents that will list your home for a flat fee. Again ask yourself why they are doing that and ask them what they offer. They're broadcast it as a chance to save money, but typically they'll be swamped and you'll have to handle a lot of the work yourself and you aren't going to be saving as much as you think you might be. First you need to create an accurate net sheet to see how much you are saving. (You'll want to still pay a Buyer's Agent Commission, if you want to do the aggressive marketing you'll need to pay for the ads and mailers you put out, and your time to physically market the property) So depending on the sale's price of your home, you probably wont be saving the amount you are anticipating, and you could be losing more if you aren't getting as many showings and offers. Are they aggressively marketing it and getting you the most showings and offers? Probably not with a lower flat fee they can't afford to take those risks. Think of these things as you are deciding the direction to go.
Like I stated, I have a biased opinion, but those are some things to consider as you are trying to decide whether to hire a Real Estate Agent or not, and whom to hire. Best of luck! If you have any questions or what to talk more on this or any subject in Real Estate, set up a time to contact me.
Want to sell your home or at know the market value of your home? Check out my services here.