Anyone who has ever bought or sold a home knows that the real estate commission costs up to six percent of the sale price. This means a $400,000 home pays up to $24,000 by the seller. That’s a lot of dough, which has many wondering if having an agent is worth the cost. In most cases, it is more than worth the cost of commission. Here is why you should always hire an agent to help sell your house in Massachusetts.
Many realtors start marketing efforts before a home even hits the official market. These pocket listings are networking and word of mouth marketing efforts, testing the market while you finalize final price numbers and last minute home preparation details. Many homes are sold this way but those that do go to market benefit from the diverse marketing efforts of agents.
With professional photos and custom home descriptions, agents are able to put a home’s best in front of potential buyers. This starts with listing services, printed flyers, newspaper and magazine listings. Preview open houses designed for agent walk through premier the house to those with buyers. Open houses expand the market to a wider net. When done right, all these elements help homeowners not only get into escrow faster but with offers higher than list prices.
Looking at multiple offers is exciting. But the most attractive offer isn’t always the one with the largest dollar signs. It’s the offer that has the best chance of closing escrow with complete funding and the fewest potential issues. Agents will smartly advise that a cash offer for less is much stronger than a higher price from a cash-strapped couple. An offer willing to waive inspection rights might be better if homeowners are concerned about an aging home having issues uncovered during inspections. The combinations of all terms and conditions in an offer should be considered and agents are most experienced in seeing potential problems to explain to homeowners.
The escrow process is complicated with highly regulated timelines and disclosures. Agents help homeowners understand these timelines and their responsibilities in them. The agent helps coordinate opening the home up for inspections. Keeping homeowners on target with timelines and disclosures prevents homeowners form accidentally breaching contract terms and potentially losing the deal.
Offers are the starting points for negotiations. Agents will discuss offers with clients and then counter offer. It may take several back-and-forth negotiations to finalize the offer and enter escrow. Escrow doesn’t mean the negotiation process is over.
Home inspections often trigger a second negotiation point as buyers discover “problems” with the property. The choice for sellers is to reject any requests for repairs, fix things or provide a credit to the sale of the property. Occasionally, the property price is reduced if there is a significant issue. Agents see a lot of these requests and are able to guide owners on what are reasonable prices for requests, what can be overlooked and what can be lumped in as a credit that would save sellers money from fixing each individual issue.
Not only does the agent advise sellers on what are good negotiation strategies, they negotiate on seller’s behalf. This means the seller isn’t involved in the high-tension aspects of the negotiations.