By: Christel Silver Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
It might take you a while before deciding to sell your home or to buy a new home. Once you make the decision, you have to decide whether to use a Realtor® or do it yourself.
The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) has the statistics: Homes listed with a Realtor® sell for 26 percent more than as For Sale By Owner. And that is after paying the commission. The argument for the For Sale By owner: “I want to save the commission” – really does not work.
You don’t need to know everything about buying and selling real estate if you hire a real estate professional who does. This will give you more precious time for yourself. The road to homeownership can be bumpy, so it makes sense to have a real estate pro help guide the way.
But sellers should be prepared to do a lot of legwork to manage the sales process if they try to sell the house themselves, with no guarantee of a final sale. Are you able to screen a possible buyer? Are you objective enough to clean your house and stage it for a successful showing? You are proud of your family pictures but you really should depersonalize your home for the sale.
Once you have found ”your” agent, you can be sure they are looking out for your best interests and offer you loyalty. A good agent is familiar with the neighborhood, is active at the Chamber of Commerce, attends City Council meetings, knows the politicians and knows about the developments in the area. They can disclose market conditions, which will determine the selling or buying process. The average per square foot cost of similar homes, median and average sales prices, and average days on the market are important information to help you with the price decisions. They will advise you how to stage your home so it appeals to the typical buyer. They will take professional photos to display on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and on social media.
Realtors also work with each other. We attend meetings and networking events locally, statewide and nationally. We learn from each other and we share information and refer clients. When I add a new listing – the likelihood that one of my realtor friends has a buyer is very good. If I do not know the answer to your question, I am sure one of my inner circle realtors can help. Agents can recommend a list of vendors they have worked with for your repair work or improvements. If I have a referral to another state or city, I will refer an experienced real estate agent I know to my client.
If you are buying real estate – the experience of a Realtor® is working “free” for you, because in most situations they are paid through the seller’s listing commission. So why do you want to waste your time finding the perfect home yourself? The agent will discuss the process with you and guide you all the way to closing and beyond. The agent can suggest financing options and advise you for inspections you should plan to make sure your purchase is a smart purchase.
The agents negotiate well because they can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction whether you are a buyer or a seller. This is important for making the right decision. They will discuss the offer with pros and cons and hold all information confidential. They will handle the details of the negotiation process and prepare all necessary paperwork. After the inspection is completed, the agent can also help you negotiate for repairs. Any transaction can have some complications. It can be a bumpy road of homeownership. Maybe it is because of incorrect calculation of taxes or incorrect adjustments. A good agent will assist you to straighten out the issue, even after closing.
About Christel Silver
Christel Silver is a full time Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty servicing the East Coast of South Florida. In 1985 she was licensed in Maryland and Washington DC as a Realtor and later as a Certified Residential Appraiser and Associate Broker and has been in Florida since 2001.