House Talk

Should You Hire A Professional?


The time has come for you to sell your home, but you’re unsure you want to hire a real estate agent.  In the back of your mind you’re hoping to be able to save the commission

by selling your home yourself.


What are some of the potential problems associated with selling your home on your own?


Most buyers are uncomfortable with buying property without a real estate agent involved in the transaction.  They are afraid they will be taken advantage of if there is not a third party facilitator involved.  They will also most likely need help arranging financing, which the listing agent can often help with.


Homeowners in general are not good negotiators.  If the buyer has hired a seasoned real estate agent to negotiate the sale of the home, the seller may lose ground due to lack of negotiating skills.  Or, he may scare the unrepresented buyer off, unintentionally.


When you hire a real estate agent to list your home, you are also gaining the added protection of making sure all buyers that enter your home are accompanied by a licensed real estate agent. Allowing unaccompanied strangers to view your home can raise certain safety issues.


Another disadvantage of selling your home yourself is the limited scope of advertising.  A real estate agent generally advertises on a national, as well as local level.  Individual advertising can quickly add up when paying these costs yourself.


Other areas to take into consideration are the enormous amounts of paperwork involved in writing up a purchase agreement,  handling counter offers, arranging for home inspections, and making final closing arrangements.  You will definitely incur additional expenses here, since you will have to retain an attorney to protect yourself from possible lawsuits later.


The biggest reason for hiring a professional?  Time savings.  It is a proven fact that your home will sell faster when exposed to the networking capabilities that an agent has with other real estate agents in the region.  Also, if you’re like most homeowners, you have a full time job or children that keep you pretty busy already.  The thought of adding the additional job of marketing, showing, and handling a real estate transaction, should be enough to convince you that it wouldn’t be worth all the extra work.


Real Estate Terminology


Here are a few terms to help further your real estate vocabulary:


Purchase Agreement:  A contract stating the specific terms in which a seller agrees to sell, and a buyer agrees to buy a piece of property.  The contract must be in writing and signed to be legally binding.


Earnest Money:  A sum of money serving as a binder to a purchase agreement to show the seller that the buyer is serious about his commitment to buy.  When the sale closes, the earnest money becomes a part of the buyers down payment.  If the  buyer backs out of the purchase of the home, the earnest money is forfeited to the seller, unless otherwise stated in the contract.


Escrow Funds:  Money or papers which are part of a financial transaction, that are given to a third party to hold until all the agreements to the contract have been completed.