While the prospect of selling your home on your own and "saving" the real estate commission may sound attractive, selling a home is not an easy task.
To avoid costly mistakes, the participation of a REALTOR® is a must. The vast majority of residential homes are sold with the help of a REALTOR® and using a real estate professional has numerous advantages over going it alone.
REALTORS® are highly skilled individuals who must complete an extensive training program to receive a license. This program includes not only an intensive in-class phase, but a two-year 'articling' process that further refines their knowledge of the housing transaction.
One of a REALTOR'S® many valuable assets is the ability to look out for your best interests and meet your needs. Most important, however, REALTORS® know how to sell your property for the best possible price.
With a comprehensive knowledge of the housing market, a REALTOR® will assess your property and use a sophisticated comparative analysis to determine a fair and workable selling price. Once he or she has made an initial estimate, a REALTOR® will offer a number of valuable tips on how to increase your asking price and speed the sale of your home.
Often, minor repairs and fix-ups are all that are needed to make your home more "saleable." Your REALTOR® knows exactly what qualities buyers in your area are looking for and will advise you accordingly.
Next, your REALTOR® will help develop an overall 'marketing plan' for your property. This is the strategy that will be used to expose your home not only to a maximum number of buyers, but to reach the specific kind of buyer that will be motivated to purchase your home.
Your marketing plan will likely include advertising in newspapers and real estate periodicals, television coverage, open houses for the public and other Realtors, and listing with the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Most REALTORS® will incur any costs associated with marketing your home as part of their service to you.
Once potential buyers have been located, a REALTOR® will pre-screen applicants to separate the 'lookers' from the 'buyers' and find out if they are qualified to purchase at your asking price.
Once a suitable and motivated buyer is found, your REALTOR® will take on the tedious and often complicated task or negotiations. This is usually the stage where homeowners who do not use a REALTOR® get into serious trouble. Typically a buyer will be armed with professional advice when money is being discussed and a seller without a professional on his or her side will be at a distinct disadvantage. REALTORS® have been through this type of negotiation many times and know the finer points of offers and counter offers.
Even more valuable is the fact that having a REALTOR® as your negotiator keeps you at arm's length, greatly reducing the emotional stress and anxiety involved in selling your home.
Finally, when the offer is accepted, all kinds of legal contracts and financial arrangements must be taken care of. Again this is an area that can quickly overwhelm the average homeowner, but REALTORS® are skilled at cutting through red tape and finalizing the sale with a minimum of fuss.
Throughout the entire process your REALTOR® will be looking out for you. From making your home as attractive as possible and exposing it to the right buyers, to negotiating on your behalf and closing the sale, a real estate professional is the one person you definitely want on your side when selling your home.
This article is courtesy of the Ontario Real Estate Association.