Having an agent represent you in your home sale benefits you. Agents negotiate from a different vantage. Unlike most buyers and sellers, they can distance themselves from the emotional side of the transaction. Agents are more proficient in negotiating because conducting negotiations is a regular part of their professional work and because they are skilled by frequent practice. After all, it’s part of the real estate agent’s job description and training.
Good agents are not simply go-between messengers delivering buyer’s offers to sellers and carrying counteroffers back and forth. They are professionals who are trained to advise their clients on options and consequences and then present their clients’ case in the best light and agree to hold client information confidential from competing interests.
The real estate agent can be a buffer between seller and buyer, keeping the transaction professional and “at arm’s length”. This is important in the negotiations phase when emotions are liable to be at their highest. The real estate agent can further filter all those phone calls that lead to nowhere from bargain hunters and real estate shoppers.
Having a real estate agent available when the home is being shown is a distinct advantage for a few reasons. The agent will field the scheduling calls, arranging them for the seller’s convenience. The agent will show the home, saving that seller time investment. The agent fields the follow-up questions. In short, having an agent will lessen the seller’s investment of time and bother, while inciting serious buyers to immediately write an offer.
Handling real estate transaction paperwork is also a big boon to the seller. One-page deposit receipts were prevalent 40 years ago. Today’s purchase agreement run 10 pages or more. That does not include the federal and state-mandated disclosures not disclosures dictated by local customs. Most real estate files average thickness from one to three inches of paper. A mistake or omission could land you in court or cost you down the road.
Speaking of down the road, even a smooth closing without complications can come back to haunt you. For example, taxing authorities that collect property tax assessments, document stamps, or transfer tax can fall months behind and mix up invoices, resulting in a snag. These may be hard to handle without knowledge of the systems. A good real estate agent will deal with these issues. Questions often arise that were overlooked in the excitement of closing. A proficient agent will be there to assist.
The decision to sell your home requires seeing the total picture, from start to finish. You should now understand what is involved in selling your home quickly and profitable.
However, let us summarize a bit about what you should consider to avoid trouble in the process. To eliminate any misunderstanding by you, your agent, or an interested buyer, discuss this list with your trusted agent.
- Selling your home before you are qualified to buy another – financial situations change along with loans requirements.
- Guessing your mortgage payoff – know if penalties exist.
- Underestimation of closing costs – calculate fees, taxes, and commissions that need to be paid.
- Spending of earnest money – if the sale falls through, what happens to the money?
- Briefing potential buyers – discretion is imperative when buyers want to be your friend.
- Fear of low appraisals – you have options if this happens.
- Stress of showings, remodels, cleaning, phone calls – let your agent handle the bulk of the responsibilities of selling your home.
- Facing inspections requirements – know what is expected for your home to pass.
- Being prepared for closing – your agent and title company should let you know ehat to expect.
- Flexibility and readiness to show your home – make preparations so showing do not interfere with your family and your life.
- Letting buyers see your home in your absence – buyers prefer to view homes without the seller present to listen to their critiques. Any questions should be fielded by your agent.
- Weeding out nonqualified buyers – you can request that only qualified homebuyers view your home. If they are not eligible, even for creative financing, it’s a waste of everyone’s time – especially yours.
Excerpted from my book “Selling Secrets – You Can’t Afford to Miss”
Ricardo Parente, Realtor®
Coldwell Banker Realty | Winter Park, FL