Article in Prescott Courier about Using a Real Estate Professional

An article in the Daily Courier features 5 reasons to use a real estate professional instead of listing yourself:

1. Pricing Is Difficult

Just a few years ago, you didn’t have to worry about overpricing your home. If it was too high, all you needed to do was wait as historic appreciation was taking place. The situation is quite different today. With the possibility of a continuing drop in home values, overpricing your property will cost you time. In this market, time costs you money. A professional real estate agent will discuss how increasing inventory could dramatically impact the value of your property in the months to come. They will help you set the right price in today’s market.

2. Negotiating Ability Is Crucial

Buyers today have an almost unlimited supply of homes from which to choose. They realize this puts them in a great negotiating position. Most buyers are now being represented by an agent. Sellers need to also be represented by a professional expert trained to negotiate real estate contracts.

3. Mortgaging Is Key to the Deal

The biggest impact on the housing market collapse is that lending standards are much stricter today than they were a few short years ago. Rules are constantly changing. Even FHA has gone through a guidelines overhaul in the last several months. You need a real estate expert who has teamed up with a knowledgeable mortgage professional to make sure that the buyer in the deal is in fact capable of obtaining a mortgage. Losing time with an unqualified buyer costs you money in a market where prices are falling.

4. Your Family’s Safety

We have always found it puzzling that the same person who will lock every door and window and set the alarm today will then allow total strangers into their house tomorrow. The real estate industry trains its practitioners to take steps to protect themselves and their clients. Take advantage of putting a person between you and the person calling on an ad or a yard sign.

5. You Probably Have More Important Things to Do

Selling a home could turn into a full time job. Learning the necessary disclosures, coordinating the dates of your closings, dealing with a challenge regarding your appraisal and re-negotiating the offer after an engineer’s report are just a few of the concerns you may face. You would probably be better off spending that time with the items important to you and your family and leaving the challenges to your agent.

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In addition to this list of compelling reasons to use an agent, consider the following: In an era of Trulia, Craigslist®,®, etc., you might be wondering why you can’t just sell your home on your own. There are plenty of resources available to you as a homeowner and no one knows your home like you do. So why do you need a REALTOR®?

In fact, there are a few compelling reasons.

First of all, a good Real Estate professional has an understanding of the local market. While most people get their information on real estate trends from national news, Realtors know that “all real estate is local,” and it is their business to be very familiar with it. A good Realtor would be able to value your property with by pulling comparable properties and using their experience.

A Realtor also has a built-in network. He or she is in constant contact with other real estate agents, each of whom has a personal inventory of clients who may be interested in your property. This gives you a large number of potential buyers who would never see a sign in your yard or a classified in the local paper.

And speaking of advertising, this should come at a cost to your Realtor, including signage, information packets, the multi-list system, multiple on-line sites, professional photos, virtual tour, flyers & mailers and more.

A Realtor should work hard for you. He or she is bound by a code of ethics, and you should never have to worry that your Realtor is dividing his or her loyalty between you and a buyer, without your informed and written consent. And he or she will be able to help you avoid legal issues by ensuring that your contracts and disclosures are accurate and up-to-date.

Realtors also have a long-standing relationship with lenders and title companies, and will be able to help you find reputable companies to help your transaction go smoothly and without unexpected setbacks.

Having said that, though, there often are setbacks. Realtors are professionals and offer experience bringing transactions to the closing table. They will be prepared for last-minute glitches, and will do all that they can to keep the transaction moving smoothly to a close. When appraisals don’t come in as high as expected, or an appliance suddenly stops working, it can be very stressful; and having a calm, competent Realtor will be an enormous asset.

You should try and choose a local Realtor, of course. These are people who are very involved in their communities and know the neighborhoods, lakes, recreational opportunities, etc. If you are selling from a distance, and you receive notice of a burst pipe, your Realtor will know who to call. If a foot of snow blocks your driveway and there’s a showing in four hours – your agent will know who to call.

Finally, a Realtor possesses something you don’t when it comes to selling your property: no emotional attachment. They may empathize with your love for your home, but will still be able to recognize and advise you on the things you may need to do to prepare you home for sale, and maintain professionalism and courtesy when dealing with a lowball offer while you as a proud homeowner may be offended and lose your cool.

Working with a real estate agent is not free of course. The Realtor will have made an investment in signage and advertising, not to mention time and diligence. But most importantly, it’s difficult to put a price on the peace of mind you will get when you work with a knowledgeable professional.