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Kirsten's Blog

By Kirsten Conover | Agent in Atlanta, GA

10 Reasons to Use A Real Estate Agent--Even in Atlanta's Sellers' Market!

The Myth of Saving Money:  For Sale by Owners typically sell their home for less than homes listed by an agent, and have a longer marketing time.  In this market, you may get a buyer—but an agent’s wider marketing reach can help you get more interest—and that competition can result in a higher sales price, less repair demands after inspection, and even buyer willingness to pay some cash above appraisal amount if needed. 

2.    Higher Appraised Value:  Agents are experts in dealing with appraisals (a continuing source of failed contracts, even in this improving market) and are able to provide additional information and comparables to the appraiser which can often help achieve a higher value.

3.    Legal Risk:  Did you know that For Sale by Owner transactions are the number one source of real estate lawsuits?  Would you represent yourself in a court of law?  Failure to properly complete disclosures and unfamiliarity with the complexity of current Georgia real estate laws, contracts and forms (they change yearly, by the way), fair housing laws, etc., can end up causing you legal problems down the road. Licensed real estate agents are required to stay up to date on all mandatory local, state and national requirements

4.    Strangers in your home:  Do you really want to expose your family, your home and your possessions to the risk of inviting unscreened, non-prequalified strangers to your home?  The "For Sale By Owner" sign and homeowner ads bring a great many lookers who are not really qualified to buy, wasting the owner's time and perhaps losing a real prospect, and cause an inconvenience to the seller who must be available for these showings.  Realtors bring only buyers that are prequalified and for whom your home has been selected as one that meets their requirements for price, location and type of home.

5.    Reluctance to deal directly with owners – Ask yourself a question:  Would you rather do half the work on a transaction--or twice the work?  Buyer’s agents prefer to show listings where they know there’s another professional representing the other side of the transaction—someone who knows the legalities, processes and true market value of the property.  It’s much more stressful and time-consuming to negotiate items like appraisal value, inspection items, special stipulations and other details of the transaction with a non-represented seller, who is often too emotionally involved be objective about their home.   

6. Lack of Marketing Experience - Many sellers are not practiced in the art of promotion, and don’t possess a great deal of knowledge or perspective when it comes to marketing real estate. Many of the marketing avenues agents use are costly and require resources that the average homeowner just doesn't possess. Savvy know the techniques to make your home competitive with comparable properties in the local marketplace.

7.    “Low-Ballers”:  For Sale by Owner listings often attract buyers “looking for a deal”  (who factor in the fact that the owner is not paying a listing agent commission into a much lower offering price) or “tire kickers”.  There’s also a general perception that the owner has probably overpriced their home, since they're not being advised by an agent.

8.    Lack of Follow-up System - Homes are frequently sold on second visits which have been brought about by the real estate agent.  A listing agent will have an electronic record of every buyer’s agent that has shown the home, and be able to maintain communication with those agents about their buyers’ interest, and give that feedback to the seller.

9.    Lack of Network:  Do you have a network of resources for mortgage lenders, closing attorney services, surveyors, home inspectors, handymen, pest control companies, etc.?  Agents do—our vendor list is one of our most valuable assets!

10.  Stale Listing:   If an owner fails to sell their home in a timely fashion as a consequence of any of the factors above, it becomes what is known as a “stale listing".   Buyers will always ask, "How long has this home been on the market?”, expecting a discount if it’s been longer than average, and agents start to avoid showing the home, thinking that something must be “wrong” with the home--or it would have already sold.  This invariably results in the owner having to lower the price in order to finally get it sold.

There is a reason that 85% of For Sale by Owners eventually list with a real estate agent.  Even in a “seller’s market”, only listings that look great, are priced competitively and marketed aggressively will sell quickly and for top dollar.  You may be able sell your home yourself, but you’ll never know what price you could have gotten through the increased exposure that listing with a full service broker would have provided!  Bottom line: You’ll get more and better qualified buyers by using a realtor.


By Mike Collins, 608-921-8536,  Tue Jul 23 2013, 09:18
Good top 10!

Best of Luck!
Michael Collins, CDPE, SFR, BPOR

Feel free to leave a comment at my Trulia Blog as well!
By Philip Wade,  Sun Jul 28 2013, 20:59
Well said. I was able to use the information here. I'll bookmark this site for future upadtes. Thanks again.

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