When you read that houses are selling within just a few days of going on the market, you might think you really don't need to hire a listing agent.
What isn't evident is the preparation that went into bringing those homes to market.
Agents first do the research necessary to help homeowners price their properties correctly - because an over-priced house won't sell.
Then they give advice and guidance on getting the house camera-ready and show-ready. It isn't as simple as just saying a house is for sale. It needs to present well on line in order to be noticed. Then, unless you're going for a fixer-upper price, it has to look super when would-be buyers arrive.
Do most sellers know where to hire a stager, a professional real estate photographer, and a person to film a virtual tour? Do they know what those services should cost?
And how about getting those photos and videos out into the world? Home buyers are looking at various real estate portals on line - and most agents put their listings on all of them. Agents know how - do you?
Before greeting buyers, home sellers also need to have specific paperwork in hand. Do most homeowners know which disclosure forms are required? And do they know what might happen later if they sell without disclosures and the buyers are confront with a problem the sellers knew about?
Next comes the problem of showing the house. First, someone needs to be home - or able to get home for showings at various times of day. If a buyer can't see a house when it's convenient for them, most of them just move on.
If the sellers agree to pay buyer agents, they can vacate while the house is shown. If not, or if they encourage potential buyers to come without an agent, they risk giving away their bargaining power by talking too much. They also risk chasing buyers away by following them through the house.
Then come negotiations. The agent working for you is your guide, your champion, and the buffer between you and the buyer. He or she will help you negotiate not only the price, but the terms and conditions - which can sometimes be vitally important.
And finally, your agent will be the problem-solver when issues come up between agreement and closing. And they do.
When homeowners hire a listing agent, they're hiring representation to protect and guide them - and to see that their house is sold quickly and for top dollar.