Top 5 Reasons You Should Hire a Realtor When Selling Your Home

Posted by Kevin Lapp on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019 at 11:26am.

Are you thinking about selling your home DIY-style…without the services of a professional Realtor?

Top five reasons you should hire a Realtor® when selling your home:

  1. They offer professional marketing, staging, and other services and offer the best exposure to the most buyers.
  2. Hidden expenses mean you won’t save money or time.
  3. A good Realtor® will have years of industry knowledge under his/her belt to save you time and headaches.
  4. Someone else is managing the entire sales process, administration, paperwork, appointment bookings and more.
  5. A negotiation expert will be negotiating your deal.

Before you decide, there are a few things to consider:

Professional Services & Marketing

Wondering why you should hire a Realtor®? Consider the professional resources you’ll need to sell your home without a Realtor® and ensure you allow the appropriate time to find, organize, work with, and fund them. You will need to take or, ideally, commission professional photos of your property. You will also need to source a For Sale sign for your yard, remembering factors such as attention to potential buyers, visibility from a distance and at night, and the ability to withstand a Canadian winter.

Services like online marketing, print advertising, and inclusion on Realtor.ca will help you sell your home faster and for more, so you will need to include graphic design or marketing firm fees in your budget. Remember that critical exposure on Realtor.ca, or the Central Alberta Real Estate Board will be closed to you without a Realtor®. The Canadian Real Estate Association sponsors the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and as such, only a Realtor® can post a listing. When you work with a Realtor®, any costs associated with this service are included in your Realtor’s® fee (which is zero unless your home sells). If you are selling privately, you will have to source and pay a third party Broker to post your listing for you, but keep in mind that these companies often charge a fee for this service. Remember, if your home doesn’t sell or receive the offer you’re looking for, you’ll be out the cost of hiring a support system. 


Hidden Expenses

Theoretically, selling your home could help save you money by eliminating the commission you would generally pay a Realtor®. However, if the buyer of your property is working with a Realtor®, you will likely still have to pay commission, even with a private sale. The seller traditionally pays the commission of the buyer’s agent as well, so be prepared to pay up to 2.5% of the final sale price. Offering anything less than the industry standard for the commission may deter agents from presenting your home as an option to their clients, creating fewer offers on your property. If you work with a Realtor®, the commission you pay covers all commission fees in addition to all of the marketing efforts that will help sell your home.

When you sell privately, all expenses will come out of your pocket. Legal fees can also be higher when a home is sold privately as your lawyer may have to devote more time for extra paperwork to sort out the conditions of the sale and advise in areas where a Realtor® normally would…all excellent reasons you should hire a Realtor®.

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Industry Knowledge

If there’s an area worth investing in during the process of selling your home privately, it is getting an appraisal of your home. Paying a few hundred dollars for a professional appraisal can help establish not only what your home is worth, but what it would sell for in the current market. Often, companies that offer a portfolio of services for private sellers will include assistance in the home appraisal process, but nothing replaces determining your property’s value from a licensed professional.

Something else to consider is the time it will take to research common protocols when preparing your home for a sale. An example of this is determining which items in your home are included and not included as part of the sale, otherwise known as “fixtures” and “chattels”. Generally, a fixture is anything that is attached to the home to the point that its removal would damage the house or require repair. A chattel is any tangible, movable property such as a bookshelf. If you would like to keep any easily removable items including a light fixture or a hanging pot rack, these items must be specifically excluded from the contract.

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Managing the Sales Process

When you sell privately, you will be responsible for all showings, phone calls, emails, and other correspondence related to your listing. In today’s market, buyers will often want to book a showing at a moment’s notice, and the more responsive and flexible you are with booking those appointments, the better your chances are of receiving multiple offers. Consider where these calls and communications will be directed, who will be responding and following up to showing requests, and how you will manage all of these while balancing your other responsibilities. Remember, you’ll be the main point of contact for any information regarding your property including questions, comments, and concerns from interested buyers and their agents.

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Negotiation

The last stage of the sales process that you’ll be responsible for is negotiating the final offer on the sale of your home. Remember that Realtors® are often trained and certified in the art of negotiation, so you’ll want to decide on the areas you want to stay firm in ahead of time, and where you’re willing to negotiate. When a buyer knows you’re selling privately, they will often expect a discount on the list price as they know you’re saving money on commission. Realtors® have experience in the art of negotiation, and many Realtors® have additional negotiation certification to help you receive the best offer for your property.

After factoring in the time, money, and possible commission awarded to the buyer’s agent, it’s worth an interview with a local Realtor® to compare if services they’ll manage on your behalf outweigh what you’ll save on commission. If you’re still undecided, we would be happy to meet with you to show you the services we offer for our clients and help you win in real estate.

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