Real estate agents are often treated with distrust but the fact of the matter is the unscrupulous ones don’t stay in the business very long as word soon gets out. The vast majority of agents do an excellent job and listen to the needs of both the buyer and seller, brokering deals that both parties are more than satisfied with.
The distrust therefore usually stems from not really understanding what agents can do, along with dealing with a complete stranger. People are often under the illusion also that agents will try to sell them something that they don’t want and they believe, often falsely, that they can do a better job on their own.
We should be careful not to assume that an agent is always required. Some people may have previous experience or knowledge that means that they could complete the deal themselves. However, an agent would probably get a better deal for the seller as the evidence suggests that agents usually get a higher price and here is some evidence to support this claim.
Do You Really Need to List Your Property With an Agent?
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in the US, properties sold through an agent are sold for approximately 22% more. Yes, you could find your own buyer but would you be willing to sacrifice the extra potential gain? Also, listing agents tend to bring buyers and sellers together faster meaning that the deal is likely to be completed in a fraction of the time. Of course, market conditions play an important role in your decision. For instance:
- In a buoyant market, property sells far easier and little or no effort is required to promote a property. Buyers may be desperate to purchase your property and you may even get competing bids, do you have the experience and confidence to deal with that? Do you know the legal implications? Do you know the correct manner for accepting bids? Then naturally, there is the biggest question of all, do you have the ability to close the deal?
- When sales are slow, also known as a buyers’ market, an agent is increasingly important with the level of interest in properties generally being low.
- Globally, around 80% of buyers prefer to use agents so as a seller, if you don’t hire an agent you are likely to be missing out on the vast majority of the market.
Agent Do a Create a Value Added Aspect to Transactions
It is highly unlikely that you have an in-depth of properties in your area especially when it comes to the internal furnishings and layout. You, therefore, don’t have the knowledge to understand why one property sells for more than another. An experienced and reputable agent will have this knowledge and will utilise it to gain the best possible price for your property.
In addition, quality listing agents bring some other tools to the table. These include:
- Quality marketing material that looks professional
- Top-quality photographs of the property showing it in its best light along with videos and virtual tours
- A website that has been purposely designed for greater exposure
- Discussion with other agents and attending networking events
- Negotiating skills and experience with counter offers and multiple offers
Agents Never Properly Represent the Interests of the Seller
The buyer’s agent will always put the interests of their buyer first. A professional agent will disclose all the facts whilst keeping the buyer’s details confidential providing all the information required to make an informed decision. They will then begin negotiations on the buyer’s behalf.
A buyer’s agent will perform differing roles to those offered by a selling agent. For instance, they will be able to provide the following information:
- Provide details on previous sales in the area
- Obtain the necessary documentation relating to the property from the Land Office or a lawyer
- Look for any loopholes of any potential problems with the deal
- Assess if the price quoted is a fair reflection of the real value of the property
- Put forward a strong, competitive offer on behalf of the buyer
- Conduct negotiations with the selling agent and act as a buffer to prevent any intimidation
If you have looked at all the points and you are still confident that you don’t require an agent then congratulations, you are in the minority. Remember it is easy to have doubts after the event if you are a buyer of a seller. Did you pay to much or accept an offer that was far below the market value? Choosing an agent is by far the safer option.