Risks Homesellers Take Selling Alone
Recent news stories and headlines have blown up with articles on bidding wars, the rising prices of homes, and the lack of inventory. Since March of 2020, the real estate industry has experienced a massive shift with urban-area dwellers flocking to the suburbs, searching for a more comfortable place to work from home and live during the pandemic.
In today’s high pressured, fast-paced competitive market, when home sellers try to go it alone in selling their home, they stand a much riskier chance without a real estate agent. With technology at our fingertips, it can be easy to assume selling a home without any help would be easy. Why wouldn’t it be? We can order groceries to be delivered, pay our bills online, and conduct business meetings remotely. How hard could selling your own home be?
More complex than you think.
Many factors go into selling your home that make having a real estate agent pivotal. Common risks most sellers aren’t aware of include:
- Showing the Home to Multiple Buyers
Homes on the market today are guaranteed to get multiple offers, as many as twenty each. Exciting, certainly, but what this means for you as a seller is that you would have to coordinate showing your home to various buyers and agents at times that didn’t overlap. This means having a showing management system, keeping track of the agents’ and buyers’ contact information, and having their phones inundated with endless questions and scheduling. A clunkily organized home showing can turn a buyer off instantly. In addition to preparing the home to be showing through home staging, you as the seller would have to vet out who and when to show the house to, ensure the showings between buyers didn’t overlap, and hope you didn’t get confused with the showing times.
Real estate agents are skilled at organizing showings. They can handle facilitating the appointments and home showings the right way, and they can answer questions from other agents and potential homebuyers, so you don’t have to. Whether COVID-19 restrictions are loose or firm in your area, the need to have preventative measures such as face masks, social distancing, and clean surfaces when needed is real. Trained real estate agents have solid pandemic protocols in place to ensure everyone’s safety. They can safely coordinate a showing that does not include overlapping appointments or endangering anyone’s health. Agents act not only as essential negotiators and decision-makers when it comes to selling a home, but they are also responsible for the well-being of others, a safeguard you can’t afford to ignore.
- Navigating the Fog of Bidding Wars
Let’s face it, there’s a lot going on out there right now. One phenomenon that’s emerged in all the rubble is bidding wars. With more people wanting homes than are available, homes are selling for startlingly higher amounts than their original listing price. To anyone wanting to sell their home, that sounds like a dream. But how familiar are you with going through offers and the paperwork, and understanding the fine points of each? Who do you choose? Some buyers will send their offer in writing, sometimes with a personalized letter. Some will have their attorney contact you. Some may have complex forms for you to look through. Depending on whether the buyer is in your area or out of state, these forms and provisions may vary. Without a comprehensive knowledge of the real estate industry and being familiar with these forms, sellers may select whatever looks simple and genuinely miss out on the opportunity to profit from their home’s sale. This is why you need a real estate agent.
Agents are specifically trained and skilled at sorting through multiple offers. Through in-depth knowledge and the honed strategy of experience, agents can help you make the best decision. Sometimes, offers don’t fall through because a buyer changes their mind or initially puts an offer on the house not thinking they’ll actually get it. Having an agent by your side will help ensure you choose the legitimate offers over the hokey ones, something inexperienced homesellers aren’t sure how to do. Selling a home is a stressful enough experience. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have someone deal with the legalities and details while you rest easy knowing you’re in good hands?
- Impulsive Decisions
Many buyers these days are putting offers on each property that comes on the market because they don’t know if there will be another one available. Some buyers are doing this on homes they haven’t even seen in person. Today’s hot market challenge is not in getting offers – homes are rife with offers right now. The challenge is finding the right buyer for the home, and seeing it through until the end.
Impulsive decisions are born out of fear and desperation, which are two factors that have been prevalent in the last year. The problem with this is that you will get many buyers that are not all-in. If someone puts in a bid from afar and then decides to look at it, the home might not look as good as it did during the virtual tour during the inspection process. Maybe there’s not enough natural sunlight or the rooms look smaller in person. Perhaps too many repairs are needed, and you’re not sure what to say to keep them interested in the property. If a prospective buyer backs during or after the home inspection, it can bode poorly for the perception of the home’s value. Agents are adept at communicating with buyers and their agents and negotiating any potential loopholes or repairs.
- Negotiation Strategies
A real estate agent can negotiate your transaction from start to finish, dealing with the paperwork, photography, home showings, offer retentions, and necessary legal forms needed to make your home sell for its maximum potential. Without comprehensively understanding the art of negotiation in the real estate industry, home sellers attempting to sell their property alone run the risk of making bad choices and not complying with all the legalities needed to complete a home transaction.
- Unfamiliarity with the Market
Have you ever seen a movie where the characters are at an auction, and the auctioneer is rambling off an item so fast it’s hard to tell what they’re saying? You can equate that to trying to sell a home on your own with no knowledge of the real estate market. Sellers who don’t have an agent run the risk of costly mistakes.
Without the certified training real estate agents possess, professional photography for home tours and galleries, or knowing how to position a home listing correctly, sellers put themselves in an awkward and dangerous position of wasting time and money trying to sell their home. Real estate agents can give homeowners tips and tricks to help prepare the home to sell for the best possible value.
- Red Tape and Repairs
Ever heard of Murphy’s Law? “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”
There will always be some form of red tape when you buy or sell a home, and being prepared for that by having a real estate agent will help you sail right on through those murky waters. Some things that may go topsy-turvy include:
- A buyer’s financing may not go through
- Unexpected delays
- Lender extensions
- Prolonged processing times
- Needed repairs (roof replacement/leaks)
Experienced agents have relationships with a myriad of lenders, title, escrow, contractors, and other service providers to get more insight or provide alternative solutions when needed.
- Transitory Issues
With the need for homes greater than ever before and a shortage of inventory, it stands to reason that you might have trouble finding the home of your dreams when selling your current home. Many sellers want to stay in their home past the closing date in order to transition until their next offer is accepted safely. Do you know what a post-closing occupancy agreement is, or how it works? A real estate agent does, and they will be your saving grace when it comes to getting a little more time to transition safely.
Real estate agents will facilitate between you and the buyer to work out a period for you to have enough time to transition and move out of the home. Without a legal agreement drafted by an agent, sellers run the risk of not having anywhere to go once their home sells.
When there is a storm, we like to have an umbrella to protect us from the rain. During a pandemic, we wash our hands, wear a mask, and social distance. When you sell a home, a real estate agent acts as a negotiator, protector, and gatekeeper of your most trusted asset. With the market constantly shifting more than ever before and historically high movement over the last year, sellers need agents to help pave the way for them to safely and most efficiently net their home’s maximum worth, while safeguarding their interests. There is no room for complacency.
Contact us for further info on selling your home.