Why Use a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home?
Are you thinking of selling your home? We understand that this can be an emotionally and logistically complicated time for you. After all, your home is more than just “real estate” to you.
It’s more than just a marketable commodity made of timber, brick and mortar. It’s a place where you’ve spent years making memories. It’s become a part of you. And even though you know it’s time to move on, you’ll always have a place for it in your heart.
There are many reasons why you may choose to sell your home. You may be looking to upsize to accommodate a new addition to your family or perhaps downsize after your kids have grown up and flown the nest. Or you may be pursuing a new job or career opportunity. Whatever your reasons for selling, it goes without saying that you want to do it right.
You want to ensure that you get a great price for your home, one that truly reflects its value and allows you to make the best possible start in enjoying the next chapter in your life. This means that you face the question that many prospective sellers ask themselves.
Should they go it alone or enlist the aid of a listing agent?
Listing agents can be an invaluable resource in selling your home effectively and equitably… but do you really need them?
What is a listing agent?
In broad terms, a listing agent is the real estate agent responsible for listing your home and ensuring that it appeals to buyers. They will also handle many other aspects of selling your home:
- They will provide input on pricing, helping you to find the balance between a price that’s appealing to prospective buyers and a price that accurately reflects your home’s value.
- They’ll take photographs of your home and handle all aspects of listing it on popular sites like Zillow to help it gain the maximum exposure in your local market.
- They’ll also handle viewings and answer questions that prospective buyers may have about the property on your behalf.
- Finally (if they’re doing their job right) they’ll negotiate with buyers to ensure that your interests are properly represented, ensuring that you get the price you deserve for your home.
Of course, while these fall under the umbrella of a listing agent’s responsibilities, that’s not to say that all agents do this with the same passion or efficacy… but we’ll get to that later.
Listing agent vs selling agent…what’s the difference?
At this point you may be wondering how a listing agent differs from a selling agent and what that difference means for you in real terms. While a real estate agent, by their very nature, offers both services, they have very different focuses.
A listing agent is also sometimes referred to as a “seller’s agent” and this is a more apt description. A listing agent works on behalf of the seller to list the property and do all that they can to ensure that it’s sold. Again, if they’re doing their job right they’ll also negotiate with vigor on behalf of the seller to ensure that they get a fair price that they’re happy with.
Most of the time the listing agent will arrange an exclusive right-to-sell listing with the seller, although in some cases a property may be listed with more than one agent (although this is uncommon). Listing agents are compensated by earning a commission on the property once sold.
A selling agent, perhaps confusingly, is the buyer’s agent. They also play an important part in getting the property sold, except that their allegiance is to the buyer and may even argue on the buyer’s behalf to try and convince a seller to meet the buyer halfway at the negotiating table. The selling agent is compensated by the listing agent (or, more accurately, their broker) and gets a portion of the commission for having brought a buyer to the property.
Why use a real estate agent to sell your home?
So, now we know a little about what a listing agent is and what they do for you in selling your home. But perhaps it’s time to address the elephant in the room…do you really need a listing agent?
After all, real estate agents don’t work for free.
Why surrender a portion of commission when you can list the property as For Sale By Owner (FSBO) and keep what you make for yourself? While this mentality is understandably appealing to many, it’s also a good example of false economy.
For many, going solo actually means that they come out with less money than if they’d enlisted the help of a real estate agent. Why?
Because to sell your home you need a combination of things. You need to have a knack for marketing. A real estate agent’s understanding of buyer mentality. Not to mention a solid grasp on the capricious real estate market. Without these, you’ll likely either struggle to solicit interest in your listing or walk away having agreed to an offer that’s far lower than what a real estate agent might have been able to get from the exact same buyer.
Here’s why a real estate agent more than pays for themselves in selling your home.
A real estate agent will generate interest in your listing
A real estate agent worth their salt won’t adopt an “if you post it, they will come” mentality. They’ll work tirelessly to ensure that your property appears unmissable to prospective buyers, catching their eye and engaging their interest and engagement.
A real estate agent will guide you through the legal and logistical intricacies of selling your home
Selling your home is a complicated and logistically fraught process. A real estate agent can help demystify the selling process for you and help you to better understand it by breaking it down into steps. They can lend you support and guidance throughout this potential minefield to ensure that you never feel alone.
A real estate agent will fight to get you a fair price
Finally, the main reason a real estate agent should more than make up for the commission they earn is because they will negotiate aggressively on your behalf with prospective buyers and their agents to get you a fair and satisfactory sale price for your home.
How to choose a real estate agent for selling your home
Of course, while a real estate agent can do all of the above for you, that doesn’t mean that all real estate agents necessarily do. If you’re serious about selling your home in the Wichita, KS area, the most important step you can take is choosing the right real estate agent. The kind who won’t roll over and accept a ridiculously low price from a buyer for the sake of a quick sale. The kind who’ll put the time and effort into creating listings that get buyers’ attention.
Here are some tips for finding a real estate agent that has your back when you need them most…
Experience counts! Find out how much they have
Every real estate agent’s website looks impressive and makes a great many bold claims. You can expect to see pristine white grins and immaculate blazers, but look beyond that to try and get to the cold, hard facts. How long have they been serving your area? Because experience and local knowledge count for a lot.
Look for a veteran who is immersed not just in the local market, but in the community. This means that they are likely to have a good understanding of the true value of real estate in the area. Not to mention a firm understanding of the psychology of local buyers and what they are looking for.
Browse their website for testimonials from happy sellers
The words of your fellow sellers are potentially much more useful to you than anything a real estate agent says about themselves. While all real estate agents’ websites will be chock full of bold claims about being the best in the area, look past all this and let what their clients say do the talking.
Look for testimonials from happy sellers in your area. Look at what kinds of homes the real estate agent has helped them to sell, and where.
Take a look at their listings
You should judge a real estate agent by what they do more than what they say. Take a look at the real estate agent’s listings on Zillow and other sites.
What do they do to make their listings stand out? How do they make the property look appealing and inviting? How well do the images and the text in the listing showcase what makes the home special? What marketing materials do they provide for their clients?
Agree on expectations
By wary of real estate agents who promise the Earth. A good real estate agent will take the time to get to know you and help define and manage your expectations. They will help you to ascertain what is achievable and give you the outline of a plan to help you achieve measurable and satisfactory outcomes within agreed timeframes.
Get a feel for them as a person
Personality counts, too! If a real estate agent has an engaging and magnetic personality that you can’t help but gravitate towards, there’s an excellent chance that prospective buyers will gravitate towards them in the same way. They will be able to build a good rapport with buyers and help them to see the value in your home.
Questions to ask a real estate agent when selling
A good real estate agent will not shy away from questions. Indeed, they should actively encourage questions. Questions give your prospective real estate agent an opportunity to demonstrate their suitability to you and your property and the value they represent to you.
Asking them the right questions is the key to ascertaining how valuable their service is to you. Not sure which questions to ask? We have a few to get you started!
- How long have you been selling real estate in this area? Remember, experience counts.
- How many clients do you currently represent? Be wary of real estate agents who stretch themselves too thin, especially if they have a small team. How can they expect to give you the individual care and attention you deserve?
- Which neighborhoods are your speciality? This will help you to ascertain their granular knowledge of your local market and assure you that they genuinely know the real value of your home.
- What is your current success rate? Yesterday’s performance is a key indicator of tomorrow’s success.
- What’s included in your fee? Be wary of real estate agents who are anything less than 100% transparent in breaking down their fees.
- Can you help me find my next home? If you can trust your agent to get you a great deal for your existing home, you can also trust them to fight in your best interests in helping you secure your next home.
Of course, you should also judge your real estate agent by the kinds of questions they ask you. If a real estate agent is asking you a lot of questions that help them to better understand your needs and priorities this is also an encouraging sign.
Sell your home The Madrigal Way
With 20 years’ experience in real estate, Dan Madrigal is one of the most respected and trusted real estate agents in Wichita, KS. He has been recognized in the Wall Street Journal as one of the nation’s top salesmen, PenFed Realty #1 Team three years running. For the past 12 years Dan has been one of the most reviewed real estate agents in the area on Zillow and his 4.9/5 stars rating speaks for itself.
Dan’s two passions in life are selling homes and enjoying pizza after closing sales. He hopes to do both with you soon!
See what our clients have to say!
We have a proven track record of helping sellers all over Wichita get great prices for their homes. We take the time and effort to cultivate great relationships with our clients. Take a look at some of the comments left by our happy and satisfied clients right here.
So, are you ready to sell your home? Get in touch with us today!
If you’re serious about selling your home, you need an agent who’s just as serious in your corner.