There are benefits to using a real estate agent. Unfortunately the reasons I see are not the ones that any real estate organization uses. These are the same reasons people use my services to rent their apartments. Some people have mistakenly assumed that I hate real estate agents. This is not true. It is true that I hate the industry and the way it is structured.
I do hate propaganda and it irritates me to hear the same dumb rationalizations for using an agent. Real estate agents don’t have amazing super powers but this is a list about the benefits of using their services.
Some people are working and way too busy to show their own house. Add a more than full time job for both couples, a few kids, soccer practice and you have no time to devote to selling your house.
You must be willing and able to answer the phone and respond to inquiries. Some people are not allowed to answer their phone at work. Many people will not leave a message. Real estate agents have a 24 hour answering service.
You must be willing and able to show your place, when people want to see it which is generally after work, on weekends and late at night. If you have tenants the agent must make arrangements with them.
As the owner your emotional attachment to the home may turn off buyers or attract predators. This is especially true of vendors in vulnerable situations such as death of a spouse or divorce.
Weirdos, Tire kickers, Scammers
Someone ostensibly a lot more experienced at weeding out these types of people is doing so. In any case you’ll never find out these people are invading your personal space, something that some people may find very disturbing. In any case agents will deal with these people so you don’t have to.
Some people are good at negotiation, some are not. If you are not good at negotiation an agent may be very helpful. If you are too good at sticking to your price, you may need some coaxing to accept a good deal.
Agreement of Purchase and Sale
It’s not rocket science but there are some people who want to sell or buy who have very poor English and reading comprehension. You can buy this form at Staples for 10$ but if you have no idea about contracts at all, this part of the service may be helpful.
If you have a decent real estate agent they will tell you the truth about your house. Your friends will not tell you your house smells like cats or needs a paint job, hopefully your Realtor will. They may tell you to hire a landscaper, contractor or other necessary steps to get the best value out of your home.
Lots of people don’t have a clue. Even if they had the information they still wouldn’t have a clue. Helping thee owner set the price is a valuable service. In some areas, strategies such as radically under-pricing a home may lead to a bidding war, which is good for the seller.
Buying or selling a home can be an emotional time, moving is very stressful. The real estate agent is emotionally detached from the process and your personal life and the upheaval moving will cause. They are entirely focused on selling your house. Mixed emotions may lead the seller to sabotage themselves without really knowing it.
So there you have it, my list of benefits of using a real estate agent. They don’t have to make up a bunch of crap about how professional (professionals go to school for years not weeks) they are and how they protect you from liability (Lawyers do the heavy lifting for liability) when there are very real benefits to using an agent.
By the way If none of these reasons or benefits apply to you feel free to check out my post on How to Save Money on Real Estate Commissions or how I see similarities between their Commission structure and MLM companies needless to say the agent working hard selling properties feeds a whole host of parasites and get charged for everything for breathing to his underwear and I’m not at all upset at him/her.