buying a home with little money in savings

Time to Sell Your Home? Sell It Quicker and for a Better Price by Working with an Agent

by Fernando Moore

It's tempting to try and sell your home yourself so you can save on the fees that come with a real estate agent. However, you may actually end up losing money. After all, an agent works on commission, so you can feel confident he or she will work aggressively to sell your home for the best price. Here's a quick look at why hiring an agent is a good idea.

Set the Selling Price

It may be difficult for you to set a realistic price when you have an emotional and financial investment in your home. An agent is able to look at your house objectively and compare it to other homes recently sold in your neighborhood. If you set the price too high, your house may stay on the market for a long time, but if the price is too low, you'll lose money. Real estate values change on an almost daily basis based on trends and the economy. One of the most important things you can do is to have an agent help you set the ideal price so your home sells fast and at a fair price.

Prep Your Home

One thing that affects the selling price is the condition of your home. You'll get more money if your home is in good shape, but you have to invest money in upgrades wisely. Some renovations may not affect the selling price very much, and that means the money is wasted. Other things, even simple jobs like painting, can make a big difference in how fast your home sells and how much you get for it.

A real estate agent can go through your home room by room and tell you how to prep it for sale. You may need to rent a storage unit to get rid of clutter, update the colors in your bathrooms, paint the house, and take out old carpeting. Your agent can help you decide if it is worth investing money in renovations so you can sell your home at a higher price or if you should leave it as is and sell it to a flipper for a lower price.

Deal with Paperwork

There is a lot involved in selling a house. If there are known problems with your home, you're required to disclose them to potential buyers. This requires the preparation of documents to keep you in line with the law. It's good to have an experienced agent oversee all the legal documents and contracts involved in selling a house. In fact, some buyers may not want to buy from a private seller because of the risk that the transaction will not be handled properly. Since buying a home is a huge financial move, both sides will feel better with professionals handling the process as the house moves through bidding to closing.

Another thing to remember when you're wishing you could avoid paying the real estate agent's commission is that you'll need to invest money in advertising anyway. An agent has a big reach when it comes to listing your home with the MLS service, placing videos and photos online, and advertising your home in local real estate magazines. You would have to pay a lot of money to give your home that much exposure yourself. It's certainly a lot easier to let an agent do it with no upfront cost to you. Although the agent gets a commission later, hopefully your home will sell quicker and at a higher price thanks to his or her expertise.