FINANCIAL TOOLS & RESOURCES

The Value of a Real Estate Professional

While it is possible to buy and/or sell a house by yourself, a real estate professional is often a great source of information.

A real estate professional is valuable to the buyer and the seller in a real estate transaction, offering information and expertise in a complicated field.

For the Buyer

Home buyers often fear that using a real estate professional will require they pay a fee. Generally it is the seller, not the buyer, who pays the sales commission for the home.

Another frequent myth is home buyers can find a better deal by purchasing "For Sale by Owner" properties because the seller is avoiding the real estate professional commission. However, in many cases, the selling price of these homes ends up being equal to or higher than those listed by real estate professionals.

Real estate professionals can:

  • Help you determine an approximate price range
  • Refer you to a lender with financing options best suited to your needs
  • Provide access to many resources, including:
    • Community information, zoning, schools, etc
    • Information on a broader housing supply through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
    • Investigation into available properties that aren't advertised via the MLS
  • Provide a simple market analysis to see how a home compares with the current market
  • Use their experience in negotiating price, repairs, inspections, additional furnishings and/or appliances
  • Follow up on all of the details involved with the closing process

For the Seller

When selling a property, the focus should be on:

  • Getting the best price
  • Selling the house in the shortest amount of time
  • Selling the house with the least amount of hassle

Real estate professionals can:

  • Provide up-to-date information on what is happening in the real estate market, including financing changes and competing properties.
  • Serve as your marketing coordinator, knowing how and where to advertise your property, including:
    • Suggesting repairs or cosmetic work to your home
    • Providing access to the Multiple Listing (MLS)
    • Marketing your property to other real estate professionals, as well as to other potential buyers
  • Pre-screen and accompany qualified prospects through your property
  • Guide you through the details of negotiation and close the sale of your property

How to Find the Real Estate Professional for You

How do you find the right real estate professional for you? Some questions that can help you decide are:

  • How do you plan to keep us informed on the progress of the sale?
  • Where do you feel your strengths lie?
  • How did you arrive at the suggested listing price?
  • What is your marketing plan for the sale of my home?
  • Can you give me three references of buyers/sellers you have worked with?
  • How long have you been in real estate?
  • Are you a full-time agent?
  • How many home sales did you participate in last year?
  • How many buyers/sellers are you presently working with?
  • How "available" do you make yourself?
  • How does someone contact you?
  • Are you familiar with the price and area in which we want to look?
  • What was the average selling price of the homes you sold last year?