Real Estate Agents – Do I Need One?

When you got into your first house you breathed a big sigh of relief. You probably thought” we did it! We got into our first house!” The last thing to cross your mind was selling that house. Things change however, the family is growing or maybe one of the bread winners got a transfer to another city. Whatever the reason, it’s time to sell. It’s also time to make a very important decision about who is going to handle that sale.

One of the biggest reasons that someone hires a real estate agent comes down to just one thing: time. If someone is selling a house, then they are probably looking for a new house or are shopping for items for a new house. They won’t have the time to advertise, take calls, show the house, handle the negotiations and close the deal. I don’t know if it’s this way in your state, but in mine, real estate agents have to be licensed by the state. Agents have to go to school and pass a test to get their real estate license.

When selling your house, one of the first things that you need to do is set an accurate asking price. It’s hard to set a price if you don’t know how much the houses in your area have been selling for. A real estate professional has spent many hours going through the local listings and showing local houses, so he or she may have a far better idea as to what your house is worth.

Another area where real estate agents have a lot of experience is in negotiations. If more that one party wants your house, a skillful negotiator may be able to get more that the asking price for your house.

If you’re thinking about selling your house by yourself, ask yourself how much do you know about escrow, inspection, appraisal, earnest money and closing? Think about all of these items when you are thinking about whether to hire a real estate pro.

Of course, it is still legal in most areas to sell your own house. Most of the people who sell their houses themselves, do so because they would like to put more cash in their pockets at closing.

I bought my first house in 1984 for $40,000.00. The seller probably paid the real estate agent about $500.00. I’ve made some improvements plus the market in my area has been hot for some time now, so I think that the house would go now for around $300.000.00. I would have to pay a real estate agent about $15,000.00. This is a lot of money. I can see why people consider selling their own house. What I have to think about is how much that house has increased in value since I bought it. The trouble is; I won’t see any of that appreciation unless I sell the house.