Let’s see…baby boomers have decided to stay put in their large family homes, landlords are making a killing as rents skyrocket, homeowners who bought when rates were low aren’t about to trade their low interest rate for a higher one and home builders are either idle or building more expensive abodes. Is it any wonder that finding a home to buy is a bit like trying to find Waldo?

Selling a home right now, on the other hand, is a brilliant financial strategy. Our MLS charts the equity gained by local homeowners, depending on when they bought their homes. Now, these figures “reflect price and principle payments since purchase,” and they’re quite intriguing.

For instance, homeowners who bought 10 years ago are sitting on an average of nearly $64,000 in equity. To get your hands on that equity, however, requires that you get the maximum amount of money for the home that the market will allow.

Can you do that without a real estate agent? Perhaps, but, unless you have access to the information and knowledge that agents possess, the odds are against you. Let’s look at just some of the ways the right real estate agent goes about ensuring you sell your home for top dollar.


How do you plan on coming up with a price for the home?

After marketing prowess, a listing agent’s most valuable skill is in knowing the current market value of a home. Not only do most homeowners lack the skill, they also don’t have access to the tools and data used to calculate a home’s value.

Homes that aren’t priced right condemn the homeowner to one of two fates:

   You will lose money if you price it too low.

   The home may not sell if it’s priced too high. By the time you drop the price, the home is stigmatized and may very well end up selling for less than you’d hoped.

So, again, how will you determine your list price without the aid of an experienced real estate agent? With a Zestimate? Don’t be fooled. Zestimates are highly inaccurate, nationwide. In fact, Zillow publishes their accuracy rate and we’ve seen them as high as almost 15 percent off the home’s actual value. On a $200,000 home, that’s a significant sum of money.

The moment the home hits the market is the most crucial period in the home sale process. This is when it will receive the most attention, but only if it’s priced right.


Do you know how to position the home to get the most attention possible?

One of the most significant price influencers is the home’s presentation—curb and interior appeal.

We work with homebuyers daily and we understand what they like and don’t like in homes. Without an agent’s assistance when you sell, you’re flying blind, which could waste both time and money.

To get it right, you’ll need to know who the most likely buyer will be and then target your home’s presentation to lure them in.


Marketing involves a lot more than sticking a sign in the yard

Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike, Inc. said that he “used to believe that a good product sold itself.” But not anymore. Because “now we understand that the most important thing we do is market the product.”

Although homes are flying off the market, they aren’t selling themselves. It requires strategic, target marketing to sell a home, at least if you hope to get the most money the market will allow.

Your competition on the market is most likely in the hands of a real estate agent who will, with professional marketing, lure buyers to his or her listing and away from yours.

Marketing is an art and it requires both experience and a robust marketing budget. We happen to have both, and we get results.


Can you negotiate on your preferred price and terms?

Another large stumbling block that unrepresented sellers face is the mountain of legal paperwork involved in the sale of a home. From laying their hands on it to understanding it, for-sale-by-owners claim that the paperwork was a major headache.

The purchase agreement is one of the most important contracts you’ll use and understanding the terms that the buyer is seeking can be a challenge.

Finally, if you want to get more money from the sale of your home, yes, you need a real estate team to help you sell it. According to a National Association of REALTORS survey, the average FSBO home sold for $190,000 while the average sellers with a professional team behind them brought in $249,000.

Go it alone and you’re leaving nearly $60,000 on the table. Not a wise move.  n