Selling your house can be an exciting and nerve-racking experience. Not only do you want to get the best price for your home, but you also want the process to be quick and painless. Having gone through the buying experience already, you may be wondering if you really need a real estate agent, asking, “What does a real estate agent do to sell my house?” Although it can be tempting to go it alone in hopes of pocketing more money on the sale, this is almost always a mistake. Real estate agents provide invaluable services that can be crucial for getting the sale price you want. To understand the true value of working with a professional, here’s an in-depth look at what a real estate agent does to sell your house.
1. Listing Consultation
When you find a real estate agent you like and trust, the first thing you need to do is meet to review your goals and all the relevant information about your home. This first meeting with your new agent is often called the listing consultation. At this meeting, your real estate agent will ask you about your goals, timeline, target price and the history of your home, including any upgrades or outstanding issues that may need to be fixed. Your agent will also conduct a comparative market analysis (CMA) to determine your home’s value based on the sale price of similar homes in your area. Essentially, the listing consultation lays the foundation for the rest of the home selling process.
2. Prepare and Stage Your Home to Sell
Before your home can hit the open market, you need to get it ready to sell. You’ll always have to clean your home top to bottom, but preparations can also include making small improvements to either boost your home’s curb appeal or the overall value. Real estate agents are great at identifying the projects that can get you the best return on your investment.
Your agent may also recommend you stage your home, bringing in rented furniture and décor to make sure your home looks its best. This can be particularly effective if you’ve already moved out, as a home with great décor shows better than an empty space. Preparations and staging are all about positioning your home to attract the most potential buyers.
3. Determine the Best Listing Price
After home improvements have been made and the staging plan is set, your home is ready to list. Your real estate agent will help you determine the best listing price based on your improvements and their comparative market analysis. Your real estate agent should be able to explain and justify their pricing strategy.
Many homeowners overestimate the value of their homes because of the emotional connection they have with the property, and because of wishful thinking that they made a great investment. Hopefully your home is worth what you think it is, but don’t be surprised if your real estate agent brings you back to earth a little bit. A good real estate agent won’t be afraid to tell you what a realistic listing price will be. Although it can sting to find out your home isn’t worth what you hoped for, your agent is actually doing you a favor. If you list your home for too much, it can sit on the market for a long time, gaining a bad reputation, attracting lowball offers and requiring you to eventually drop the price anyway. Find a real estate agent you trust and follow their advice when it comes to the listing price.
4. Marketing Your Home to Buyers
This is where a quality real estate agent really makes a difference. A good agent will actively market your home, using any number of tactics to generate interest. This may include hiring a professional photographer to take listing photos, promoting the home on their website or social media channels and creating videos, brochures and other materials to help the home sell.
Some less enthusiastic agents will use what’s known as the “post and pray” method, where they’ll simply list your home on the MLS and just pray someone finds it and makes an offer. Obviously, this is less than ideal. During your initial listing consultation, ask your agent about their marketing strategy to make sure they have a solid plan for selling your home.
5. Vet Potential Buyers and Negotiate
It’s easy to get excited when buyers start making offers, and you should. It means you’re nearing the final stretch of the home selling process. But just because an offer comes in near asking price doesn’t mean it’s a good fit. Any offer will most likely come with contingencies and no two offers are exactly the same. Your real estate agent will help you sort through the confusion by vetting potential buyers and examining the details of any offers you receive. This can help you separate the serious offers from the deals that are destined to fall through.
When you find an offer that you like, your real estate agent will negotiate with the buyers to make sure the deal works in your favor. Negotiating is what real estate agents do best, so believe in their skills and let them work to get you the best deal possible.
6. Close the Deal
When it comes time to close on your home sale, your real estate agent will be right by your side. They’ll be at the closing table to go over all of the closing paperwork and make sure everything is in accordance with your agreement. They’ll let you know what to expect going into closing day and will be one of the first to congratulate you when the sale becomes final.
So, what does a real estate agent do to sell your house? If you have a good agent, the answer is just about everything. From giving expert advice to handling confusing and tedious paperwork, your real estate agent is your dedicated partner throughout the home selling process. By finding a real estate agent who has your best interest at heart, you can avoid some serious headaches and ultimately get the best deal on your home sale.
Excited to get your home on the market and start the selling process? Register with Homes for Heroes and you’ll be automatically matched with a real estate specialist in your local area. They’ll reach out to set up a listing consultation so you can be on your way to selling your house for the best possible price.