Why a realtor is recommended for home sellers
If you believe everything you see on TV, selling and buying homes is always a happy, joyful experience. In real life however it can be extremely stressful in some instances.
According to market research, buying a house is up there with other major life events such as having a baby, starting a new job and getting a divorce.
Property doesn’t always come onto the market because the owner/s want to cash out and do something wonderful or exotic with their lives.
In many cases houses are put up for sale because someone has died, or a couple is getting divorced. They’re also sold for financial reasons — when a person(s) are unable to afford the upkeep or the mortgage due to job loss, where money is needed to look after elderly parents or pay for medical care.
Generally, people are very attached to their homes — and for good reason. Your house may not be perfect but you know every little nuance, nook and cranny; you usually have many happy memories and emotions that are attached to it; you know its idiosyncrasies.
It is hard to leave a home like that because you “have to”.
Added stress can come should it take a while to secure a sale. Research shows that in this market, even if a house is priced correctly, it can take six months or more to sell, even if you are properly prepared (your agent will advise you on this).
The process is long and can be frustrating, disappointing and daunting; it is the unknowns which catch you by surprise.
So, if you are considering selling your home yourself, be aware that you are likely to encounter the following things that it’s likely no one ever told you about:
It’s hard to set a price
We all think our home is our castle; unfortunately this has very little to do with actual monetary value.
Your feelings will be hurt
Buyers aren’t always polite about the condition/size/location. This can be hard to hear. They may also put in lowball offers assuming you aren’t experienced in negotiating, and they may expect to save commission because you aren’t using an agent.
You will have showings at inconvenient times
Buyers can be very inconsiderate. They can call at inconvenient hours, want to see the property at the drop of a hat or, even worse, just show up in the driveway! They may turn up for a showing late, or they may not show up at all!
It can be difficult to find out if they are preapproved or not: Agents can make sure that prospective buyers are properly qualified before arranging an appointment to view. It’s difficult to separate qualified buyers from people who are “just looking”.
You will receive offers from buyers you “don’t like”
You may instantly take a dislike to a prospective buyer for whatever reason — something that can’t happen when an agent does the showings on your behalf. What if they make an offer? Should you counter? What then?
You will be trying to sort out your “stuff” and sell the house at the same time
You may be packing and sorting for your move to your next destination. That alone is enough for most people to handle.
You will make your buyers uncomfortable
Most people feel uneasy when a homeowner is present. They feel like they can’t ask difficult questions in case they insult you. Sellers, on the other hand, tend to “over-show” their homes, pointing out things that are of little or no interest.
You can set yourself up for legal liability
Are you aware of what should be disclosed about the property? If not it can mean a costly mistake.
You will get less money for the sale of your home than if you put it with a realtor
It has been proven time and again that this is the case; the difference could more than cover the cost of commission.
You will have to pay for your own advertising
The wonderful thing about your real estate agent is that they will advertise your house for free on many different social-media platforms that can be seen, not just in Bermuda, but all over the world (not all Bermudians live in Bermuda!). The best thing is you don’t pay him/her anything for all their professional services until they sell the house for you. If money is tight, photography, videoing and marketing is neatly handled for you without any additional financial stress.
Most real estate agents prefer a sole listing as they cannot commit their time, energy and expensive technological resources to someone who won’t commit to them — especially when they have other sellers who will. A good real estate agent’s aim is to ease your worry regarding selling your house as much as possible.
That being said, it would be poor business practice to offer their expert and professional services for free! Choose an agent you know wants to do a good job for you, make it as stress-free as possible and get you the best price that the market will support.
• Heather Chilvers is among Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty’s leading sales representatives. She has been working in real estate for nearly 30 years. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 332-1793. All questions will be treated in confidence. Follow Heather Realtor Bermuda on Facebook and @heatherrealtorbermuda on Instagram.