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Most of us are aware that the real estate market in Northern Virginia is scorching in 2021. According to Realtor.com, the median home price in Loudoun County has gone up 11.5 percent over last year. It’s leading to epic bidding wars and sale prices well above asking. If you have a relocation plan, there’s no doubt that it’s an excellent time to sell. But do you need an agent in a hot market, or will your house essentially sell itself? Sellers may be tempted to go it alone. But even in a hot market, the nuances of selling a home are complex and time-consuming, and the paperwork can be daunting. Most of us find it still pays to work with an agent, even in a seller’s market.
What Are The Advantages of For Sale By Owner?
The idea of a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) can be tempting in a hot market. Here are some of the reasons sellers might consider going it alone:
- The primary reason sellers opt to skip using an agent is to cut out the agent’s commission, usually 5 or 6 percent of the sale price. It might seem like a significant chunk of your profit on the sale. But when you consider the benefits of using a Realtor and the potential for getting a higher price for your home, it may not be as advantageous as it seems.
- Sellers may also opt for an FSBO when they have a buyer already lined up. Without the marketing aspects that an agent usually takes care of, sellers may think it’s not worth it to hire an agent. But many homeowners don’t recognize the amount of paperwork involved and the potential for legal snags in the process.
- FSBO homes sometimes sell faster than listed homes, especially if you have a buyer in mind. However, sellers often find that they’ve sacrificed a higher selling price for a quicker sale.
What Are The Pros of Working With A Realtor?
Even in a hot seller’s market, an experienced agent plays a significant role in helping you get the best price for your home and avoid the complicated and time-consuming legal issues and paperwork involved. Here are some of the pros of working with a Realtor.
- Your Realtor knows what your home is worth. Even in a seller’s market, many FSBO buyers undervalue their homes. In their rush to avoid paying an agent’s commission, they may be depriving themselves of tens of thousands of dollars simply because they don’t know how much their home is actually worth. An experienced agent has put years into understanding the market. They have a solid sense of comparable listings, so they can make sure you’re getting top dollar for your home.
- Your agent has the contacts. When you decide to go it alone, you’re essentially relying on word of mouth to sell your home. An experienced agent has the industry contacts to get your home in front of thousands of potential buyers, which means more bids and a higher selling price. The Northern Virginia real estate world is all about networking. Choosing to work with a seller’s agent puts all of their contacts at your fingertips. As so many sellers have found in the last year, those connections can be priceless.
- Your Realtor has an excellent grasp of staging and marketing. In a hot market, you may not need to work as hard to sell your home. However, putting effort into staging and marketing your home can mean a sales price that’s higher. The price bump you get from working with a seasoned agent often goes well beyond the commission.
- Your Realtor understands the legal issues and paperwork involved with selling a home and helps you navigate the process. Many FSBO sellers don’t have a complete picture of the legal and administrative processes involved in selling a home. Your agent will help you create and review the contract and walk you through the escrow process, where money is put aside in a neutral account to protect both buyers and sellers during the sale. If you don’t have a real estate license or a law degree, it’s easy to make costly legal mistakes. Your agent and their team work hard to ensure every loophole is closed to avoid contracts falling through unexpectedly. Your agent will also guide you through the closing and settlement process to avoid last-minute surprises.
- Realtors help sellers avoid administrative headaches. Clients are often surprised at the amount of paperwork and administrative detail involved in buying and selling a home. It’s a complex and time-consuming multi-step process. It’s usually best to leave the paperwork to the pros. Plus, a realtor truly invested in you goes above and beyond to help with those unexpected issues and challenges.
- Negotiations can be tough. Many sellers aren’t prepared for the skill and effort it takes to navigate the process successfully. There’s a good chance the buyers will have an agent who can take advantage of inexperienced FSBO sellers. When it comes to things like home inspections and contingencies, a seasoned Realtor can save you money by helping you avoid unnecessary costs and buyer-requested contingencies. And if you get competing offers in a hot market, your agent can help you make the best choice.
Is A Seller’s Agent Worth The Commission?
Have you ever driven by an FSBO sign on a neighboring property only to see it replaced by a brokerage sign a few months later? If you understand real estate, you know why this happens. Selling a home is far more complicated and time-consuming than many sellers realize, even when the market is working in their favor. In a hot market, working with a Realtor who knows the ins and outs of the local housing scene can mean a price boost that far exceeds their commission. Yvonne Holland is a life-long Northern Virginian, working for the region’s homeowners for nearly three decades. Yvonne’s industry connections are hard to match. She personally guides sellers through the process, taking care of every administrative detail from the initial listing to closing. While the idea of going it alone to save an agent’s commission may be tempting, it’s easy to get burned if you don’t have a firm grasp of the nuances involved. Working with an experienced Realtor like Yvonne Holland not only saves you time on paperwork and administrative tasks, it almost always means a higher price. There’s simply nothing better than knowing you’re getting top dollar for your home.