I’ve been surprised how many people ask me about using a real estate agent. I always says that depends on how much effort you’re willing to invest in the process of selling your house. Some sellers are just too busy, even though they have the knowledge and desire to market their home, and other sellers are somewhat intimidated by the idea.
It’s truly important to recognize that real estate agents are more than salespeople. Agents have studied and passed a difficult test that covers specific legal knowledge, and they are required to keep current with their education as well by taking continuing education courses. When an agent helps you find a buyer it is one of many tasks he or she is equipped to do for you when you’re selling your house.
Naturally, you can find your own buyer, too. But in reality finding the buyer is not the part that requires legal knowledge. Conducting a transaction, meaning what happens after the buyer shows up, requires legal knowledge and skill in moving a transaction through the closing process. That’s the part you’ll find invaluable when you’re selling your house.
Although I sometimes feel it’s easier to sell my house without a real estate agent, and that may be true for them, it is not the same when you’re selling your house without an agent’s help. The responsibility is on the seller’s side to provide documents, get signatures and get the closing process started. Though some might disagree, I am qualified to say that agents truly earn their commission in the majority of transactions. I’ve noticed that buyers expect special treatment, in a manner of speaking, except for investors who are buying and selling houses for a living. Good agents are trained to lead buyers through the whole process of buying a house, so that the seller can avoid it. It takes time, and unless you really want to get involved in helping your buyer get a home inspection, financing approval and homeowners insurance ready for closing day, you’ll probably prefer to pay an agent to do so.
As a seller, it is also your responsibility to assure clear title. To achieve that goal you’ll need to use the services of an attorney or a title company who will research title to your property. But you may decide that you prefer to hire an agent to help you get your buyer through the process and get your transaction closed when you are selling your house.