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The Right Agent Makes All the Difference

"For sale by owner" may seem like a good way to save on commissions, but listing agents and real estate brokers can provide many important benefits to homeowners who want to sell. While it is certainly possible to sell a home on your own, the amount of research required to determine an appropriate selling price is substantial, since selecting the right price is by far the most important element in the home selling process. You will also need to field interested parties and answer questions, conduct open houses, keep in regular contact with other brokers and physically prepare your home for sale. For most homeowners, passing these tasks along to a qualified listing agent is well worth their commissions.

How to Find the Right Agent

Choosing the Right Agent

The first step is to find the agent who is best qualified to represent your home to the buying public. If your home's value is $300,000, it makes no sense to work with an agent who specializes in $1 million properties, even if she is the top-selling agent in town. Two factors are important to consider in finding the right agent: knowledge of the market for homes in your sales bracket and knowledge of the neighborhood in which your home is located. Experience in these two areas will help your listing agent determine the most appropriate price, which translates into a quicker sale at a higher price.

A good listing agent will offer the following services:

  • Provide advice on how to present the home physically. The agent may recommend replacing the carpets, painting the walls, enhancing the landscaping around the home, removing clutter, replacing curtains and a variety of other touch-ups that will give the home "curb appeal."
  • Recommend contractors to repair components of the home prior to sale. The buyer's home inspection will reveal any defects in the home and will prolong the negotiating process, so it's always best to address these defects prior to listing the home.
  • Determine the sales price. As noted above, this is the most important element of the sales process. A knowledgeable listing agent will rely on intuition and experience in the market to select a price that is sure to draw attention and promote a quick transaction.
  • Market the home. Listing agents have access to the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which serves as the central database of listings that all buying brokers refer to for up-to-date information on homes for sale. Agents will also post signs in front of the home and may advertise the home in local newspapers or magazines. Some agents also provide a dedicated website to market the home.
  • Represent your interests during the negotiating process. Since they have been through this process many times, agents can advise you on any offers you receive and whether you should make a counteroffer. They will recognize when a good offer comes in and will recommend that you accept such an offer.
  • Manage all the paperwork involved with selling a home. There are myriad contracts, documents, agreements and other paperwork associated with transferring the title to a home that can easily overwhelm an owner acting on his own. Agents can steer the homeowner through this process to ensure that everything gets filled out and submitted properly.

All in all, unless you have plenty of time on your hands, thorough knowledge of your community and its home values, a good understanding of the selling process and complete confidence in your ability to negotiate and deal with an enormous amount of paperwork, partnering with a broker is your best option.

When you're ready to sell your home, is the answer. Over the past many years, we have helped many Tampa Bay homeowners successfully sell their homes for the best possible price, and we can do the same for you!