3 Major Advantages A Real Estate Agent Has Over The DIY Home Seller

Posted on: 22 March 2017

You may think taking the DIY route when selling your home is the more economical or practical decision, but realistically, selling a home is a carefully orchestrated combination of art, science, and solid experience. Here are just three examples of major advantages real estate agents have over doing it yourself.

Pricing The Home

Pricing a home can be a very tricky process, but it's important enough that successfully selling it depends on getting the price right. You need to determine the average selling price for homes in your area, then factor in the individual features that make your home more valuable—or less valuable—than those around it. Buyers scouring the neighborhood would be immediately turned off by a higher-than-average price, unless it was truly justified by coveted features, such as the following:

  • A spacious floor plan.
  • High ceilings.
  • A modern kitchen, with an island as a bonus.
  • An outdoor living area, such as a patio or sprawling backyard.
  • An in-ground pool.
  • Energy efficiency.
  • A cozy fireplace.
  • Hardwood floors.
  • Walk-in closets.

If your home boasts of countless highly coveted extras, you're totally justified in raising the price, but how do you know how much to add for each feature? Does the value of an in-ground pool cancel out the fact that your kitchen hasn't been updated in 20 years? Can you still charge more for your two fireplaces, if you don't have a backyard and two-car garage?

Determining your home's real value requires factoring in many variables, but still remaining consistent with current market prices. While you want to get the most money out of the sale, if you don't price it wisely, it may never sell. Consider hiring an appraiser, first, if you're going to take the DIY route for selling, then consider how extensively potential buyers are going to compare your home to others in the area. If your price isn't in line with the rest of the neighborhood, people may not even call you to have a look at it.

Staging It To Perfection

Staging may sound like the simple act of propping up a few house plants next to a sofa, but realistically, it's an art and a science not easily mastered by amateurs. Real estate agents know from experience how to maximize a space first, then accent it with just the right elements to make it the most appealing to buyers. Since you want a buyer to be able to easily visualize themselves in your space, you must empty it enough, without creating a vacant feeling.

Real estate agents have an extensive arsenal of props to professionally and successfully stage an area, increasing the likelihood of a faster sale or a sale that meets your expectations with price.

If you're brave or naturally talented enough to try staging your own home, make sure you cover everything:

  • Remove all signs of clutter.
  • Take away your personal touches.
  • Group furniture to induce conversation (among those occupying it).
  • Re-purpose an empty room as a guest suite or in-home office.
  • Use all lighting functions (ambient, accent, and task) to your advantage.
  • Consider the universal appeal of neutral colors.
  • Use fresh air, rather than chemical air fresheners.
  • Resurface cabinets, add new hardware, and paint wherever needed.
  • Pick or buy flowers and other natural elements to welcome and inspire potential buyers.

There are many ways to succeed or fail at home staging, but just as with price, this is a very important aspect of selling your home and as such, must be a perfect or near perfect presentation.

Showing The Home To Prospective Buyers

After you've finally hammered out all the details of preparing your home, pricing it, having it inspected, and putting the word out that it's on the market, you could face a large number of prospects ready to have a look. Is this something you can handle with your current schedule? Potential buyers need to see the home at all kinds of hours, including the ones you work or are otherwise unavailable. This is one of the most daunting aspects of selling a home yourself, as you must be at the beck-and-call of your customers.

You could plan a viewing, where many prospects show up at once, but they'll almost always be a few stragglers who are really interested, but can't make the time. Also, depending on market demand and your pricing strategy, the home could be for sale for months, in which case, it will seem to you like a never-ending cast of characters coming through your doors at all hours. This is one aspect of selling where a real estate agent is so valuable and hard to replace through your own efforts.

Yes, you can try to sell your home by yourself, but all things considered, having a real estate agent at the helm really does have major advantages. Unless you have all the time in the world, a diversity of artistic talents, a solid understanding of the science of selling, and expert knowledge of current market conditions, you're probably better off letting a professional do the job.