The Birmingham real estate market is strong right now. That, combined with the substantial commission that real estate agents charge, has left many Birmingham homeowners wondering whether they need to hire an agent to sell their house. To help answer that question, here’s an overview of what agents do and some tips to help you decide about how to sell your home.
The Services That Seller’s Agents Provide
Before you can make an informed decision about whether you need to hire an agent, it’s important to understand exactly what they do for sellers. Here’s an overview of what agents do for sellers.
Help You Prepare Your Home for the Market
A first step in the selling process is having your agent provide feedback about your home and offer advice about any improvements, repairs, or upgrades that you need to make to maximize the selling price. Agents also provide recommendations about what sellers need to do to make sure their home is ready to list including decluttering, deep cleaning, and staging. This might seem like a simple step in the selling process, but it’s a critical one. Properly preparing your home for the market can have a huge impact on how quickly it sells and how much it sells for.
Take professional listing photos.
Once your home is ready for the market, the agent will take pictures of the property. In the current market, photos are a key part of the listing and selling process. This means that they need to be done professionally and accentuate the best parts of your home. Agents have professional photographers that they work with, and the agent is responsible for getting your home photographed and having pictures ready for the listing.
Accurately Price Your Home
Pricing your home is one of the most important things that agents do. It’s harder to properly price a home than you might think, yet this is a key step in the selling process. Obviously, you don’t want to price your home too low, but at the same time, if it’s overpriced it will sit on the market and won’t sell. Agents have knowledge of local markets, comparable prices, and how to evaluate your home and location to price it accurately.
Market Your Home
Seller’s agents have a network of buyers and buyers’ agents, which means that they can quickly market your property. In addition, they will utilize other marketing strategies, including open houses, ads, and marketing materials. This ensures that plenty of people know about your listing and get a chance to see it.
Handle Closing Logistics
Once you get an offer, there’s still plenty of work for agents to do. Agents negotiate with buyers, handle the inspection period, negotiate repairs, coordinate with a closing attorney, ensure that the deal is ready to close and help to make sure that everything is handled correctly and closes on time.
The reality is that agents play a key role for sellers throughout every step of the selling process. In return, agents earn a commission when the deal closes. Commission rates vary some but usually are 3% of the closing price.
Things to Consider Before Listing Your Home FSBO
Despite the substantial role that agents play, some sellers opt to list their home FSBO or For Sale by Owner. The primary reason for doing this is not wanting to pay a 3% commission. For a $200,000 home, this would be $6,000 and often substantially reduce the profit that sellers see from a sale. And keep in mind, if both the buyer and seller are working with agents, approximately 6% of the closing price goes to paying agent commissions.
While listing your home FSBO is an option and a way to reduce selling costs, there are a few important things to consider before making this choice.
- First, do you have the time to list it this way? You’ll have to handle market research, photographs, marketing, open houses, showings, negotiations, and closing details. This is time-consuming, so it’s vital that you have the time and flexibility to take it on.
- Second, do you understand the local real estate market? Real estate prices and market conditions vary widely from one location to another and even from one neighborhood to the other. Before listing your home yourself, it’s important to become familiar with the local markets and to make sure you’re prepared to price, list, and negotiate your home’s sale.
- Third, are you familiar with real estate and closing laws? Without an agent, you’ll have to handle the inspection period and will be responsible for making sure that all necessary paperwork and documents are in place for closing. This is no small task, so it’s important to be familiar with the process before taking it on.
The bottom line is that it’s risky to list your house without an agent. FSBO listings often take longer to sell and see more price reductions than agent listings. The takeaway for sellers here is that even in a strong market, it’s a good idea to hire a real estate agent before selling your home.
Other Ways to Sell Your Home
Not interested in hiring an agent, completing repairs, or paying agent commissions of around 6% of the closing price? There are other options. You can avoid listing your home entirely and sell to an as-is cash buyer.
Home Buyers Birmingham pays cash for houses and buys them as-is. We can get you a cash offer within 24 hours of seeing your home and close within a week. This means you avoid the time, work, and expense that comes with listing your home.
Contact us at (205) 687-0604 to learn more or to get your cash offer.
Home Buyers Birmingham
1821 11th Avenue South Suite #55331
Birmingham, Alabama 35205