1. Multiple Listing Service
MLS provides exposure to literally thousands of people through registered salespersons, while a private seller has only limited contacts.
2. Full time service
Real estate offices have secretarial service during peak hours, messaging, answering and paging services for off-peak hours. A salesperson is always available to handle enquiries. Any time a private seller is away from home, that home is off the market.
Comparative market analysis from a real estate professional can help a vendor choose the most effective asking price. Some sellers ask too little, others ask far too much. When a house sits unsold for too long it becomes 'stale': buyers begin to assume something is wrong with it, and agents no longer notice or consider it. Often a seller is forced to reduce the price and may end up accepting less than he would have received by starting at the right price originally.
Real estate professionals are able to offer suggestions to improve a home's marketability thereby increase its perceived value.
5. Perceived value
A good real estate salesperson can select the best route to a showing to point out neighbourhood features and comparable properties that will put the property to be shown in the best possible light.
6. Referral business
Much of real estate business activity depends upon referrals, a market unavailable to private sellers.
7. Relocation business
Out of town buyers seldom have the time or knowledge to deal directly with owners.
8. Homeowners already listed
These people will normally purchase through the company with which their home is listed.
9. Over exposure
A property depreciates when it has been on the market too long. The first few weeks are a crucial period because the property has been newly introduced to the market. During this time it receives maximal exposure to the buyers already engaged in searching the marketplace. Many owners fail to take advantage of this critical period by limiting the market to their own contacts and advertising. Whether private or not, a vendor is on the market.
10. Qualify prospects
Good salespeople are capable of qualifying prospects so that only those who are motivated and able to buy the home are introduced to it. This eliminates most 'lookers' and other people who are not serious.
11. Controlled showings
The owners can generally be assured of advance notice for showings, and showings can be conducted in a manner that eliminates personality conflicts between buyer and seller, and minimises stress.
Real estate profesionals screen all prospects and accompany all potential buyers through the property. There is little chance of dealing with strangers who may have activities in mind other than buying a house.
13. Buyers' reluctance
Some buyers are also reluctant to investigate closets, cupboards and storage areas properly, especially with the vendor present. Demonstrating property is an art, and it a salesperson's job to demonstrate the home and all its features. It is important, for a buyer's confidence and perception of value, to have explored everything about a home thoroughly, regardless of any reservations about doing so.
Almost every purchaser has objections, and salespeople are trained to handle them. A private seller can be offended or become indignant if a buyer doesn't like something about their home.
15. Hidden objections
Not everyone will come out and say what is bothering them, especially in front of the vendor. A real estate professional knows how to get these issues out in the open and how to handle them effectively.
16. Written vs. verbal offers
When a professional handles real estate, all offers are in writing and irrevocable. Private buyers often give verbal offers and then revoke them.
As a trained and experienced intermediary, a real estate professional can often negotiate better than a vendor can on his own behalf.
A good real estate salesperson is aware of many different ways to finance a purchase, whereas many private sellers don't understand mortgage financing let alone have contacts in the business.
19. Eliminate potential problems
A good real estate salesperson can help eliminate red tape and keep legal costs to a minimum. When a salesperson does the work, the lawyer charges for checking. With no salesperson, the lawyer does the work and charges accordingly.
20. After sales service
A Realtor stays involved with the deal until it has closed, and is available to help with problems where needed.
21. After closing
Even if the vendor has left town, a buyer is secure in knowing that in the event of a problem afer closing the salesperson is still there to help out.
A prospect is more likely to believe a licensed real estate person than an owner who will likely not be around after the sale.
23. Code of ethics
A licensed real estate salesperson must adhere to a rigorous code of ethics. A direct buyer or seller is not so constrained. Using a realtor protects both parties.
24. Time is money
A private seller can expect to invest a minimum of 80 hours work in the project. In addition there are out of pocket expenses for advertising and signage.
Real estate professionals are trained to follow up all leads, enquiries and showings. Follow-up of this kind is expected. It is not detrimental to the seller's bargaining position, and it often draws out helpful information. A private seller doing follow-up may be perceived as anxious or desperate.
26. Bargain hunters
Our culture conditions us to expect that if we don't buy through a store or a salesperson then we should pay less. In effect the buyer expects to save the commissions or profits that would normally go to the salesperson or store owners. Why would anyone go to all the work a Realtor would normally do and still pay full price ? If the seller is trying to save 5% and the buyer is trying to save 5% they are starting 10% apart.
27. The best prospects work with Realtors
People transferred from out of town; people who have their home for sale; people who have sold their home - they all work with Realtors.
28. Peace of mind
Selling your own home is a hassle for which most people are ill-prepared. It is costly in time, money and stress. Merely moving is trouble enough, and anything which can be done to minimise the problem is a good idea.
Some people are private sellers because they have had a bad experience with a realtor in the past. In every field there are competent, well trained professionals who approach their job seriously and conscientiously. Then, of course, there are others. Don't judge the industry by one of the 'others' you have met.
Selling your home can cost you a great deal of money if you don't do it properly. Your home is probably the greatest investment you own. You owe it to yourself and your family to have the best representation possible.