Why use a REALTOR® to sell your home?

Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetimes. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Here are nine good reasons why using a REALTOR® makes sense.

How does a higher selling price sound?

National studies have shown that the median sales price for homes sold by a REALTOR® is 16 percent higher than for homes sold directly by the owners ($230,000 vs. $198,000). That was true across all categories of home prices. Owners without professional assistance may also experience problems with paperwork, preparing the home for sale, establishing a realistic (and maximally beneficial) sales prices, and selling within their desired time frame.

Your REALTOR® will assure a smooth, honest transaction.

REALTORS® are bound by a Code of Ethics and pledge to protect and promote the interests of the seller by providing honest treatment for all parties involved in the transaction.

Your REALTOR® can help you negotiate.

There are myriad negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should provide time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property.

Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public.

Often, your REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the sales appeal of your property. In many markets, more than half of real estate transactions are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.

Your REALTOR can handle the details and hassles of selling a home.

When a property is marketed with the help of your REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property. Plus, phone calls and open houses aren't your problem. They can be handled by your professionally trained agent.

Your REALTOR® will know when, where and how to advertise your property.

There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. National Association of REALTORS® studies show that 82 percent of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts.

This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing — a lot of possible pitfalls. Your REALTOR® can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.

Your REALTOR® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer's proposal without compromising your marketing position.

Your REALTOR® can help close the sale of your home.

Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your REALTOR® is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing.

Your REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace.

The price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.