In this day and age of instant online offers to sell your home with no listing fee, no open houses, no showings, and no interruption to your daily life it seems like realtors should fear for their jobs. Well, no.
OK, part of this is accurate. Those realtors that charge a full commission to do nothing other than slap up a sign and put your home on the MLS should very much live in fear. Those production only with no relationship-building realtors should be very fearful. Better realtors and progress are coming from your lazy money.
I once had a realtor tell me that if you spend more than 4 hours listing a home, meaning actual work on a listing, you are doing it wrong. For the privilege, if this four hours this realtor is saying their knowledge, time and effort are worth 3.2% (common in Colorado) to list your home. How much is this? Well if your home sells for $525,000 that four-hour or less realtor is making at least $17,600 or $4,400 per hour. Awesome work if you can get it, but this approach, and attitude, gives all realtors a bad name.
A good listing agent, and I know more than a few, will spend countless hours on your listing. From the initial walk-through to small touch-up advice, to staging your property, doing open houses, and, in our market, summarizing possibly dozens of offers down to the top ones for you, and your family, to choose from. This isn’t even to mention the hours of work running comps (pricing on comparably sold homes to get you the best possible price).
Why is their time and experience so valuable and worth so much of your equity? Well, because here’s what the instant offer websites do instead of a proper agent.
They also pull comps on your property. They proceed to offer you 5-10% below market value for the convenience of not putting your home on the market. You will also be required to do any, and all required updates or repairs that they deem necessary. They do the repairs, at their chosen costs and reduce your offer price even further. It is not uncommon for, once all is said and done, for your discount no-interruption to your daily life sale of your home to put 7-15% less cash in your pocket when all is said and done. They then turn around and sell your property for 15-20% or more than they finally paid you. Yes, you didn’t have any open houses or showings. Of course, it was more convenient and less intrusive, but good golly. Your home that a listing agent would have sold for $525,000 with you walking away with $488,250 (6% to buyers agent and listing agent and 1% for title work that the seller pays for). $446,250 (15%). I don’t know about you but having strangers wander through my home is worth 8% more in my pocket.
You see a good realtor knows the area. They know how to market your home. They may already have buyers lined up. They certainly know other realtors to reach out to and, most importantly, you can trust what they say. You can call them virtually any time and they are there 100% for you and your family. Their experience and knowledge is worth every penny.
Finally, and remember this, nothing you pay them is cash out of their pocket. If they don’t sell your home they don’t get paid a nickel for all the time and effort they put in on your behalf. They get paid when you get paid. They have your best interest at heart and will go through every contract, every offer, and every document with you word by word if you desire. There is nobody to review your online offer or cut-rate service contracts. You are on your own and trust me when selling your most valuable asset, you don’t want to be on your own.