Do You Need a Real Estate Agent?

3 Reasons You’ll Be Glad You Didn’t FSBO!

FSBO SignEver since the DIY fad took off, amateurs everywhere have attempted almost anything all on their own. It isn’t shocking that a few homeowners are wondering, “Do I really need a real estate agent to help sell my home when I can try to sell it myself?”

Sadly, you will see many DIY fails on projects that are way less complex than selling a home. While it may seem amusing when a soufflé falls you won’t be much laughter when FSBO errors cost you thousands of dollars and months of time.

Selling your home is your real estate agent’s job! Attempting to sell your home by yourself is difficult when you’ve got your own job.

Are you equipped to answer all phone calls and questions from buyers? Can you always arrange showings and keep your home pristine? Are you knowledgeable enough to evaluate offers, make counter offers, and negotiate all on your own behalf? Can you do all the above while keeping up with the demands of your regular work day?

The must do list of an FSBO seller is demanding and endless. Fortunately, a real estate agent’s regular work day consists of taking care of that list for you. While you’re tied up with work and prepping to move, your agent is busy working to coordinate with buyer’s agents and negotiating the best offer for your home.

Knowledgeable real estate agents devote countless hours to marketing, networking, and actively selling their listings. A frequent misunderstanding is thinking that a real estate agent just puts up a for sale sign and everything is done. FSBO sellers don’t understand that you’ve got to get prepare the home, market it, and much more.

Successful real estate agents will financially invest in marketing your home and will make sure that your home shows marvelously. They do this by paying for various things such as professional photography and quality staging. The amount of time and work it requires to sell a home FSBO is exactly why not many even try.

Now, let’s get down to the basics as to why utilizing a real estate agent is the logical choice.

#1 – A real estate agent is essential for prepping your house for sale.

RE AgentYou might take a glance at your home and feel that it’s in outstanding condition, but homes that are sold as-is will receive as-is offers, despite how excellent their condition is.

Real estate agents know that making modest investments in home improvements can increase the value of your home by 35%. Regrettably, some FSBO sellers will invest funds on upgrades that will not increase the home’s value enough to cover the money they have spent on those upgrades.

Just like each home is unique, so is each real estate market. Even if all the research you have accomplished is telling you that certain upgrades are guaranteed to increase your home’s value, that may not be true for your area.

A knowledgeable, experienced, and local real estate agent that has plenty of active listings will know what improvements or upgrades are going to be worth your investment to help your home sell.

#2 – A real estate agent will help you set the right listing price.

Listing PriceExperienced real estate agents know that listing a home at the right price is one of their most important tasks. If the price is set too high buyers will not come look at the home, which obviously means they won’t make any offers. If you lower the price too soon or too often, buyers and their agents will assume there may be something wrong with the home and only submit lowball offers, or no offers at all.

Regrettably, some FSBO sellers still believe that they will know how to price their home without assistance. Some sellers feel that they know the value of their home, but most often an FSBO home is priced incorrectly and as a result they get an even lower offer when it finally does sell.

Your real estate agent will examine numerous details to find your correct listing price, for example: regional and local market trends, nearby comps, days on market, upgrades, plus seller concessions (closing costs, home warranties, credits for repairs, etc.).

#3 – A real estate agent is your go-between.

FSBO sellers frequently feel hopeful enough to make improvements and listing price decisions without a real estate agent’s support. They often mistakenly think that pricing and prepping are the roughest part. Then they may pay a listing service to put their home on the MLS, believing that’s all they need to do to get their home sold.

ContractBut there are numerous more things that need to occur. Without a real estate agent, you won’t have anyone to advise you through the process. When you list your home with a real estate agent, they will be your go-between through the entire home sale process.

Your real estate agent will negotiate the sale and renegotiate after the inspection and appraisal occur. They will be working to find concessions that won’t cut into your bottom line.

Having a real estate agent to be your go-between isn’t just essential during the closing process, but you will need that buffer as soon as your home is listed. If you don’t have a real estate agent, then you won’t have anyone to arrange showings or even put a lockbox on your home. Rather, you will have to be present at every showing and you’ll won’t have any way to evaluate those buyers.

Are you as an FSBO seller willing to just open your home and let anyone who calls you walk through? That is one of the many reasons why you need a real estate agent. They provide privacy, protection, and facilitation of the transaction for a stress-free closing.

Buyer’s agents realize that FSBO sellers are emotionally involved in the selling process. When a FSBO seller plays hardball during the negotiation process, they may be labeled as a difficult seller who is not willing to be flexible and thus end up walking away from the deal.

When you list with a real estate agent, you will have them as a buffer between you and the buyer and you can prevent any emotional negotiation disagreements.

Are you still wanting to DIY with being a FSBO seller? Now at least you are aware the risks. But the bottom line is if you desire a uneventful sale that will bring you the best profit then you definitely need to hire a local and knowledgeable real estate agent.

Tips For Living in a Staged Home

Female hands holding small black chalkboard in front of the body closeup with words Home Staging. On gray background with copy space

Your home is on the market, pristine and expertly staged to get it sold. Now what? How do you still live in your home and keep it in perfect condition – especially for the unexpected showing?

Here are some simple tricks to keeping your home spotless:

KEEP IT CLEAN

 

Kitchen:

  • Remove all of your kitchen appliances from the counters. Do not use them; keep clean and hidden.
  • Have one set of cups, plates and utensils for each family member neatly stored in a cabinet. Use only these dishes and hand wash after every use. Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink or out in a dish rack. Eat, drink, wash, dry and put away.
  • Use recycled paper plates and cups to limit dishwashing.
  • Keep only the essentials in the refrigerator and pantry (potential buyers are known to look inside). Unused pantry items can be donated to your local food bank.

 

Bathrooms:

  • No personal care products (soap, shampoo, lotion, toothbrush, etc.) should be left out. Give each family member a bathroom tote to hold their daily-used products, to be put away into a closed cabinet after each use.
  • Keep antibacterial wipes under the sink for quick and easy cleanup after each sink and shower use.
  • Use stick-on toilet cleaners inside the bowls to keep toilets clean and smelling fresh.
  • Only guest towels should be displayed in the bathrooms. Each family member should have his or her own set of towels, to be washed regularly and kept out of sight.

 

Bedrooms:

  • Keep all nightstands and dresser tops clear of personal items. Purchase plastic containers with lids that can easily slide under beds to store reading glasses, books, journals, medications, tissue boxes, etc.
  • Be sure to make the beds each morning; that way there is one less thing to do when a showing is scheduled.
  • Keep all clothing items neatly put away and laundry baskets hidden in closets.
  • Wash, dry, fold and put away laundry on a daily basis if necessary.

 

Living Room:

  • To maintain a tidy living room, keep daily-used items (remote controls, DVDs, video games, children’s toys, etc.) hidden away in closed drawers, cabinets or storage ottomans.
  • Do not let newspapers, magazines or mail stack up; file away or recycle immediately. Perhaps keep the latest newspaper in your car; it may come in handy when showings are scheduled and you need to head out to a coffee shop or other fun destination.

 

Eating & Entertainment

  • By now you may be thinking, “How does my family eat?” It is best to go out to eat during this time. Even take-out is a no-no; the goal is to keep your home smelling like fresh flowers, not fried chicken.
  • To stay on a budget, visit websites like Groupon or Restaurants.com for deals and coupons. Also, look into daily/weekly meal deals at your local restaurants, like $2 Taco Tuesdays or where kids can “eat free.”
  • Get your whole family involved and make a list of activities to do on the days your house is scheduled to be shown. Ideas include bowling, going to the beach, zoo, museums, amusement parks, or even visiting relatives.

 

Pets

  • Perhaps a family member, friend or neighbor can take care of your beloved four-legged family members, or designate 1-2 rooms for your pets to live in. This will keep the fur cleanup to a minimum.

 

With any questions or additional moving resources, please contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC daily! We are available to assist with all of your real estate needs and can be reached at (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.  Our office is located in Old Town Anacortes at 809 7th St. and are proud to serve Anacortes, Skagit, Island, San Juan, Whatcom counties and beyond.

The Benefits of Staging a Home For Sale

staging
As real estate brokers with home staging certifications, we see firsthand the effect a well-staged home can have on the mind of a home buyer. If you are thinking about selling your home, we offer complimentary home staging services that might just make you fall in love with your home all over again!

Home Sellers Are Biased
• Staging one’s own home is like asking them to be objective about their children. Unless you have truly hated your home since you bought it, it will be difficult for you to let go of your own decorating style and the emotions that have been cultivated since living there.

You Will Learn!
• Have you ever looked at a home magazine or watched the DIY Network only to fantasize about being able to decorate the way they do? Now you can learn! Stagers work with you to properly display items in your home to bring out the best features possible. It might give you the chance to learn how you want to decorate your next space!

First Impressions Must Be the Best
• Buyers will only get one first impression of your home- make it the best! You get a good feeling when you walk into a home that has been properly staged. It isn’t fake, it isn’t dirty, and it allows potential buyers to develop their own sense of comfort and connection to the home.

Look Better than Other Homes
• When a home isn’t properly staged, buyers are only driven further from your listing and closer to your competition. Keep your buyers connected with your property!

Appears Move-In Ready
• Proper, neutral home décor allows buyers to visualize living there. They will imagine their own possessions in each room, and how their family will fit into the space. It will also lessen the impact of any maintenance issues that may arise during inspection, as they are already pleased with the home’s overall aesthetics.

Looks Well-Maintained
• Again, issues have the potential to arise in almost any inspection, and a home that appears to be well-maintained from the outside will help the buyer feel more comfortable with any “internal” work that may need to be done, rather than focusing on changing things like countertops or radical paint jobs.

Looks Better in Photos
• These days, homes are typically first viewed on the internet. Well-done staging allows for better quality photos and allows a potential buyer to fall in love with the home before viewing it in person.

It’s Free!
• We offer free staging services from a certified professional to all who sign with us. Our staging professional is experienced in making a home comfortable for anyone who views it.

For more helpful staging tips or information on selling your home, reach out to us today and be sure to check out our page that explains the staging process.