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Why Should you Work with a REALTOR®?

In an era of LegalZoom®, Google®, Craig’s List®, REALTOR.com®, etc., you might be wondering why you can’t just sell your home on your own. There are a lot of resources available to you, and you’re reasonably bright – besides, no one knows your home like you do. So why do you need a REALTOR®*?

In fact, there are a few compelling reasons.

First of all, a good Realtor has a finger on the pulse of the local market. While most people get their information on real estate trends from national news, Realtors know that “all real estate is local,” and it is their business to be very, very familiar with it. Your Realtor will be able to value your property with professionalism and experience – and will be able to justify the number he or she recommends with hard facts – fair comparable properties, and sold property statistics.

Your Realtor also has a built-in network. He or she is in constant contact with other real estate agents, each of whom has a personal inventory of clients who may be interested in your property. This gives you a wide range of potential buyers who would never see a sign in your yard or a classified in the local paper.

And speaking of advertising, this is often a cost your Realtor will assume, along with signage, information packets, the multi-list system, multiple on-line sites, and more.

Importantly, your Realtor is working for you. He or she is bound by a code of ethics, and you should never have to worry that your Realtor is dividing his or her loyalty between you and a buyer, without your informed and written consent. And he or she will be able to help you avoid legal issues by ensuring that your contracts and disclosures are accurate and up-to-date.

Your Realtor also has a long-standing relationship with lenders and title companies, and will be able to help you find quality companies to help your transaction go smoothly and without unexpected setbacks.

Having said that, though, there often are setbacks. Your Realtor is a professional and has a lot of experience bringing transactions to the closing table. He or she is prepared for last-minute glitches, and will do all he or she can to keep the transaction moving smoothly to a close. When appraisals don’t come in as high as expected, or an appliance suddenly goes on the fritz, it can be very stressful, and a calm, competent Realtor will be an enormous asset.

You should try and choose a local Realtor, of course. These are people who are very involved in their communities and know the neighborhoods, lakes, recreational opportunities, etc. If you are selling from a distance, and you receive notice of a burst pipe, your Realtor will know who to call. If a foot of snow blocks your driveway and there’s a showing in four hours – your agent will know who to call. If your sister is coming up for the weekend, your Realtor will be able to tell you where she can find an art fair, riding stables, a local church, and where to get the best burger in town.

Finally, a Realtor possesses something you don’t when it comes to selling your property: emotional distance. He or she will empathize with your love for your home, but will still be able to recognize and advise you on the things you may need to do to prepare you home for sale, and maintain professionalism and courtesy when dealing with a lowball offer, for instance.

Working with a real estate agent costs something, of course. The Realtor has made an investment in signage and advertising, not to mention time and diligence. But most importantly, it’s awfully hard to put a price on the peace of mind you will get when you work with a knowledgeable professional.

* The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

(From the National Association of REALTORS)