This article explores the true value real estate agents bring to their property market. I am not specifically talking about the buy/sell journey nor the warm and very appealing open house staging they are so adept at. While these are important in the selling cycle there is so much more to this that goes largely unnoticed. To this end, what I wish to explore is the real value, to both the seller and buyer, this professional body brings to the table and delivers time after time; yet has somehow been diluted and overlooked as we become immersed in the digital age.
This article is positioned to make people consider things that were not as obvious in the first instance. It aims to ask you to consider a different view of a profession whose foundation is based on years and years of property conveyancing, marketing and local expertise.
The perceived competition from digital agents – not apples-to-apples, or is it?
There is now a new model emerging on the market under the label – For Sale By Owner (FSBO) which is capturing the imagination of sellers who feel they could save a buck or two. Is there anything wrong about this approach and does it really save the seller $$? Well, of course there is nothing wrong whatsoever, we live in a free world, but I am here to tell you it does cut corners and can end up costing you more to sell your home by removing a critically important knowledge layer.
As a seller looking for the best return from a house sale I have heard people say:“Who cares, I am more than capable of showing people round my home and I can save money as well.” Well if this logic made any sense we would all be popping down to our local car parts or lumber yard and reconditioning our car engine or building our own houses. But we are not and for the simple reason that the vast majority of us are not nearly skilled enough. So why suddenly do we think we have acquired a new set of skills to sell our home?
Here are some informed opinions and interesting stats:
Statistics show that selling your home with the assistance of a real estate professional will garner you a bigger profit. According to the National Association of Realtors, the average FSBO sales price was $190,000, while the average price for a home represented by an agent was $264,900.
While this is a very one sided opinion, it suggest a $75k optimum sale price difference in favor of real estate agents. Statistics like this are all well and good but we should explore the true “value add” reasons behind why this is the case and start to consider the true value of real estate agents.
So let’s explore a few reasons why real estate agents will always be the prefered option to the FSBO route.
- They fundamentally know the neighbourhood and housing market for your property. They understand, and in real time, what properties sell for and more importantly they fully appreciate WHY they do. You can read a snapshot barometer of the local house price but it will never capture what is happening now but rather what went before. It will ALWAYS lag behind the real market data.
- They will always ensure both the buyer and seller get the best deal. OK hold on a bit how is that even possible? Well let’s Consider this scenario – As a seller you want to get the best price but you also wish to sell in a reasonable time frame; influenced primarily because you have your eye on a nice property by the sea or in a new and more desirable neighborhood for you. As a buyer you love the property and wish to get the best deal out there so you feel the need to squeeze the seller for all they have got. The job of the real estate agents, representing both the buyer and seller, is to manage the conveyancing expectation and ensure both parties get as close to the optimum deal as they can. They understand the emotion and manage both parties expectations.
- 90% of all buyers start their purchasing journey on the web. This could be either through a real estate agent website or through a highly engaging and informative property website, such as a dedicated real estate neighbourhood search portal like www.zooky.ca. In the US and UK these search portals have grown extensively and are now the default search option. The real estate agent will work with sellers to market the property in the most optimum way.
There are many more but these are good examples which directly impact and influence the sale for maximum effect.
The added value of real estate agents and their impact on our community
To complement the strong knowledge and unique core competencies they must possess, real estate agents are also passionate advocates of balanced community living. Did you know that in many local government steering groups, real estate agents play an important part? They work with developers and local government to create a balanced approach to neighbourhood planning, considering social and economic demographics, walkability and other important factors. Sure they can’t control house prices nor can they totally influence the final decision of home sellers and buyers. However it is a tenant of their position to ensure that stability of community and supporting healthy housing stock is, whenever possible, maintained.
To recap – Some quick facts about the true and real value of the real estate agent:
- They fundamentally understand the property neighbourhoods they service better than anyone.
- They offer independent financial guidance and affordability planning.
- Their conveyancing experience declutters the mountains of paperwork.
- Experience in what the market is doing is central to a well balanced sale and purchase journey.
- Both agents, independently representing both the buyer and seller, they are well positioned and more than competent to provide a balanced negotiation process.
- Collectively all of the above forms a deep core set of competencies which makes for a significant repository for advice and guidance; not available from the new digital For Sale By Owner on offer.
Buying a home is second only to a bereavement in terms of stress and emotional importance but we don’t see loved ones delivering the casket to the church via UPS. So let’s be realistic and consider carefully before taking the Do It Yourself rout when it comes to selling your property or as I would prefer to say “Don’t Indulge Yourself”.
To ensure full disclosure and article integrity:
I am not a real estate agent, nor will I ever be; but I do own a digital property search platform which is exclusively dedicated for the real estate professionals to showcase real estate listed properties at their very best. www.zooky.ca is for the enjoyment of home buyers and sellers alike and will provide a true neighbourhood search experience as it grows. Real estate agents wishing to register on our portal can do so here http://click.zooky.ca/free-account5
Zooky.ca WILL NEVER COMPETE WITH REAL ESTATE AGENTS.