living in Uptown Phoenix

So, the time has finally come. You’re ready to sell your home. And whether it’s an investment that you flipped, your first property, or your long-time family home, odds are good you want to get the most out of your sale. Which brings us to the eternal question: should you hire a real estate agent to sell your home?

In the digital era, where at least 95% of home buyers hop online to find available properties, it might be tempting to say no. After all, you can save plenty of money by not paying a sales commission. But, depending on the market, your property, and the energy you have to play sales rep, a quality listing agent could be worth their weight in gold.

Listing agents, selling agents, and seller’s agents

Before we get into the pros of working with a real estate agent, let’s make sure we’re on the same page with terminology. Mainly because some of these terms seem so closely related at first glance. For example, there are seller’s agents. And there are selling agents. But they’re not the same, and they don’t fulfill the same job function. So here’s a quick rundown:

A listing agent, or the seller’s agent, lists a property for sale. This agent works with and for the seller (you, in this case). It’s their primary job to market your property, negotiate on your behalf, and finalize the sale.

As confusing as it sounds, the selling agent is actually the buyer’s agent. Technically, this agent is called the buyer’s agent before a contract is signed. Once the contract is signed, they’re designated as the selling agent.

So, do you really need to hire a listing agent?

Technically, you don’t need a listing agent. Just like you don’t necessarily need scuba gear to swim underwater. But, having the right equipment makes it a lot easier. And having the right real estate agent makes the selling process a lot easier (and more profitable) in the long run. Here’s why.
Reason #1: They understand the market
Don’t get us wrong. We know that you’re perfectly capable of doing a deep data dive and putting together a competitive marketing analysis (CMA). But just because you can do it doesn’t mean you want to (or have the time for it). But, as your listing agent, understanding all of the data around market history, trends, and projections comes with the job title. Your listing agent isn’t just well-versed in the region and your specific neighborhood. They’ll also dig into the history of your property and make sure you’re not short-changing yourself on your property’s valuation.
Huss Brewing, living in Uptown Phoenix
Reason #2: Listing agents do the marketing for you
Even now, in the golden age of digital real estate marketing, it takes skill, strategy, and a whole lot of perseverance to get your property noticed. Especially if you want it seen by the right people. Because there’s no point passing out wine and crackers at an open house for people with no intention of putting in an offer.

According to a July 2020 report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), nearly 5.4 million homes were sold last year. Of those, 89% of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent. With some help from the pros, those sellers sold their home for 99% of the listing price. And the typical house sold within three weeks of being listed for sale.

Here at Resident, we understand that today’s market needs to be visually driven and digitally accessible. That’s why every house we represent gets professional photography and targeted, strategic digital marketing across the right channels for that particular property.

Huss Brewing, living in Uptown Phoenix
Reason #3: The seller’s agent is your advocate

Let’s say you decide to forgo working with a listing agent. You handle the photography, get your house on Zillow, and start drumming up some offers. Now what?

A good seller’s agent doesn’t just open the door to the right buyer. They invite them inside, make sure they’re comfortable, and then work tirelessly to make the sale. And they’ve got an arsenal of knowledge to use in making a case for your asking price.

According to a 2019 NAR report, 19% of For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sellers reported that getting the right price for their home was the most challenging part of the selling process. And that’s reflected in the closing price of FSBO homes. For example, in 2018, 11% of sales were FSBO. The average FSBO home sold for $80,000 less than an agent-assisted home sale.

What could you do with an extra $80,000? Take a year off to travel? Buy a swimming pool full of tacos? Regardless of your plans, it’s a significant amount of money, even after a seller’s agent’s commission.

Reason #4: Hire a real estate agent to close the sale faster
After the preparation, showing, inspections, and negotiations, the work begins. This is the point when your listing agent will roll up their sleeves and start the paperwork. This includes contract documents, requests, offers and counteroffers, settlement statements, federal and state-mandated disclosures, and more.

We’ll make sure all of the correct paperwork is ready to roll right when it’s needed, so there are no unnecessary delays. And, we’re your extra set of expert eyes, making sure everything is done (and done right). What exactly does that look like?

Well, after a contract is accepted and escrow opens, your listing agent oversees the transaction from start to finish. They’ll ensure that all parties uphold contract timelines and that contingencies are met. They’ll handle all of the paperwork while acting as the intermediary between all parties. That includes the buyer’s agent, the escrow officer, the lender, and any attorneys.

Hire a real estate agent you can trust

Want to sell your home faster, with less effort, for more money? You definitely want to hire a real estate agent. But, keep in mind that not all agents are created equally. That’s why we recommend looking for agents with quality reviews, area expertise, and a genuine love of the industry.

Ready to get started? The first step is figuring out just how much your home is worth. And here at Resident, we’re happy to provide free, in-person price estimates. Just give us a call to see how your property stacks up.