If you find a buyer for your home without the help of a real estate agent, you probably feel ecstatic. With a buyer ready to purchase the property, you don’t have to go to the trouble of staging the home, taking photos, hosting open houses, and everything else that goes into real estate marketing. You’ve just cut out many of the steps of selling your home.
In this situation, you might wonder whether or not you should hire an agent at all. Do you need a realtor if you already have an offer? If you don’t need someone to market the house for you, is it worth hiring an agent for the rest of the process?
Although it might be tempting to skip hiring a real estate agent to save money on the transaction, it’s always wise to work with a realtor as you prepare to close on your house. Listing and marketing your home are just a few of the many services that a real estate agent offers you. Once you find a buyer, your agent is also there to assist during the closing and make sure everything is in order for a smooth transaction. Trying to handle the entire process by yourself to save money can backfire severely.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you found a buyer for your home on your own:
The offer could fall through.
Unfortunately, not all offers are finalized. You might have gotten a great offer before hiring a realtor to market your home, but there are plenty of steps along the way where the deal could fall through. The prospective buyer could be denied the mortgage loan, or there could be a problem with the home inspection or appraisal. Unexpected issues come up all the time in real estate transactions, and it’s impossible to predict what will happen with the sale of your home.
If the sale fell through and you didn’t hire an agent, you’ll be back to square one with your house. Unless you have another buyer lined up with an offer, you’ll have to start from the beginning with listing and marketing the property. This can significantly delay the process, which can be incredibly frustrating when you were just so close to selling the home.
If you already had a real estate agent, though, this won’t be nearly as much of a setback. Your agent is prepped and ready to list your home, and they probably have a number of resources that will help you get a new buyer soon. It’s disappointing to lose your original buyer, but working with a realtor from the beginning ensures that the necessary steps are in motion as soon as possible to get another offer.
An agent can keep the deal together.
A verbal offer from a buyer isn’t an official, legally binding agreement. With such a big transaction, it’s essential that you keep everything in writing so that nothing can be misunderstood or misinterpreted. If you already have a buyer, a real estate agent can supply you with purchase agreements and other documentation that will help you keep the deal together.
At this stage, it’s enormously helpful to have an expert in your corner. Your realtor knows the ins and outs of the business, and they know what’s typical and what’s not during a real estate transaction. They might point out red flags that you didn’t notice or offer advice to make the sale go as smoothly as possible. Even if you could handle the sale on your own, working with a real estate agent makes everything easier and less risky.
Closing is a lengthy and complicated process.
You’ll need to prepare several legal documents for your closing. Scheduling and preparing for this meeting can be time-consuming, stressful, and tiring. Missing a document or making a small mistake could result in the closing being delayed, and managing all of the preparation on your own can be very difficult.
Assisting with this step is one of your realtor’s most important responsibilities. They’ve attended countless home closings, so they know exactly what to expect and what needs to be done. Your agent can communicate with all of the involved parties to set a date for the closing, and they can ensure that the correct documents are present for the meeting.
You might be able to negotiate a reduced commission.
You might be tempted not to hire a real estate agent because you don’t want to pay the full commission on the sale. Your realtor’s percentage of your home sale is not insignificant, and you might wonder whether it’s worth paying if they didn’t list and market your home.
Some agents might be willing to negotiate their commission, though. Because they’ve saved time and money by not marketing your home, they may take a few percentage points off of their fee. This way, they still get paid for their time and services throughout the rest of the process, but you don’t feel like you’re overpaying.
Real estate agents do difficult work, and they don’t pocket all of the money they make from commissions. It’s important to offer your agent their fair share of the sale as their support is so helpful when you sell your home. However, if you approach the subject respectfully, you could come to a good agreement.
Finding a buyer for your home might be the most difficult part of a real estate sale, but it’s not the only task a real estate agent helps you with. Finalizing the sale of your home without assistance from an experienced professional is risky. When you team up with a realtor, you can approach the sale with confidence and peace of mind. You can be sure that all of your paperwork is correct, and you know that you have an expert ready to help if something goes wrong. If you already have a buyer for your home, reach out to agents in your area to see if you can negotiate with a realtor who will assist with the finalization of the transaction.
Michael Carr is the Co-Founder & COO of BrandFace, LLC. He is also a real estate branding expert and international bestselling author. As America’s Top Selling Real Estate Auctioneer, he has sold billions of dollars in commercial and residential properties.