Why Hire an Agent?

Most homeowners who decide to sell their homes themselves do so in an attempt to save the commission charged by a real estate agent. The commission rate may vary, depending on where you live or what agency you choose, but it is generally 6-7% in the Atlanta real estate market. However, handling your own sale means you will be responsible for placing ads, answering phones and showing your home to strangers. What's more, buyers who know you are saving on an agent's commission may offer less for your home, wiping out the financial incentive to do it all yourself.

You may decide an agent's commission is a bargain the first time that a would-be buyer shows up unannounced at dinnertime. Also, be aware that a real estate agent probably knows a lot more about the business of selling a home than you do. Here are some of the advantages professional Realtors offer:

  • They will help you establish a fair asking price for your home.
  • They will promote your home to other agents and list your property in multiple listing services. A multiple listing service is a computer database that all real estate agents who subscribe to the service can access. Your home will get exposure to all those agents, one of whom may have the perfect buyer.
  • They will create, pay for and place advertising for you.
  • They will schedule appointments to show your home to prospective buyers even when you are not there.
  • They can weed out buyers who will not qualify for a mortgage.
  • They can refer you to sources for insurance, inspections, legal counsel and financing.
  • They will help you negotiate with the buyer.
  • They can make suggestions to help make your home more attractive to a potential buyer.

If you decide to sell through an agent, there are several things to consider before picking the one you want to work with. Taking a walk through your home with an agent should give you a feel for how that person will handle prospective buyers. Ask prospective agents how they plan to market your home. Don't sign with an agent just because he or she suggests the highest asking price. And be sure to find an agent who is readily accessible - their availability to you reflects their availability to everyone, so calls and e-mails should be responded to promptly. You wouldn't want to miss out on any interest from YOUR potential buyers. The Atlanta real estate market is very competitive and buyers will move on quickly if they do not get an immediate response to their queries...there are a lot of homes for sale in Atlanta!

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