The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Real Estate Agent

By Ted Ricasa

VIDEO: Does Your Real Estate Agent Have Your Best Interests at Heart?

Once you have decided to sell your home, you then have to consider how you want to go about selling it. Especially if you have never sold property before, you may be a bit confused about what to do next. Is selling your home as simple as calling a local Realtor and letting him or her take it from there? How do you find the right real estate agent? Do you even need to hire an agent?

The answer to these and most other questions regarding the sale of your home is "it depends." It depends on how quickly you want to sell your home, how much time you have to devote to the sale of your home, how much you want to sell your home for (not to mention, how much of that sale price you are willing to pay to your agent as commission), and many other factors.

It is worth noting that approximately 93 percent of home sales involve an agent to some degree. In many cases, hiring a real estate agent is absolutely in the best interests of home owners. In others, it isn't. As in all stages of home selling, it is important that you understand all of your options, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each, when it comes to hiring - or not hiring - a real estate agent.

What Are the Advantages of Hiring a Real Estate Agent?

As with any other profession, there are great real estate agents and not-so-great real estate agents, with the vast majority residing somewhere in between the two extremes. Before you agree to hire an agent, be sure to do your homework. Trulia, Zillow, and Yelp are just three online resources you can use to find reviews on agents in your local area. Doing a bit of research on the Internet can save you a lot of time and frustration, helping you to weed out professionals with poor reputations in your community and zero in on those who have earned the trust and respect of their clients.

The advantages of hiring a real estate agent are plentiful - if you find the right agent. Bear in mind that many of these advantages depend on your hiring a full-service agent, which will cost you more in commission than a discount broker. Possible benefits include:

In order to find an agent that will provide all of the above advantages and more, there are certain questions you will want to ask as part of your vetting process:

More: How do you determine your priorities for selling your home?

What Are the Disadvantages of Hiring a Real Estate Agent?

If you hire the right agent, you won't encounter many disadvantages. However, if you hire the wrong agent, you'll learn more about the following disadvantages than you bargained for. That's why it is vital that you carefully research and thoroughly interview any agent you consider hiring. If you don't feel comfortable with a certain agent for any reason, even if it's just a gut feeling, move on to the next candidate.

Possible disadvantages of hiring a real estate agent include:

Unfortunately, some people don't realize that they've selected the wrong agent until they are in the thick of the home selling process. That's why you cannot base your decision on whether to hire an agent solely on his or her pitch to you. Remember, agents are generally excellent salespeople, and they know how to sell themselves. By gathering as much information as you can on an agent, you at least minimize the chances that you will be caught by surprise by a bad experience.

Of course, you may ultimately determine that you don't want to hire an agent at all. In such cases, there are other options available to you, such as selling your home on your own or selling it to a cash buyer.

For further information about the options available to you, please feel free to contact Fast Home Help today.

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