When you put your home up for sale, one of the best ways to determine the asking price is to look at comparable sales. There’s rarely a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, so a pricing decision often relies on comparisons to several recent sales in the area. As Realtors, it's our job to arm our sellers with all of the data and considerations they need to agree on a pricing strategy. Here are five criteria to look for in a sales comparison.
1. No one is representing YOU.
By going directly to a seller's agent, you are forgoing the opportunity to have someone advocating for you, negotiating on your behalf, researching the property and neighborhood, etc. Your buyer's agent has no reason to sell you on a certain house so they will be an impartial voice of reason throughout the search. The best part is that as a buyer, you pay nothing for this!
2. You may overpay for the home.
Some people think they'll get a better deal by submitting an offer directly through the seller's agent because they assume the seller will save on commission. Usually the seller pays their agent the same amount whether it is split with a buyers' agent or not. Because a seller's agent must act in the best interest of their client, not only must they present all offers and help their client select the highest and best, but their duty is to negotiate a deal that is best for the seller, NOT for the buyer. Further, a good buyer's agent knows which properties in the area may have room for negotiation and which ones will take a competitive offer to be the one accepted.
3. Losing out on off-market and coming soon properties.
Sure, consumers can access "coming soon" properties by combing through many websites but once they're listed there they're already pretty much public knowledge. A well connected Realtor is dialed in to what else is in the pipeline and has access to industry-only databases of properties that are about to hit the market.
4. Missteps in the process that can derail your purchase.
A home purchase is a very complex transaction and one mistake like opening a new credit card account just before closing can mean you don't get to move into your new home. A buyer's agent will help ensure that the transaction goes smoothly by being a resource for negotiating the offer and contingencies, home inspection repairs, referring professionals like contractors, attorneys and lenders, making sure the financing process moves along the way it should, and assisting all the way through the final walk-through, closing and beyond.
We love questions, so if you're at all curious about how to benefit from personalized, expert buyers' agents in MA we're happy to talk!