Ready to stake that "for sale" sign in your yard and wait for the offers to start pouring in? Not so fast. Without an experienced real estate agent or Realtor® on your side, you could be leaving money on the table. In fact, studies have shown that you can make up to 25% more on the sale of your home when you list with a Realtor. Before you get started working with an agent, however, there are some things you should know.
Those Pet Projects Don't Always Add Value to Your Home
That gallery wall of family photos that you painstakingly hung last year may be one of your favorite things about your home, but it could actually be a turn-off to buyers. That's because buyers want to view your home as a "blank slate," so having a lot of photos and other personal decor can be a turn-off.
The same applies to those bold emerald green kitchen cabinets you had installed. While you may have spent a pretty penny on them, they aren't likely to increase the value of your home. When decorating or making upgrades to sell, then, it's best to stick with neutral colors and designs.
Real Estate Agents Aren't Home Inspectors or Appraisers
It's your real estate agent's job to learn as much as possible about your home in order to prepare it for listing. Many real estate agents even have some experience with their own home improvement projects and the like. However, an agent is not the same thing as an appraiser or an inspector, so you shouldn't expect yours to be able to tell you exactly what repairs your home needs or whether it will definitely appraise for a certain amount.
Overpricing Your Home Won't Help You Make More Money
Likewise, your real estate agent will conduct a lot of research to determine the best asking price for your home based on its condition and local market trends. One of the best things you can do is to listen to your agent's advice here. Listing your home for more than it's worth can actually scare off potential buyers and cause your home to sit on the market for too long. And even if you do get an offer, your home may end up appraising for less than your list price.
Your Agent is Working For Free Until Closing
Last but not least, remember that your agent doesn't actually get paid a dime for all of his or her hard work until after the sale of your home closes. With that in mind, be loyal to your agent; if any issues arise during the process of selling your home, bring them up right away so your agent can continue to earn your business.