Why should I hire an agent? All they do is throw a sign on my yard and wait for the money to come rolling in. Right? WRONG! I have been on both sides of the fence and I unfortunately had to learn the hard way. Filling in the blanks on an agreement of sale was easy, I did it, had no former training or a clue as to what I was doing but it was easy. Well when we got to the settlement table I found out that I checked off the wrong boxes and ended up paying both sides of the transfer tax which cost me an additional $3,000.
You know how much it would have cost me to have a buyers agent represent me? Zero Dollars! Even as a seller if you want to save money and sell your own home it could cost you big in the end. Take away the fact that you reduce your buyer pool by hundreds because you aren’t on the local Multiple Listing Service, however the biggest reason to hire an agent is for the liability.
If you are selling your home by yourself you are expected to know everything a Real Estate Agent knows, all the laws, legislation and have all the correct forms. If you don’t, the buyer can sue you personally anytime after the sale for any issues they may find. Because you represented yourself you are solely responsible for the liability that comes with that responsibility.
I don’t want to scare you but saving the price of commission on the sale could cost you twice that amount or more in litigation.
Now that we are past that please know that All Agents Are Licensed. That means they had to take classes and pass a very difficult test given by the state of Pennsylvania. They have had strict Ethics training and must take mandatory Continuing Ed classes every two years. There are many brokerages and agents to choose from that you will be able to find one that suits your needs.
Stay tuned for Part 2 where I will further detail exactly what an agent does for their commission and the questions you should be asking when interviewing.
Part 2 will provide insight for the New Year if you are planning on buying or selling real estate in 2017.