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Common Questions and Answers

Below are common questions that prospective clients often ask when considering this option and responses to consider. If you have other questions, please feel free to contact us.

1. I hear a lot about For Sale By Owner (FSBO) these days. Is it gaining in popularity?
No, it just seems that way. When mortgage rates are low and the housing market is active, home sellers view the process as easy and become more likely to sell on their own. Conversely, when mortgage rates are high and the market cools, those same consumers turn to experienced REALTORS. In any market, it's proven that home sellers represented by a REALTOR achieve a 15 percent higher home value statewide than those sold by owners.

2. Why use a REALTOR when just sticking a sign in the ground will attract multiple buyers?
In a hot market, can a sign attract buyers? Sure. However, unless your home is priced properly and you can successfully write a solid contract, you will leave money on the table or fail to sell your home. REALTORS are intimately familiar with real estate law and the closing process. When you chose to work with an experienced professional, you are making a solid investment that is usually repaid with a higher sale price and lower legal liability.

3. REALTORS are great for people who want to avoid the hassle, but I'm an educated, do-it-yourselfer. What harm is there in cutting out the middleman?
Most sellers who begin the process without representation by a REALTOR end up by listing in the end, as evidenced by a recent National Association of REALTORS survey that found only 11 percent of sellers actually sell on their own. A basic real estate transaction still has a lot of potential liability, and it's easy for consumers to stumble into legal trouble. A seller that overlooks even one required form or legally mandated disclosure could face a lengthy and expensive buyer lawsuit after the transaction closes. Working with a REALTOR ensures every part of the transaction is compliant with real estate law and can help you avoid the many pitfalls possible between the initial sales agreement and closing on the home.

4. What are the limitations involved in selling my own home?
There are many disadvantages to trying to sell your house on your own. Besides the hassle of doing everything yourself, history suggests that you will also suffer from:
Low Selling Price. Research shows that, on average, homes sold by their owners sell at prices 15 percent lower than homes sold by REALTORS. Given that cost is a primary reason most consumers sell their own home, this statistic reveals they often take on that additional hassle and risk while actually decreasing their earnings.
Inaccurate Pricing. Like many homeowners, unrepresented sellers tend to believe their home is worth more than comparable homes in the same neighborhood. Unfortunately, this leads to their home staying on the market longer and eventually achieving a lower valuation anyway. REALTORS have expertise in pricing homes for sale and will ensure your home is sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.
Access to the MLS. By far the largest and most accurate source of information regarding properties for sale, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is the primary information source home buyers consult when represented by a REALTOR. Thus, unrepresented sellers often are unable to reach this large group of prospective buyers.
Intimidated buyers. Research shows that potential buyers spend less time in a home if the owner is present. They often feel uncomfortable discussing their opinions of the property if the owner is present and are less inclined to make an offer if they know they'll be negotiating directly with the seller. Thus, the pool of prospective buyers is limited further.

The Benefits of Using an Austin Realtor

There are many reasons to use an Austin Realtor when you are buying or selling Austin Real Estate. We know the local market and will help you with this very complex process. Whether you are buying or selling Austin Homes, consider the following advantages to using a Realtor:

Preparation For Sale
Every home seller knows that small details can mean big dollars when it comes to your home's appearance. Your REALTOR is skilled in recommending repairs or cosmetic work that is proven to minimize time on the market and maximize prospect interest and sale price.

Expert Knowledge
Your REALTOR has the most up-to-date market knowledge for pricing and financing a home and knows the terms and condition of competing properties in your area. It's their business to know things like new developments expected in your prospective neighborhood that could impact home values or zoning laws. They are also versed in utility issues that should figure into setting the sale price of your home.

Effectively marketing your home is a huge undertaking for which most home sellers simply don't have the time or fully understand. Your REALTOR not only has the time and resources, but also will know best how to use flyers, open house days and their personal networks to find qualified buyers for your home. The most common myth about REALTORS is that their sole value is their access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Though their ability to unite buyers and sellers through the MLS is important, their true value lies in their role as a project manager and advocate for clients. From pricing your home to sell at the highest value to providing insight on school districts for your next purchase, REALTORS add value every step of the way.

Selling a home involves many steps and a myriad of professionals - from inspectors and appraisers to repairmen and title companies. Your REALTOR will help you coordinate this complex process, connect you with service providers they know and trust and ensure all aspects of your home sale are compliant with real estate law. Negotiation Real estate transactions are complex, and negotiations occur at many steps throughout the process. REALTORS not only have the experience and expertise to know when and how to negotiate within the transaction, they are also trained and experienced in objectively evaluating offers from buyers.

Time Savings
In choosing to work with a REALTOR, many consumers are concerned with one thing: time. Is it possible to find the information needed to buy or sell a home on your own? Sure. But the time required to educate yourself on real estate law; research home values and trends in your area; manage inspections, appraisals and repairs; create and distribute marketing pieces; make yourself available for showings; coordinate all the paperwork for closing; and complete the many other activities related to selling a home is overwhelming and unrealistic. For most consumers, it is simply not worth the time required.

How can a real estate agent help me?
Whether you're in the market for a primary residence, an investment property or a second home, purchasing real estate involves many important considerations and decisions. A real estate agent can provide the focus, due diligence and expertise needed to help you find the home of your dreams.

A real estate professional will:

Assist in determining how much house you can afford and help you get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a loan.
Simplify your search by helping you define home and neighborhood criteria.
Screen new listings daily and alert you of homes that match your criteria.
Keep you abreast of local market conditions, so you can make informed decisions.
Gather in-depth detail on each home, schedule tours and point out the advantages and possible drawbacks of each property.
Work with you in drafting an appropriate offer and serve as your representative when presenting it to the seller.
Personally refer you to proven service providers, such as inspectors, appraisers, title companies, warranty providers, insurance agencies, attorneys, carpenters, movers and more.
Negotiate a contract that considers your goals and leads to a successful closing.
Work with you in drafting an appropriate offer and serve as your representative when presenting it to the seller.

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