Hire a real estate agent to sell your house.

    Weird to hear a builder advocate hiring a real estate agent, right? But, if you need to sell your existing house so you can start building your dream home, hiring a professional is the best, fastest, and least stressful way to go.

    Most people need to sell their existing house before they can build a new one. There are some people who can afford more than one house, but that's certainly not the norm. In my experience, people actually net more cash from the sale of their house when they use a good Realtor than when they try to sell the house themselves. I've seen it time and time again. I've lived in 4 different houses myself, and for the 3 I sold, I used a Realtor every time. Every time, I was glad I did.

    The right real estate agent will help you price your house realistically. Sure, you might want to get more for your house than the Realtor tells you it's worth, but wanting it to be worth more doesn't make it worth more. The agent can do an honest market analysis, will look objectively at your home's strengths and weaknesses, and give you an honest appraisal of the home's value. When you try to do all that yourself, you have a couple of disadvantages:

    • You're emotionally involved... you know all the reasons you liked that house when you bought it, all the improvements you made, and all the things you liked about it living there. All those things are positives to you, but might not be to the buying public.
    • Face it, you're an amateur. That's not a slight, it's a fact. Same applies to that Realtor if he or she came to work with you - at your job, you're the professional and the Realtor would be the amateur. Do you think you could become a Realtor today and do the job as well as a seasoned agent on your very first day? If you answered yes, then I would argue that anybody could do your job on their first day as well as you do it now. Hire a professional and let him or her do the job.

    The right real estate agent will help you negotiate the offers you get so you'll get the most out of your house. There's a lot more to negotiate than the price - there's the closing date, the "TRRs" (that's the list of gripes the buyer is going to come up with after doing a home inspection - basically a chance for the buyer to legally renegotiate the price after the deal is done), closing costs, etc. A good Realtor knows how to navigate all that so you don't get taken advantage of.

    A good Realtor will guide you on how to market your house properly: how to stage the furniture, how to manipulate the listing so it shows up well and high in searches, and will be connected to a network of other high-performing agents who have lots of buyers. Sure, you can put some pictures on Craigslist or Zillow or whatever, but you're going to attract the bottom-feeders, and that's not how you're going to maximize the value.

    What is the value of time? The right Realtor will sell your home quickly. I hear people talk about pricing their home higher than market, just to "see if they can get it", thinking they can always drop the price later. You might as well just keep the house off the market for a month and then put it on at the right price after the month goes by. You're not going to get more than your house is worth. Think about it: would you pay more than a house is worth just because someone is asking? Of course not. Why would your buyer? By doing an accurate market analysis and pricing your home at market value, your Realtor is going to accelerate the sales process, saving you time and interest payments, AND allowing you to build your dream home sooner.

    There are lots of other reasons to hire a professional real estate agent when selling your home. The bottom line is, if you want to sell your home and get the maximum amount of money and do it in the shortest period of time, hiring a professional is the way to go.

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