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by Emily Merkley, association executive, Cache-Rich Association of REALTORS® 

A home is an investment, and the objective of any investment is to make the greatest return as possible when it comes time to sell. With the hope of saving on agent commissions and maximizing profits, many homeowners opt to try a For Sale by Owner approach with their homes and properties.

Often, these owners are not aware of statistical data that challenge these hopes and way of thinking. In a recent study, The National Association of REALTORS® showed that properties listed as FSBO sell for an average of $210,000, while homes represented by an agent see a $39,000 increase with a sales price of $249,000. This type of value translates to more profit for homeowners and the best possible return on such investments.

With many popular online listing services offering low-cost assistance to buy and sell homes, there are various reasons why listing with a licensed REALTOR® is ultimately your best decision. These sites do not have access to the same listing information nor historical data that your local REALTOR® does. Because of this, the generic computer-generated formulas used to assess home values and offer market comparisons can be inaccurate, and fail to take into account various and numerous other contributing factors.

The decision to list your home can be difficult, and as the homeowner, it’s even more taxing to know what exactly will help your home show at its best. This is where a REALTOR® can contribute immensely to the success of your sale. As Kevin Bouck of Movement Mortgage recalls when listing his own home, his REALTOR® offered an honest evaluation of the home and suggested replacing carpet and adding granite countertops.

Realtor meeting with a client

“My REALTOR® knew the actual value of my home and what could be done to enhance that value, which is something I wouldn’t have considered on my own,” Kevin said. “It’s the little details that are so important in a home transaction, and being involved with the mortgage side of the process, I have seen firsthand how seasoned agents can pick out different issues that a home may have, or know exactly what a home may need to best serve their clients.”

Another huge advantage of listing with a REALTOR® is the security and confidence that homeowners find as REALTOR®s help them navigate the legal, monetary and negotiation processes that accompany real estate transactions.

“A REALTOR® has a fiduciary responsibility to best represent the homeowners and their interests,” said Kaleb Kunz with State Farm Insurance. “We work with so many clients when dealing with home insurance, and there is just an ease of transaction and enhanced security on the monetary and inspection side of things when agents are involved.”

Echoing the importance of using a REALTOR® to correctly comprehend and complete the legal requirements during a home transaction, Wendy Ciampini of American Secure Title urges clients to select a REALTOR® who will have their best interests at the forefront of all negotiations because the “knowledge of these agents plays a key factor during the mitigation process, which can have varying outcomes.”

When it comes time to purchase a home for the best price possible, or to sell a home and maximize your investment, the value of using a REALTOR® is evident. During what can be a tense time for buyers and sellers alike, it’s important to feel confident knowing that you have a professional in your corner who will make it a pleasant experience.