The Las Vegas real estate market has taken off like a rocket! In the past week, we’ve put homes on the market that have received large numbers of offers literally within hours of the listing being activated on the Multiple Listing Service. In times like these, where there is an IMMENSE shortage of homes and an equally IMMENSE number of buyers, the question a potential home seller might ask is “Why should I hire an agent when all I need to do is hang out a “For Sale” sign and people will line up to buy my house?”
What many people don’t understand is that marketing a home is a vital but relatively small part of what Realtors do for their selling clients. The REAL work starts when offers come in. A Realtor will analyze each offer to see exactly what the buyer is expecting the seller to do and pay, and how those expectations will affect the amount of money the seller will ultimately receive. That offer that comes in over the asking price may look great, but a deeper analysis may show that the buyer is asking the seller to pay for so much that the proceeds to the seller is less than, say, an offer for significantly less from a buyer who isn’t asking for as much.
A Realtor also understands what legal obligations are expected from both sellers AND buyers, and what kinds of obligations a buyer might be asking a seller to agree to. A large number of “For Sale By Owner” listings are sold by sellers to buyers who have agents working for them. Although the buyer’s agent has legal obligations to be honest, they also have legal obligations to act in their buyer’s best interest, and THEY know how to maneuver through the legal process in order to make sure they get their BUYER the best deal possible.
In this case, many sellers who decide to “go it alone” specify that they will not work with buyers who use agents. This really isn’t much protection either. There are a LOT of experienced buyers who will purchase For Sale By Owner homes knowing that they have more experience in the purchase process than the seller and thus have an upper hand in making a deal that favors them over the seller. Even a buyer who isn’t particularly experienced in purchasing real estate is no guarantee of a smooth deal. Under real estate law, sellers have certain obligations to their buyers and, if they don’t meet these obligations, can open themselves up to legal action by the buyer should something go wrong.
For most people, the sale and purchase of homes are the biggest financial commitments they make. In ANY market, hiring a Realtor to help sell your home makes sense because you are not only purchasing services to help get the most money from the purchase, you are also getting guidance on what you need to do to make sure you are as protected as possible, both financially and legally.