Homes for sale in Enterprise AlabamaHints for Homeowners

More Sellers Turning To
Real Estate Agents

(NAPSI)-The number of people selling their home without the help of a real estate professional plummeted over the past year. Today's challenging marketplace favors buyers-who are taking their time and exercising caution when investing in homeownership. But in this environment, sellers benefit from the knowledgeable guidance and advice that real estate professionals can offer.

"Selling a home is a full-time job," said National Association of Realtors® (NAR) president Vicki Cox Golder. "Unrepresented sellers often don't understand the complexity, range and timing of tasks they'll have to perform. In a competitive market, sellers need every advantage they can get."

According to the NAR 2009 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, "for-sale-by-owner" transactions dropped to a record low 11 percent, and almost half of those sellers sold their home to someone they already knew, such as a relative, friend or neighbor.

On the open market, today's sellers have to compete with bar-gain-priced short sales and foreclosures as well as other homeowners who may be trying to sell their homes. In addition, managing the appraisal process, inspections and buyer qualifications in a tougher credit market has become more complicated in this environment, adding to the already intricate transaction process.

Without professional assistance, sellers are faced with a marketing disadvantage. The survey revealed that more than half of unrepresented sellers did not actively market their homes to potential buyers. Those who did used yard signs, Internet listings and print newspaper ads. Unfortunately, unrepresented sellers don't have access to fundamental marketing services, such as a multiple listing service, and can't list their homes there to reach a broader audience.

Professional insights into preparing, pricing and positioning a home for sale pay off. In 2009, a typical property without professional assistance sold for $172,000 compared with $215,000 for the typical agent-assisted property.

Golder believes the decline in "for-sale-by-owners" indicates a growing awareness of how complicated today's market is.

"A Realtor® has specific knowledge of your market and can save consumers time and money," she said. "They can help a seller set a realistic price and ensure that the proper paperwork and various disclosures and inspections are handled correctly. Sellers will get broader market exposure and are more likely to generate competitive bids by working with a real estate professional."

Buying or selling a home with the help of a real estate agent can pay off more than many people realize these days.