The start of the New Year comes with new goals, new aspirations and new challenges. Maybe you want to lose weight, become more physically fit, or just eat a green vegetable every now and then. You might be the person who thinks a sober January is in order following a couple weeks of over-indulgence (hey, all that family bonding takes a toll on a person). Personally, I would like to swear a little less and floss a little more. I suppose I am of the age where I think about my dental health now too. Whatever your New Years goals may be, there are usually people out there to help you accomplish them. Someone to hold you accountable like a fitness professional, or an industry expert. A lot of us think we can do things on our own, and maybe you can. I know that I am usually more successful at achieving my goals when I’m not going at it alone.

So what does all this have to do with real estate? Well, for those of us who have set out in 2019 to buy a house, sell a house, or maybe even become a first time home owner, the process can get complicated quickly. Sure, you can do a deep clean, add a fresh coat of paint, snap some decent pictures, and flood your social media networks, but trust me, there is a lot more to it. I know from personal experience, having sold two homes in the past 4 years.

In some ways, you might even have a pretty sound knowledge base on your local market. For example, maybe you know the home down the street was listed for $325,000 and that it is similar in size and features to your home. However, a real estate agent would know that it had recent kitchen and bath upgrades and sold for $280,000 after being on the market for 90 days.

Real estate agents have the expertise and can tap into their inner network to disclose all sorts of market conditions which will govern your buying or selling process. Getting “true” comparisons in your market, beyond the average price per square foot, is extremely important when embarking on the home buying or selling process.

Real Estate agents are able to tell you much more than what you can look up on a website. Not to mention, if that website really knows details like why so many young families are moving to a particular neighborhood. Maybe it’s the top rated school district, low crime rates, or walkable shopping district… those things we always love to point out. But a good local real estate agent can often go deeper, telling the story of the innovative school district that is bridging the education gap, the community that embraces diversity and works together to end the cycles of generational crime, or the emerging small business community that has risen up out of the formerly written-off, “outdated” storefronts.

A real estate agent that knows your market, your neighborhood, and the true value of the unique features of your home will be able to help you price your home where you could have multiple offers over asking price within 24 hours of listing. Again, I speak from personal experience, and while it seems I could have done a lot of the work myself, there is no way I could have taken those professional photos. There is no way I could have staged my house THAT well. There is no way I could have looked at all the tiny details of each individual offer and known which would be the best for my family and our unique situation.
Well, wait, no I could have. I could have spent time learning how to take professional pictures with my pretty decent camera, not my phone. I could have rented some lighting so the photos looked magazine ready. I could have spent a few hours watching YouTube videos and reading articles about how to properly stage a home for an open house. I could have made myself available for a few hours over the weekend to host an open house. I also could have taken the time to read over the pages of each offer and created a spreadsheet to highlight what makes each offer different. But, let’s get real for a second; we are all looking for more precious time in our lives. If there is something that is completely irreplaceable it is that…time. It is precious, it is fleeting, and it is truly a luxury. Hiring a real estate professional gives us more of what we all really want and in return it will, quite often, help us get top dollar for our home, recouping much, if not all of the cost of hiring an experienced agent.

By: Sheenah Coakley