The 5 Most Important Reasons Why You Need an Agent When Selling Your House in Northern Virginia

Brian Mason October 5, 2022
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Sellers choose to work with agents for a variety of reasons, not least of which are negotiation skills and the likelihood of selling for more. There are many reasons to work with an agent when selling your house, including the likelihood of selling for more. But these advantages come with a price – the agent’s commission. When you consider all the benefits, though, that price is more than worth it. Consider these 5 most important reasons why you need an agent when selling your house in Northern Virginia.

1. Pricing Know-How

The first and most important step toward selling your house in Northern Virginia is pricing it right. “Real estate agents use data and market knowledge to set a competitive listing price for your home – they don’t just guesstimate the best price.
The most important tool agents use to price a sale is the comparative market analysis (CMA). Your agent will use a CMA “to see what similar houses in your neighborhood have sold for recently. Unlike listing prices, sale prices reveal how much home buyers in your area are willing to pay – that is, market value. But a good agent will do much more.
A good Northern Virginia agent “will also consider the unique features of your home when they do a comparative market analysis (renovations, upgrades, and so on) to account for other factors that may raise or lower the price.” Your agent can arrive at an accurate price in line with market value because she has the expertise and access to the best information. And this means an agent can help you avoid the equally costly mistakes of pricing too high or too low.

2. Knowledge of What Local Buyers Want

Successfully selling your house in Northern Virginia depends in large part on the local market – what’s happening in the market and buyer wants and expectations. By calling on the experience and doing research, your agent will know “what home features are popular with buyers. This knowledge can end up saving you money when you’re prepping your home for sale.
For example, you might think you need to remodel your kitchen before you list your home. However, your [agent] might point out that other houses in the neighborhood are selling quickly as is, so the extra expense might not be worth it. On the flip side, your agent might suggest you repaint some of the rooms in your home with a neutral color to make it more appealing to potential buyers.
The point is if “you’re selling without an agent, you’ll have to guess which home prep projects are most important.” To discover more about this, contact a Northern Virginia agent at 202.858.1444.

3. Objectivity and Lack of Emotion

Another of the most important reasons why you need an agent when selling your house in Northern Virginia is that your agent can keep emotion out of the equation and remain objective.
The unfortunate reality is that far too many sellers have a strong irrational emotional attachment to their homes. And this can lead to costly mistakes such as “overpricing your home, refusing to counter a low offer because you’re offended, or giving in too easily when you have a deadline for selling.
But your agent, who doesn’t have an emotional attachment to the home, can remain objective and get you a better deal. “An agent can [also] take the sting out of the rejection and put a positive spin on any negative feedback.

4. Broad Professional Network

When selling your house, you’ll need the assistance of an array of professionals and service providers, from real estate attorneys to title companies to appraisers to inspectors and more. Do you know where to find good ones? Your agent does this with her broad professional network and contacts ready to hand.

More important, though, is the marketing aspect of this. “Even if you have a large personal or professional network, those people will likely have little interest in spreading the word that your house is for sale. You don’t have relationships with clients, other agents, or a real estate agent to bring the largest pool of potential buyers to your home. A smaller pool of potential buyers means less demand for your property, which can translate into waiting longer to sell your home and possibly not getting as much money as your house is worth.”

A good Northern Virginia agent will “have a Rolodex of names and contact information, so they can quickly spread the word about the property they just listed.” That is a benefit that far outweighs the cost of using an agent.

5. Errors and Omissions Insurance

A final advantage of using an agent for selling your house is one that many sellers aren’t even aware of. And that is the fact that many agents carry errors and omissions insurance, E&O coverage. This is insurance to cover legal costs if an agent makes a mistake.
Suppose, for example, a home seller fails to disclose certain repair issues. In that case, “the buyer might sue for damages. Errors and omissions insurance would cover legal costs . . . Some agents have personal E&O coverage, or they have partial coverage through their real estate firm.
But if you sell your home yourself in an FSBO arrangement you “can’t purchase errors and omissions insurance. If you mess anything up when you sell your house, you might end up paying thousands of dollars out of your own pocket.

So Why Not Use an Agent When Selling Your House?

When you consider these benefits (as well as the many we didn’t mention) of using an agent when selling your house in Northern Virginia, there’s really no reason not to work with an agent. If selling your house in the best possible way is your goal, contact us at 202.858.1444.

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