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Understanding the Uncertain Home Seller

Hello, Flagstaff! As the home-selling season heats up, many homeowners begin considering the question: Is this the right time to sell, and if so, how can a realtor help me? Here are the four key advantages owners gain when hiring a real estate professional.

Market Knowledge

A local real estate agent has in-depth knowledge on current market trends. Real estate agents are tuned in to the industry economics. As such, your realtor is happy to provide accurate, up-to-date information on current listings, recent home sales, average pricing for select neighborhoods, economic indicators and Flagstaff construction trends. Realtors know who the target market is. They regularly tour other homes in your neighborhood or subdivision. And real estate agents know what finish-detail or physical attributes will add value to your home.

Having this critical knowledge at the forefront of a listing is helpful in selling a property. Professional insight helps the client determine what needs to be done to the property regarding repairs and staging. It is also critical in selecting an appropriate price for the property. Moreover, the Arizona Residential Purchase Contract and other specific forms have been recently updated. These updates produced some significant changes – another key reason to hire a real estate professional.


The most common mistake I see FSBOs (for-sale-by-owner) make is exclusively listing their home for sale on Zillow. This is a big NO-NO! Zillow is a fine place to showcase your home, but, unfortunately, sellers are missing out on a much greater pool of homebuyers. In this day and age, our world is digital, fast-paced and attention spans have shortened as Millennials are stepping into the home-buying game. Your marketing plan not only needs to be professionally strategized, but also needs to be fully digitized and far-reaching across all internet, print and social media platforms. This way, you will expand the buyer pool and ultimately decrease your days on the market. This leads to a higher price paid for your property!

Every agent has a different method of marketing your property. That’s why you, the seller, need to perform your own due diligence by interviewing multiple agents to gain market perspective, and ultimately decide who will be right for your particular needs and property. You want your home to stand out against the competition!


You have now received an offer. If you think it is now time to start negotiating…you would be wrong! In real estate, negotiations and real estate dialogue should begin well before a buyer even enters a home. Here, we’re not talking about discussing price, but rather how to deal with the other party. Realtors are well-versed in open dialogue and frank communication. The more knowledge the realtor has with regard to the “other” party with whom you are dealing, the better the overall negotiation. The way you communicate with someone up front could set the stage for how the deal will unfold. FSBOs often fall short when negotiating a purchase contract. Realtors see contracts daily. Realtors understand the fine details (including which party pays for what particular costs of the transaction).

Negotiating happens with all of the following: home warranties, closing costs, inspections, concessions, contractual clauses, HOA dues, transfer fees — and the list could go on. Whether buying or selling, using a realtor puts you in a better position to negotiate all of these details to your advantage. Indeed, if the party on the other side of the transaction is using a realtor, it’s all the more reason to come prepared with your own real state professional. You will find that having someone represent you with your best interests in mind is refreshing, stress relieving and wise.

Time, Transaction Management

Even if these previous points are not enough to encourage you to hire a real estate professional when selling a property, consider the value of your time and the energy required to fulfill the contractual timelines of a transaction. Time is money. How do you value your time? A major sticking point in conversations with FSBOs is that they quickly realize they do not have the time or energy to manage the demands of a sale. Even if you do make it to the stage where you have an accepted contract, there are a multitude of timelines to abide by. A few examples include: the appraisal contingency, disclosures, inspection periods, etc. If certain contractual timelines are not met, the seller could end up in breach of contract and the other party could cancel (or the closing date could be extended beyond what was initially intended). Sit back and let a realtor guide you through the process. Save your time, your energy, your money and your sanity! 

We all want to make or save as much money as possible. The next time you think about selling your home, ask yourself, “Should I attempt to save money on the commission or, rather, maximize the savings in real dollars on the sale of the house through a well-negotiated, realtor-assisted, professional transaction?” Statistically, the savings are much greater when using a qualified real estate representative.

According to the National Association of Realtor’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the average FSBO sales price was $185,000, while the average price for a home represented by an agent was $245,000. That’s a difference of $60,000, or a 25 percent increase! Use a professional. FBN

By Blake Cain

Blake Cain is a REALTOR with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty. He can be reached at 928-856-9071 or visit him online at blakecain.com.

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