8 really good reasons for hiring a real estate agent to sell your house!

Real Estate Agent with Marcie Sandalow, Compass 301.758.4894

why hire a real estate agent?8 really good reasons for hiring a real estate agent to sell your house!

1.  Pricing.  The most important component to selling your home is proper pricing. Just because your neighbor’s house sold 2 years ago for X amount, but yours is a lot nicer, doesn’t mean that your home should automatically sell for more. Not in 2010. In a changing market it can be pretty difficult to nail down an appropriate range. Many for-sale-by-owner (FSBO’s) homes are priced on the basis of hearsay and eventually take less, since the buyer is often in a better position to negotiate.  I base my pricing on recent comparable sales, my neighborhood knowledge, the condition of your house and the current state of the market. Period. Furthermore, I bring an office full of agents by to help zero in on an appropriate price, representing hundreds of combined years selling real estate.  Do you have the market data to justify your price?

2.  Do-it-Yourself firms aren’t so hot.  You’ve got one shot at making a good first impression. DIY firms might deliver when it comes to getting your house on the internet, but when buyers take a look at those depressing and washed out photos on the web, are you really convincing them to take a look at your house?  My job entails not only marketing your home to it’s fullest potential, but presenting you with market comparables and pricing advice, staging, professional photography, web presentation, print advertising, contract expertise, and some.  Most DIY firms get  your listing on the internet, and that’s about it.

3.  Commissions.  Most qualified buyers turn to an agent to help them with the logistics of buying a home.  These agents won’t show your home if you’re not offering them a commission. Are you prepared to market your home only to the small group of buyers without agents?

4.  Good Faith Deposits.  When I write an offer for a client, it is accompanied by what we call a “good faith deposit”.  In the event that my buyer decides to walk away from the purchase, most of the deposit would be available to the seller (you).  I’ve got a good number in mind.  What’s yours?

5.  Is your buyer qualified? The buyer might be reluctant about discussing his/her financial status with you, and you might not know what questions to ask. Many would-be sales are lost because the buyer is unable to qualify for a loan.  Do you know how to distinguish between a qualified buyer and a non-qualified buyer?

6.  Are you available 24/7? Can you show your house with 15 minutes notice?  Are you comfortable with strangers in your home?  What if you need to be out of town for a few days, or a couple of weeks?

7. Documentation/Disclosures.  In the District and Montgomery County there is a plethora of paperwork to fill out and distribute to would-be buyers.  The forms can be long and seemingly unnavigable.  An agent can help you out.

8. Repairs.  If a buyer comes to you with a long list of items they would like repaired/replaced before settlement, do you know what items you need to fix?  The answer might surprise you.

Placing the sale of your home in the hands of a good, locally knowledgeable real estate agent can be a wise investment.  We can advise you on proper pricing which in the long run should reduce the number of days you spend on the market.  We know how to pinpoint trouble spots in an offer, and get them corrected in your favor.  We can effectively qualify potential buyers to make sure they can complete the purchase of your home.  We’ve got sufficient office back up to provide callers with knowledge of your home, and opportunities to connect with us after hours.  If you do go the DIY route, and you wisely choose to offer a commission to the buyer’s agent, then the buyer will have the vast majority of the advantages, because he/she will be represented by a seasoned real estate agent… looking out for the well being of their client, the buyer.  Who is looking out for your best interests?

Mistakes in the early days of listing your property for sale can cost you thousands and thousands of dollars.  An experienced agent can save you time, energy and a lot of money.



Posted by


Marcie Sandalow is a realtor with Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. in Chevy Chase, DC.   
With 15+ years in the business, and a sharp understanding of her client's needs, she serves Buyers and Sellers
in and around Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Washington, DC, Kensington, Rockville, Silver Spring and Takoma Park. 

E-mail:  marcie@bccdcrealestate.com
Cell:  301/758-4894

Website:  BCCDCRealEstate.com and DCHouseSmarts.com

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Mike Klijanowicz
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Perry Hall, MD
Associate Broker @ Cummings & Co. Realtors

Good tips!

Aug 22, 2010 08:39 AM #1
Phil Cogan
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Coral Springs, FL

Great post, this should be pointed out to many sellers. Then maybe they'll understand what we do for our money!

Aug 22, 2010 08:51 AM #2
Judi Henry
Main Street Realty & Loan - Lakeside, CA
Lakeside, CA 619-820-7277

Hi Marcie,

Years ago before I became a real estate agent my boyfriend used Help U Sell. He was being cheap and thought it would give him the best money in his pocket. However I ended up doing all the work. We must of have 2-3 months of open houses. Although we got people stopping by they were mostly lookie loo's. He eventually did sell his house but I'am not sure he got the best price. After all the open houses we had to do I think he just wanted it to be over. Having done it ourselves I would highly recommend you hire an agent. Never going to go though that again. Now that I'am an agent and know all that can go wrong I think having an agent is smart move nowadays.

Aug 22, 2010 08:59 AM #3
Elizabeth Guthrie
Guthrie Properties - Bullard, TX

Great information we just need to pass these along to the FSBO's!

Aug 22, 2010 02:33 PM #4
Marcie Sandalow
Marcie Sandalow, Compass 301.758.4894 - Bethesda, MD
Bethesda Chevy Chase DC real estate

Thanks, all, for your comments.  Judi- once a seller accepts the fact that they need to pay a buyers commission, our share of the fee doesn't seem so extravagant.  We usually more than make up for it when you factor in all the staging advice, contract expertise, advertising, open house help, etc, etc... I'm a big believer in our services!

Aug 22, 2010 03:34 PM #5
Gretchen Karr
Berkshire Hathaway Homesale Realty - Lancaster, PA

Great post Marcie.  Sellers tend to easily forget all of the services we offer when they see how our commission drastically impacts their bottom line.  These are great tips to remind them just how valuable we are.  

Aug 22, 2010 04:08 PM #6
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Marcie Sandalow

Bethesda Chevy Chase DC real estate
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