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Everyone asks this at some point, even those who’ve had a very positive experience with a real estate professional:  is hiring a Realtor really worth the commission they charge?  Is it possible to sell my own land, home or business and pocket the savings?  The answer to both is yes. So while it is possible for you to sell your property on your own, the real questions is, do you really want to? Finding a buyer who is interested in your property is a small part of what we do. Here’s an inside look at what our service entails.

Advice Long Before Marketing Begins

  • As the owner, you’re biased. You know what you would do to your property in preparation but often that’s not what’s going to make your property sell
  • It’s hard to be objective about your own tastes and lifestyle, an agent can help mold what’s there to something appealing to a wide variety of interests
  • Unless you’ve experienced comments from hundreds of buyers in hundreds of different settings and conditions, you’re probably unaware of common pitfalls, which can be avoided with the help of an professional real estate agent
  • You might spend money and/or time preparing to put your home on the market only to see a small return on the investment
  • Closing a sale often means wading through the bureaucracy of structural inspections, bank appraisal and title searches, and permits. Having a pro by your side will help circumvent delaying hiccups and issues. Most of these issues can be foreseen and dealt with before they become a problem, if you know what to look for.
handing over the key to the house


  •  A third-party appraisal can cost $500 or more and take weeks
  • That appraisal is based solely on properties that have been sold, giving you a limited view of what your property is worth
  • A Realtor looks not just at recently sold properties but they will also look at competing properties, giving you a richer view of a good price-point. Since buyers are choosing from the available supply, not what’s already been sold,  the current competition is a more important datapoint than what sold 6 months ago.
  • The asking price communicates signals to buyers and a difference of just $5,000 in the listing price can make a  difference in whether your property sells quickly or sits on the market for months.
  • The agent will draw on their extensive knowledge of the market to postulate a likely selling price and after discussing your timing and motivation they will then suggest an asking price based on your needs and current market conditions.


  • The myriad ways to market your home these days are mind boggling.
  • Long gone is the dominance of print ads and internet advertising is ever-changing. To successfully market your property you’ll need to reach not only local buyers but those out of the area as well.
  • Realtors know what buyers what: from the description to pictures that make your property enticing; marketing is an art and a science.
  • Selling a property is more than a full time job. Buyers will want to visit listings mid-week and weekends, early in the morning and later in the evening. Not being able to accommodate the schedule of the buyers, could mean losing the sale. Let us be there, day and night, to show your property, while you continue with your life.
  • A buyer may see our number on a sign for another listing and call us, and if the fit is right, we can directly them to your listing, which they may not have otherwise seen.
  • Prior to showing your home or business, agents qualify buyers so that your time and effort are not wasted.
negotiating before buying a house


  • There are good reasons why people hire attorneys and Realtors
  • As a seller, it’s difficult to be both friendly and strong during a negotiation process
  • You and the buyer will often have opposing needs but as professionals, we will act as your advocate, ensuring that your needs aren’t lost in the negotiations.
  • We also have a unique perspective of the buyer’s needs, and will be able to help come to a win-win conclusion when those opposing needs clash.
  • Price may be your primary focus but the real estate professional is also looking at dates and timing and can give you valuable feedback on the logistics of the deal.
  • Selling your property is a complex transaction. Having a professional on your side means having all your questions answered, and the obscurities cleared before you sign a legally binding contract.

The Contract

  •  It can easily cost $1,500 to have an attorney draw up a Purchase and Sale Agreement.
  • Even if you thought the price and all the terms had been negotiated, it’s not unusual for negotiations to continue after the contract is drawn up.
  • If the buyer’s attorney creates it, the wording may be slanted to the buyer’s advantage.
  • The number of details in the today’s Purchase and Sale Agreements can be daunting.
    • Recent mandates like the Disclosure on Drinking Water and the date and type of Smoke Detector certification are in addition to Lead Paint disclosures and Seller Property Information Reports
    • The wording in an inspection contingency can affect the outcome of the sale. See The Structural Inspection for the kinds of issues that may arise.
    • Financing contingencies, with the time frame for application, rate, terms, and date by which the mortgage commitment is obtained, are increasingly complex but may affect the ease of your move.
  • Agents help extinguish every fire that arises during a sale, either by finding a specialist, a contractor or knowing when to defer issues to your lawyer
  • Title searches, as mentioned above, are usually one of the last details before closing and will scrutinize boundaries, rights-of-way, easements, access, building, and other permits. The buyer and their attorney will not want a surprise at the last minute. Your agent will do these searches ahead of time, clearing the way for the sale.
  • Speaking of attorneys, our agents can recommend good real estate lawyers if you need one
  • And rather than having yours or the buyer’s attorney write up the contract, the agent can make the one they prepare subject to the reviews of the attorneys, saving you time and money.

The Walk Through

  • Before closing the buyer will likely want to inspect the property one last time
  • Prior to the walk through, agents help coordinate the buyer’s expectations so that there are no surprises.  For instance, some will want a home completely cleaned out while others will want the used lumber and leftover paint for touch ups.
a house was sold

The Closing

  • Fuel prorations, utility switchovers, educating the buyer for a smooth transition, key transfer and so many more details can be handled smoothly with a good agent helping both parties

Believe it or not, these are just highlights of why Realtors not only earn every penny of the commission but they can actually pay for the services they render.  From advice on preparing the property to helping you price it right to showing your property to the largest pool of potential buyers to writing the contract and providing all the forms – let our agents handle the incredible volume of minutia involved in selling your property. And we promise that your agent will earn their commission and make your life easier and a whole lot less complicated.

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Vermont Real Estate & Home Services