By Alamo Title Insurance—PRICING: A homeowner is usually not the best judge of the value of his or her home. There are too many emotional ties to the home for the owner to be unbiased. Also the owner knows the amount he needs or wants from the sale and may not be objective.

Real estate brokers have the most current information about the marketplace. This information allows them to know what properties similar to yours are selling for.

If your estimate of value is too high, some prospective buyers will consider it out of their reach. Also, frequent price reductions may cause buyers to wonder if something is wrong with the home.

If your estimate of value is too low, you will lose money you could have had. A price which is too low may also be discouraging to buyers who are suspicious of bargain deals.

Real estate brokers will aid you in appraising your home by pointing out that the home is in a favorable location, convenient to transportation and shopping, or has a popular design or builder.

FINDING A BUYER: A “For Sale by Owner” sign in your yard can have implications you may not have considered. Your doorbell may ring at any time of the day or night. You may lose a sale if you’re not home. Strangers – some just simply curious – will want to look at your home. People may ask you many personal questions about financing, settlement, reasons for selling and so forth.

A real estate broker will screen prospective buyers in order to show your home to interested buyers with the ability to buy. Your home will be shown with advance notice to you. Plus, brokers have clients who are looking for homes like yours.

Advertising your home is an art. Brokers know where to advertise, how often to advertise and how to word advertisements for effect. This knowledge can sell your home more quickly.

Real estate brokers can continue selling your home, even if you are at work or out of town, by using lock boxes and other proven techniques.

MAKING THE DEAL: usually offer less than your asking price. Can you objectively evaluate the offer? Unless you have bought and sold several homes, you may need help in dealing with contracts.

Your broker knows how to handle counter-offers, prices, cash down payments, settlement dates, financing, and other important details. Brokers have done it before, so they know what to do. Your broker will either have an answer or know where to find it.

When it comes to real estate commissions, it is important to remember this: the more money your broker earned, the more money you made on the sale.

BUYING REAL ESTATE: When buying or selling real estate, brokers will probably recommend the purchase of an owner policy of title insurance, a contract that protects you against covered title risks, including liens, defects or encumbrances of the past and to insure that your home is yours. An owner’s title insurance policy may protect you against actual financial loss up to the policy limit.

TO SUM IT UP: Many times, people try to save money by selling their homes without the aid of a real estate broker. “For Sale By Owner” often appears to be a good way to save money, but selling your home yourself could cost you time and money.

Real estate brokers can save you valuable time by selling your home faster and can help you get the most money for your property. They can also help you attend to some of the many details you might not have considered.