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  • Writer's pictureChris Muellenbach

Stepping Over Quarters to Pick Up Nickels: Why a Licensed Realtor is More Than Just Paperwork


My neighbors recently decided that suburban

life wasn't for them. They had been reaching out to me for advice about selling their home.


Despite several conversations, they couldn't get past the commission. I learned today that they decided to move forward trying to sell the house themselves.


A part of me feels like I failed as a Realtor. Another part of me understands that some people think selling a house in today's market is simple.


For years, television shows have made selling a house look easy. As a result, some people believe they can handle it independently, assuming all they need is a real estate attorney for the paperwork.


The real estate industry accounted for $4.9 trillion or 17.8% of the US gross domestic product in 2023. From the 2023 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers (National Association of REALTORS®), For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) accounted for 7% of home sales in 2023.


The typical FSBO home sold for $310,000 compared to $405,000 for agent-assisted home sales. This data highlights the comprehensive value a Realtor brings to the table, far beyond just drafting paperwork. Here are the key benefits that demonstrate why a licensed Realtor is indispensable in the home-selling process:


1. Expert Market Knowledge

A Realtor's expertise goes far beyond basic paperwork. We have an in-depth understanding of market trends, local neighborhoods, and pricing strategies. This knowledge allows us to price homes accurately, ensuring sellers receive the best possible return on their investment. Attorneys, while skilled in legal matters, do not possess this specialized market insight.


2. Comprehensive Marketing Strategies

Selling a home requires more than just listing it on a website. Realtors employ sophisticated marketing techniques, including professional photography, virtual tours, and extensive online and offline advertising. We leverage our professional networks to reach potential buyers, hosting open houses and private showings to generate interest. An attorney's role does not encompass these critical marketing efforts.


3. Skilled Negotiation

Negotiating a real estate deal requires tact, experience, and a thorough understanding of the market. Realtors are trained negotiators who advocate for the best interests of their clients. We navigate offers, counteroffers, and contingencies with skill, aimed to secure the best possible terms. Attorneys may handle legal negotiations, but they do not specialize in real estate bargaining nuances.


4. Streamlined Process Management

The home-selling process involves numerous steps, from initial listing to closing. Realtors manage this process seamlessly, coordinating inspections, appraisals, and repairs. We ensure all deadlines are met and keep all parties informed, reducing the risk of delays or complications. Attorneys focus on the legal aspects, but Realtors oversee the entire transaction.


5. Extensive Network and Resources

Realtors have access to a vast network of professionals, including inspectors, contractors, stagers, and photographers. We can recommend trusted service providers to prepare the home for sale and address any issues that arise. This network is invaluable in ensuring a smooth and efficient sales process. Attorneys do not typically offer these connections.


6. Legal and Ethical Standards

Licensed Realtors adhere to strict ethical standards and are bound by state and national regulations. We are accountable to professional boards and our clients, ensuring transparency and honesty in all transactions. While attorneys are also held to ethical standards, they do not provide the same comprehensive service that Realtors offer in real estate transactions.


7. Emotional Support and Guidance

Selling a home is often an emotional experience. Realtors provide essential support and guidance, helping clients navigate the stress and uncertainty of the process. We offer a personal touch, understanding the emotional stakes involved and providing reassurance and advice. Attorneys, while supportive in legal matters, do not typically offer this level of personal engagement.


While attorneys play a vital role in the legal aspects of real estate transactions, the value of a licensed Realtor cannot be overstated. From expert market knowledge and skilled negotiation to comprehensive process management and emotional support, Realtors offer a holistic service that ensures a successful and smooth home-selling experience.


Let's continue to emphasize these advantages to our clients, helping them see the full spectrum of benefits that come with choosing a licensed Realtor.

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