It’s best to get help when selling your home

  • Done deal: a real estate agent knows all the pitfalls

Dear Heather,

I want to sell my house but I donít want to use an agent because they charge commission and Iíll end up with less money. I mean, itís not that complicated is it?


Dear Seller,

Real estate can be more complicated than it seems. There are many properties bought and sold every year, most of them with the help of a real estate agent. However, there is still a segment of the community that chooses to go it alone when it comes time to sell or buy a home.

There are different reasons for this, many of which arenít particularly good. Even though Iím an agent I would happily use another agent so as not to let my emotion cloud my judgment. Selling your home can be a very emotional experience and it is difficult to listen to people running it down, hoping to get it for a better price. Here are some of the worst reasons for not hiring a real estate agent:

1. To save some money

It has been proven that realtors obtain a higher price than people selling on their own. There are so many potential pitfalls you will not be aware of. There are also multiple points in a real estate transaction where making the right decision or knowing what to look for will save you thousands of dollars. Real estate agents know this.

2. Because you think you are a great negotiator

You might be a great negotiator but you also might not be as good as you think. Again, understanding real estate and what factors may affect price are things that an agent knows that can help with negotiation and will get you a much better deal.

3. You read about a bad experience someone had

This should not deter you from hiring an agent to guide you through the process. Youíre much more likely to find yourself in a nightmare scenario if you go it alone. Thereís an important thing to remember about the nightmares you see on social media or in forums ó people are much more likely to post about their negative experiences than their positive ones. There are lots of horror stories about hospitals, roads, restaurants and hotels but that doesnít mean you should never leave the house again.

4. Because you saw a real estate show on HGTV

Itís a lot of fun to sit back and watch a shockingly good-looking couple flip a home and make a $50,000 profit in less than 30 minutes. But itís important not to confuse television with reality. You canít learn everything you need to know from watching TV, otherwise this world would be full of expert martial artists, race-car drivers, and stand-up comedians. Hire someone you feel comfortable with and trust, who has real-world experience to help you along.

5. You think you are the only one who knows how much your home is ďreally worthĒ

Of course your home is your castle; you love your home. However, itís likely that you love it and appreciate it more than anyone else does. Itís completely natural to not only develop a sentimental attachment to where youíve spent years of your life and appreciate all of the nuances, repairs, upgrades and other special details of the property. But just because you believe your home should be priced a certain way doesnít mean thatís what the market will bear.

Having a business-minded, detached approach to pricing and selling your home is critical to a successful real estate transaction.

6. Because Ö how hard could it really be?

Some lessons in life are only learnt through experience. Real estate agents have studied, and many have years of experience and have been through every scenario that conducting a real estate transaction can bring. As a buyer or seller, itís important not to minimise the difficulty and effort that goes into marketing a home. Hire a real estate agent and let them worry about the difficult aspects. Youíll be glad you did.

Heather Chilvers is among Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realtyís leading sales representatives. She has been working in real estate for nearly 30 years. If you have a question for Heather, please contact her at or 332-1793. All questions will be treated in confidence. Read this article on Facebook: Ask Heather Real Estate