By Rebecca Alwine, Army Spouse

Military families are some of the best at saving money, especially when it comes to military moving. But when attempting to sell your house, there are some things to consider before doing it yourself. Just as you wouldn’t perform surgery on yourself, there is a reason Realtors® are in business, and they may actually help you save money.

Jennifer Hernandez, veteran military spouse of over 25 years has experienced many PCS moves. She’s counted 14! She’s also an “A” graded Realtor® with Century 21 in Northern Virginia. She addresses some of the reasons people should consider using a Realtor® when selling their house.

Real-Life Questions for Military Moving, DIY Selling, and Finding an ‘A-Graded’ Realtor

People always have unique situations when selling a house. While some may be successful without a Realtor®, Hernandez says it’s not the norm. So we asked her some very specific questions, posed by those considering becoming a DIY  seller.

Q: If someone is looking to sell their house, do they really need a Realtor®? If so, why? 

A: Yes! The process is complex and can get messy quickly without a professional handling the process. From staging, photographs, marketing, and social media to signs, open houses, lenders, appraisals, etc. you can see how things can get overwhelming quickly. Pricing is another area where a Realtor is extremely valuable. Pricing correctly helps the house to sell quickly and not appear stale. Homes sold without a Realtor® can take much longer to sell and are often sold below market value.

Q: How can a seller still have a say in what goes on with their house when using a Realtor®? 

A: The realtor’s focus should always be on the client, and the client always has the final say. Our job as Realtors is to advise and provide professional guidance.

Q: Have you ever been involved in a situation where someone tried to sell their house on their own and then reached out to you as a Realtor®? What was their biggest takeaway?

A: Yes, actually. Recently a DIY seller tried it on their own in a very sought-after neighborhood. They were pressed for time as they were closing on another house and thought they would be able to sell on their own quickly. After seven showings they had no offers, so they reached out. We helped with staging, offered some things to fix and prepared an aggressive marketing strategy. They had multiple offers, were under contract in 14 days and sold it for $45,000 more than when they were trying to do it on their own.

What to Look For

Hernandez knows firsthand the stressors involved with military moving. She knows what it takes to be a trusted Realtor and encourages those looking for a Realtor to consider the following things:

  • Integrity
  • Knowledge
  • Results
  • Trust
  • Google Reputation
  • Team
  • Experience
  • Passion
  • Services they provide
  • Familiarity with local market

Rebecca Alwine is a freelance writer, army wife, and mother of three. She’s a contributing writer for ARMY Magazine, a regular contributor for several publications including to Homefront United Network, PCSgrades, ESME, and has also been published in Ms. Magazine and The Atlantic. 

Rebecca Alwine