For many people, once they decide to sell their home, they opt to take the for-sale-by-owner route. After all, with listing sites like Zillow, advertising the sale of your home seems like a fairly straight forward process. You can easily post pictures taken with your smartphone on these sites with their user-friendly platform. Once that is done, it’s just a matter of setting up appointments and giving potential buyers a tour, and then you can easily sell your house and pocket that 6% that typically goes to an agent. Easy, right?
But, what happens if you clear out your schedule for several showings and only a portion of them show? And, for those that do show up, would you be able to respond to criticisms or questions in an unbiased manner, since you likely have a personal attachment to the house. The truth is, the job of a real estate agent involves much more behind the scenes work.
Here are some major advantages to using a real estate agent to sell your house:
1.MLS Services Increase Listing Visibility:
The MLS, multiple listing service, is only accessible to state licensed realtors. This service shares property listings to dozens of different websites that other agents use exclusively, when helping home buyers find the perfect home, speeding up the process of your home being found.When using the FSBO site, you’ll either pay a flat fee or commission for brokers to have access to your listing. According to the National Association of Realtors, less than 15% of homes listed on MLS sites are for sale by owner.
2.Upper Class Buyers Are Not Interested In FSBO:
Highly qualified buyers are not interested in dealing directly with individuals selling their own home. These folks are often on time constraints and either traveling to a new area for a weekend to find a house for relocation, or they need to buy quickly because they’re selling their own home. Most likely they’ve searched online in advance and with FSBO listings lacking the visibility compared to realtor listings, chances are minimal for them to see your listing. The fact is they want the expertise and service of a real estate agent. Also, most of the buyers who are interested in FSBO are looking to spend as little as possible, which means you’ll end up with a lot of hassle and wasted time, while losing out on a headache-free transaction with a realtor.
3.Realtors Make Time for You:
Once a realtor takes you on as a client, the agents required by law to accommodate you and act in your best interest; otherwise, you can take them to court. Think of all the time and money you will save by not marketing and showing your property on your own.
4.Consider What You’re Really Saving:
Homeowners choosing to list their own home to save money fail to consider all the costs involved. Statistics indicate that homes listed and sold by realtors sell for thousands more versus FSBO. Of course the higher a home sells for the more commission the agent will make. In regards to the realtor commission, it is generally between 5% and 7%, with the buyer’s agent and seller’s agent splitting the commission. So, for example, a 6% commission on a $300,000 home, will be $18,000. Now, let’s consider the FSBO listing. Not only will you make less on the sale of your home (according to statistics), you will still be responsible for paying a commission to the buying agent, which will likely be 3%. So, in the end, the savings isn’t that impressive.
5.You Want A Pro During Negotiations:
If you are handling the sale on your own, without a realtor, and the buyer has an agent, negotiations could prove challenging, especially if you’re a novice. Consider the hundreds of negotiations and closed house deals a professional, licensed realtor has completed and ask yourself if ready for a potential disadvantage. The buyer’s agent is working for their client and will do everything possible to get the house at the absolute lowest price with no regard to how bad the deal is for you, the seller. In addition to that, with house sales, you may have to negotiate with low-ball offers, bidding wars or cash purchases, all of which can be tricky for someone with emotional attachments to a home. When you hire a realtor they will be acclimated to the all the different scenarios that come up and will handle the negotiation process for you, helping to ensure that you are happy with the end result.
6.Are You Aware of Zoning and Code Regulations:
Previously, we mentioned how many details realtors take care of behind the scenes. Licensed agents are required to be familiar with various rules and regulations in an area. The smallest of details pertaining to zoning or housing codes could prevent the sell of your house, if you are in violation.
7.Pricing Your Home Correctly:
There are many variables involved in pricing a home and if priced too high, your house may sit on the market for several months; or if you are able to sell it on your own, you may discover you sold it for too little and left money on the table. Local real estate agents work in your hometown area everyday selling properties, so they are extremely familiar with the market. They also have access to several tools including recent and past home sales in the immediate neighborhood. A realtor’s experience along with available tools and comparable listings, they will know how to price your house precisely so potential buyers will find it in search criteria. Finding that perfect target will help your house move fast.
8.The Difference Between Marketing & Listing Your House:
Getting your property listed is just the first step in making it accessible to the public. In order for a listing to be seen by lots of people, it requires marketing – and that marketing needs to target the right audience. A property might be viewed by thousands of people, but if the criteria of the listing and viewers do not align, it does not serve a good purpose. Realtors know which property characteristics to highlight and the demographics to market to. Whether it’s the number of bedrooms, square footage, layout, acreage, or neighborhood, a real estate agent will get the word out by using analytical tools on various internet websites and connecting with other agents within their network.
9.Realtors Have Access to Qualified Buyers:
In addition to real estate agents working with each other, they’re services give them access to buyers and sellers, working from both angles of the property sale. The realtors’ connections with other agents, sellers, buyers, referrals, and personal contacts make up more than 80% of home sales and result in finding a qualified buyer for your home.
10.Access to Services:
If you’re still considering FSBO, have you taken into account the possibility of needing to connect with others for professional services? These vendors may include contractors, handymen, lawyers, plumbers, home inspectors, appraisers, and the list goes on. On a daily basis, realtors interact with professionals that offer these services, and their contacts consist of stellar professionals that are at your disposal if necessary. Further, they will oftentimes coordinate the appointments for these specialized services, taken the burden off of you.
There is a vast amount of paperwork involved in a house sale. State contracts easily contain more than a dozen pages, and depending on the type of loan the buyer has, it could easily exceed 50-pages, all of which has legalese, fine print, plus the disclosures, tax documents, addendum and more. Without familiarity with the documentation, mistakes can easily occur and result in legal fees, penalties, etc. Realtors are well versed with the terminology and when you hire them, they take on the responsibility of the contract details.
12.Selling a Home is a Full time Job:
Between marketing, scheduling appointments for showings, meeting with buyers to show a home, organizing and hosting open houses, and accommodating those interested buyers that call on the spur of the moment because they’re only in town for the day, will consume a lot of your time. Most people that are selling their home already have a full schedule of personal and professional responsibilities, and the thought of taking on all of the additional tasks of selling a home is somewhat overwhelming. The time, effort, and stress that you’ll likely endure in trying to sell your own home will not equate to very much savings or additional money in your pocket. Leave it to the pros and call a real estate agent.
13.Negatives of FSBO:
When interested buyers are touring a property, they want to feel comfortable asking questions and making comments. Sellers handling the transaction on their own will be responsible for answering questions and listening to the negative and positive comments shared by buyers. As a seller, if you’re emotionally attached to your home, it may prove difficult to respond without bias. Conversely, buyers may be hesitant to ask questions about the property when dealing directly with the seller and move on to another property because of the uncomfortable scenario. Buyers want to feel at ease as they consider every aspect of a house, including looking into closets and cupboards, commenting about décor, paint colors and so on. This is a part of the process and a huge decision for the buyer as they evaluate if a house is the right fit for them or not.
14.Realtors Focus on the Big Picture:
Selling a home can be just as emotional as buying one. If you have a lot of history and memories attached to your home, it can be difficult to let go. It may prove even more challenging when you meet with a buyer and certain details that you absolutely love about your home will be ugly to the buyer. Allowing a realtor to show the property will keep the matter on a professional level until the sale becomes final when your house is sold and you’re holding the check in your hand.
Selling a house involves several processes, familiarity with laws, regulations, terminology and so on. The monetary benefit of selling your own home will be minimal, at best; and when you take into account the stress and time required, it simply isn’t worth it. Hire a realtor to sell your home and they will organize the showings, home inspections, everything from beginning to end, leaving you time to focus on your daily responsibilities and the new chapter of life you’ll begin after the deal is complete.
The Author Adam Clark is the owner and operator of Shield Guard Home Inspections. Adam Clark is a local Home Inspector located in Albany NY that has performed over 6000 Inspections
Phone: (518) 720-7152