A quick Google search is all it takes to discover hundreds of new recipes, do-it-yourself projects, and tips about how to stage your home. With so much information available online, especially about the home selling process, many homeowners start to wonder whether it’s faster and more cost-efficient to sell their own homes rather than hiring a real estate agent to do it for them. (Spoiler alert: It’s not.)
Maybe you’re just now thinking about selling your home. All those HGTV shows and helpful articles make it look so easy — how hard could it be to sell your home yourself? Or maybe you’re already elbows deep into selling For Sale By Owner and are thinking, this isn’t so bad.
A helpful tip when considering whether to skip right over hiring an agent: Just because you can do something yourself doesn’t mean that you should, especially when it comes to selling a home.
So what makes a real estate agent so invaluable?
What Does a Real Estate Agent Do, Anyway?
Everything from preparing paperwork to negotiating the price and terms — you name it, a real estate agent does it. But what many home sellers forget is that a real estate agent’s job is a lot of behind-the-scenes work.
When you hire a real estate professional, you’re not only benefitting from the agent’s intimate knowledge of what’s happening in the local housing market, you’re also working with a licensed professional who is legally bound to work in your best interests. A few essential elements of their job include:
- Researching recent comparable sales to determine the best price for your home
- Spending their own time and money to market your listing
- Promoting your home through their network of contacts and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
- Coordinating showing appointments and open houses on your behalf
- Responding quickly to inquiries about your property
- Writing counteroffers and filling out required disclosures
- Doing everything they can to help you achieve your goals
Isn’t It Cheaper to Sell My Home Myself?
Commission — a percentage of the sale proceeds that goes to the real estate agents involved in the transaction — is a major factor in the decision to go FSBO (For Sale By Owner) or hire a real estate pro. Working without a real estate agent will certainly save you a few thousand dollars on commission, but there’s a catch.
If You Go Down the FSBO Road
If you decide to go FSBO, you won’t save as much money as you think. You might not even save money at all.
You will have to spend your own time and money to invest in quality photography for your listing, purchase marketing materials (and not just a For Sale By Owner sign), carefully research which home improvements will bring you the most bang for your buck, and list your home on the MLS, just to name a few.
This all assumes that you price your property correctly, manage to entice more than a couple of buyers with your marketing efforts, investigate whether interested buyers are actually qualified to purchase your home, make all the right repairs so no red flags surface during the home inspection, and don’t make a costly mistake involving disclosure forms or the contract!
If You Work with a Real Estate Agent
Since real estate agents are licensed professionals, they are experts at handling all the details of your transaction. They will help you avoid costly mistakes, negotiate the best price and terms for your property, and ensure that it sells for top dollar.
At the end of the day, working with a real estate agent instead of going FSBO will save you time, money, and headaches.
Okay, I’m Convinced — What Do I Do Next?
If your goal is to sell your home quickly and for top dollar, we can help. We’re more than happy to share our wealth of home selling resources, including staging tips and a home evaluation. Give us a call and let’s talk about your plans.