I love to save money. These days most of us do. Clipping coupons and shopping sale ads might be good ways to save a little each month but is going it alone when selling your home truly worth it?
“For sale by owner” (FSBO) may seem like a great way to save thousands of dollars when you sell your home. The standard real-estate agent’s commission is 6% – that’s $15,000 on a $250,000 home. Even after cutting that savings in half so you can pay the buyer’s agent, acting as your own seller’s agent will surely be worth the savings, you think. Here are ten reasons why you should think again.
1. Buyers’ agents may not want to show your property to their clients.
In a for-sale-by-owner deal, the buyer’s agent knows there won’t be a professional on the other end of the transaction, which can mean numerous headaches. Even if a client insists on seeing your home, the agent might discourage making an offer, citing the hassles and risks of trying to close the deal without a professional representing the seller. Even with that being said, your home is not going to show up in the MLS system that agents search for potential home for their buyers in the first place.
2. It’s not your full-time job.
Can you rush home from work every time someone wants to see your home? Can you excuse yourself from a meeting every time your phone rings with a potential buyer? At the end of a long work day, do you have the energy to take advantage of every possible opportunity to market your home? Are you an expert in selling homes? Do you have any experience doing so? Your answer to all of these questions is probably “no.” An agent’s answer to all of these questions is “yes.” In addition, by going through an agent, you’ll get a lockbox for your front door that allows agents to show your home even when you aren’t available. This can lead to many, many showings of your home while you’re at work during the way, or away on weekends.
3. Agents have a larger network than you do.
Yes, you can list your home yourself on Zillow and Craigslist, But will that be enough? Even if you have a large personal or professional network, those people will likely have little interest in spreading the word that your house is for sale. You don’t have relationships with clients, other agents or a real-estate agency to bring the largest pool of potential buyers to your home. A smaller pool of potential buyers means less demand for your property, which can translate to waiting longer to sell your home and possibly not getting as much money as your house is worth.
A few examples of how I market my listings-
ReMax websites with national exposure (don’t forget some people relocate to our area so national exposure can be important.)
Social media including- Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Yodle, and more..
Local Newspaper ads
A pipeline of other Realtor’s and buyers in the thousands
Blasts that go across countless websites to get your property maximum exposure online
MLS service. Each time a Realtor searches for their buyers, and your home meets the criteria it will show up as a result. The agent will in turn send your listing to their clients for approval.
4. You subject yourself to needless showings.
An agent can find out whether someone who wants to view your house is really a qualified buyer or just a dreamer or curious neighbor. It’s a lot of work and a major interruption every time you have to put your life on hold, make your house look perfect and show your home. You want to limit those hassles to the showings most likely to result in a sale. Realtor’s have the tools to weed out the good from the bad.
It’s also awkward for buyers to have the seller present, rather than the seller’s agent, when they’re touring the home. Most buyers prefer working through an agent that is third party to the situation.
Simply put, the seller should never be present when their home is being shown. It just puts off buyers right away.
5. Negotiating the sale is tricky and awkward.
Even if you have sales experience, you don’t have specialized experience negotiating a home sale. The buyer’s agent does, so he/she is more likely to win the negotiation, meaning less money in your pocket.
Not only are you inexperienced, you’re likely to be emotional about the process, and without your own agent to point out when you’re being irrational, you’re more likely to make poor decisions.
Sellers who go solo also typically aren’t familiar with local customs or market conditions.
And agents know the local customs for selling a home, such as whether the buyer or the seller typically pays fees such as transfer taxes and closing costs.
6. You can’t see what’s wrong with your home.
Agents are experts in what makes homes sell. They can walk through your home with you and point out changes you need to make to attract buyers and get the best offers. They can see flaws you’re oblivious to because you see them every day – or because you simply don’t view them as flaws. They can also help you determine which feedback from potential buyers you should act on after you put your home on the market to improve its chances of selling.
Hiring professional cleaners, stagers, interior designers, home inspectors, and so on are important parts of getting a home ready for the market. Do you know what buyers are looking for these days? A good Realtor can point out simple fixes that will make your home shine. They will also have a list of credible contractors for any services you may need.
7. You put yourself at risk of being sued.
A lot of legal paperwork is involved in a home sale, and it needs to be completed correctly by an expert. One of the most important items is the seller’s disclosures. “A seller of real estate has an affirmative duty to disclose any fact that materially affects the value or desirability of the property. The seller can be held liable for fraud, negligence or breach of contract if he/she does not disclose properly. In Ohio, sellers need to provide Lead based paint and property disclosures.
Unless you’re a real-estate attorney, your agent probably knows more about disclosure laws than you do. If you fail to disclose a hazard, nuisance or defect and the buyer comes back to you after they’ve moved in and found a problem, they could sue you. And if that happens…the cost will be much more than the money you saved by not hiring a Realtor to begin with.
The Bottom Line
Perhaps you’re thinking I’m biased, of course I would want your business. This may be true, as I love working with both buyers and sellers but part of my job is to educate consumers and provide them with the very best service possible, if I did not inform potential home sellers of these pitfalls I would be doing them a disservice.
Selling your home will likely be one of the biggest transactions of your life. You can try to do it alone to save money, but hiring an agent has many advantages. Agents can get broader exposure for your property, help you negotiate a better deal, dedicate more time to your sale and help keep your emotions from sabotaging the sale. An agent brings expertise, which few home sellers have, to a complex transaction with many financial and legal pitfalls.
Read more: 8 Reasons Not To Sell Your Home Without An Agent http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/071514/8-reasons-not-sell-your-home-without-agent.asp#ixzz3oGYkygrc