Selling your home is a big decision. And so is choosing how to do it.
While some owners opt to list on their own – known as For Sale By Owner (FSBO) – to save on real estate agent commissions, this approach can be risky. Here are five reasons to use an agent to handle the process.
- Sell Faster: FSBOs take longer to sell. In fact, one of the most difficult tasks for these sellers is selling within their planned length of time. Why does this matter? Because the longer a home stays on the market, the more wary buyers become. To move your property faster, an agent can help best price it from the outset, market it – particularly on the ever-important Multiple Listing Service (MLS) – and assist in objective staging that can help you sell quicker.
- Get a Higher Sales Price: A big concern with FSBOs is that of owners seriously undervaluing their properties. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, in 2018, the typical FSBO home sold for $200,000 compared to $280,000 for agent-assisted homes. That’s largely because an agent has the market knowledge to price your house appropriately through MLS and other tools so you get as much money for your house as possible.
- Avoid the Hassle: From arranging showings and scheduling inspections to completing paperwork and navigating the legal and regulatory requirements involved, the administrative side of a transaction can be daunting. That’s why the expertise of an agent can be reassuring – and may also explain why of the 36% of owners who initially attempt FSBO, only 11% end up doing it solo, according to Zillow research.
- Reach the Closing Table: A lot can happen after you and a buyer reach an agreement, like the home inspection and appraisal. That’s when an experienced agent’s professional negotiation skills can be essential. From countering adjusted offers to settling repair requests, an agent used to handle the issues and emotions involved knows what it takes to keep a deal on track.
- Save Time: While you may not think there is a lot involved in selling your home, the hours can quickly add up. If you work, it can be challenging to carve out time during your day for the tasks required, especially the longer the property is on the market. Even if you don’t work, the process can be all-consuming, limiting your freedom.
While the idea of saving money by not paying a real estate agent commission may seem appealing on the surface, even a shallow dive into the details reveals potential pitfalls and risks that may end up costing sellers far more than the amount of a commission by going it alone. The good news: you can completely avoid the hassle and the stress that comes with selling your home. Ready to get started?