Do you really need a real estate agent to sell your home? Surely going the For Sale by Owner route (FSBO) can save you big – right? You can maximize profits by not having to pay a real estate agent, and surely selling your home on your own schedule will be easier. In no time, you’ll be rolling in dough thanks to your shrewdness and skills.
You might want to think again. While FSBO may seem like a good idea, there are several reasons why you should consider using a real estate agent to help sell your home.
Sticking with DIY for things like small home repairs and crocheting Christmas gifts is best. Leave the real estate game to the professionals. They can help you:
Price the home correctly. The top mistake owners selling their own home make is pricing way too high, or way too low. The first results in a stale listing, and the second loses money. An experienced real estate agent will know the current market and can price you high enough for wiggle room without discouraging potential home buyers.
Negotiate with a strong standing. Selling your home is a major business transaction, and there are three stages at which you can expect negotiation and pushback.
You need a skilled and objective negotiator on your side during these discussions, and a real estate agent can play the bad guy for you to keep everything on your end pleasant and enjoyable.
Gaining exposure for your home. You want the absolute maximum exposure possible to as wide a range of potential home buyers as you can access. A real estate agent has the networking skills and contacts to get this job done, as well as the time and motivation to prepare marketing materials, coordinate online marketing, host open houses, and reach out to other agents who may have interested parties.
The dollars you expect to save on commissions to real estate agents aren’t really all that many when you consider the average cost of a home and the 3% commission compared to the selling price. An experienced real estate agent brings expertise in pricing, negotiating skills, and market access to the table, something a home owner can’t hope to match.
In fact, statistically FSBO homes stay on the market longer (costing owners more every month they linger) and eventually sell for less overall and almost never for asking price in the end.
If you sell your $150,000 home for $140,000 and save the $4500 commission, you’ve actually lost a potential $5500 at least – an experienced real estate agent might have been able to get potential home buyers bidding against each other and sold your home for $160,000, taking home $4800 in commission and netting you a tidy $9520 in extra profit!