Selling your home on your own can be enticing. After all, who wants to pay tens of thousands of dollars to an agent when buyers are falling all over themselves to buy homes? Before you decide to list on your own, keep in mind the benefits and disadvantages of both. Look at the benefits of hiring an agent versus attempting an FSBO in Northern Virginia to give yourself the best chance of selling fast and for the most money.
Real estate agents are in the thick of the real estate market and understand the nuances of trends happening at that moment. Where you may price a home based on what you see on Zillow, your agent will consider the entire market scope, your exact neighborhood pocket and all the factors that affect pricing a home for a fast sale. The longer a home sits on the market, the harder it becomes to sell being referred to as a “stale listing.” For Sale By Owner properties often sit on the market for extended periods of time.
Worth the Commission
One of the primary reasons a homeowner chooses to sell his own home is because he wants to save on the commission paid in the sale. A real estate transaction can cost the seller up to 6% of the home sale price. If the owner doesn’t have a seller’s agent, this saves at least 2 to 3 percent. If he can convince a buyer to not use a buyer’s agent, the seller can save that entire commission which can be tens of thousands of dollars.
However, the FSBO transaction often is priced under the market value and is often sold for less than what an agent would be able to get a client. What the agent often gets the client is a net profit after the commission that is still higher than the price the seller would get on his own. This is more than worth the commission price especially since the seller no longer needs to be worried about property disclosures and filings to ensure the transaction is legal – the real estate agent does all that.
Most homeowners don’t have the same network of realtors and potential buyers that an agent does. Many homes are sold in pocket listings when an agent announces an upcoming listing at an office meeting. The ability for a real estate agent to tap his network works to help a seller find the right buyer sooner than later. Remember that stale listings usually end up dropping the listing price and reducing the profits. When agents are working their network they are helping sellers prevent price reductions and listings getting old and not attracting buyers.
The agent is there to market the home. This starts with an assessment of what upgrades, fixes and clean-ups will help price the home higher. It moves to location research to set sales expectations at the right level. Then the agent begins to market the property with professional pictures and perhaps even engaging in a staging expert to make the home as appealing as possible.
Agents network with other agents and offer properties that you won’t find on the MLS. Many agents do social media and newspaper marketing to generate more leads and potential buyers.
A real estate agent negotiates on your behalf against buyer’s offers and potential requests for repairs or credits. The agent understands the timelines of escrow and is there to ensure you don’t miss any deadlines. The agent also has resources of escrow and title companies he can trust to do the job effectively. The real estate agent becomes the conductor of the entire process of escrow that has a lot of moving parts that can lead to legal trouble if you don’t adhere to the rules.
If you aren’t sure whether you should use a realtor to sell your home or do it yourself, contact us for a no-pressure assessment of what our professional real estate agents can do for you. You may be surprised at how much more we can get you compared to doing it on your own.