Some people may think attempting to sell your home without a realtor will save them a substantial amount of money. Only you can determine whether or not this route will benefit you enough to deal with its challenges. Here, I offer some insight into the pros and cons of trying to sell your home alone, and the benefits that you’ll receive from working with an agent, so you can make as educated a decision as possible.
Pros of Selling Your Home Yourself
The first pro most sellers think of when they are considering selling their own home is that they will not have to pay the 6% average commission the realtor earns for putting in the effort to sell your home. One point to consider on the financial front is that homes sold by owners sell at 15% lower prices on average than if they were supported and sold by a realtor.
Secondly, you make your own rules when you sell your own house. You can choose your price, schedule showings when it’s convenient for you, and negotiate when and how you like with potential buyers. If the selling of your home is not under a unique circumstance where you know you will be selling it with non-conventional terms (for lack of a better word), these points are not very valuable compared to what an agent can offer you with their experience. There is an art to pricing your home your agent will be able to inform you on, but you are always the decision-maker in this matter. They are also trained and skilled in the art of negotiation and the aforementioned statistic can attest to that. You can also influence when showings are scheduled if you have some restrictions for some reason. You are the driver, but trust that your agent’s goals are first to represent you and keep your best interest in mind in all dealings (in accordance with the division), and get the most for your house in the least amount of time, for both your financial sakes.
Last but not least, you know your home better than anyone. You will remember all of its glowing features better than your agent might, but remember, for his commission he does employ a lot of marketing and professional services you may not have access to on your own. Most agents will walk through and give you their expert opinion on how to stage your particular property, if not have it home staged for you. Your agent will have professional pictures taken and sales copy written for your listing, if not more.
Cons of Selling Your Home Yourself
One of the biggest cons to selling your home yourself is taking on the financial and legal liability for the transaction. A lot of paperwork, guidelines,and requirements are involved with the sale of a home. Even new agents struggle with the paperwork initially and their education in large part is all about the paperwork and legalities. Hiring a realtor is virtually free because they are only paid a commission out of the sale of your home, which should be higher than you would have been able to sell it for yourself, and if you hire a realtor for only one reason, it is to remove liability from yourself if any mistakes are made. Furthermore, it’s for this reason that you’d have to study real estate a lot to be competent.
Owners selling their own homes are often targets of people who don’t qualify for a loan large enough to purchase your house. Realtors have experience vetting buyers and knowing which ones are serious and have the funds to make the purchase. If time is money, then you will save a lot here by hiring a realtor to sell your home.
Pros of Hiring a Realtor
Hiring a realtor maximizes the exposure of your home using the MLS (Multiple Listing Service, a system only real estate professionals have full access to), among other platforms of marketing. You will get the most exposure working with a realtor and you can interview several to uncover the one with the best marketing strategy and an attitude that fits you. Exposing the property using the most channels will result in selling your house much quicker than you could on your own, another benefit of hiring a realtor.
Finally, considering the scale of this transaction and the number of tasks involved that require specific knowledge and attention to detail should encourage you to hire a professional. Real estate transactions usually exceed the threshold of $100,000. If you were in $100,000 worth of debt or medical expenses, or had a tax problem or legal problem worth this much, you’d likely seek professional help. Why not in this instance?