Today's real estate market is still "hot" and continues to break records. With homes selling faster than ever before, home values are rising at higher rates than ever before. The inventory of homes available for sale is at its lowest in history. Some sellers think it is a good time to try to sell their homes "For Sale By Owner" (FSBO or by owner) to save a bit of profit. Here are a couple of pros and cons of using a listing agent versus selling your home by owner.
Real Estate Agents Can Help You Net More Money
Many people who try to sell their own homes by owner do it for the sole purpose of saving money by not paying a real estate brokerage any commission. They do some research on their own, set listing prices for their homes and place them for sale on the internet. If you hire a real estate agent, he/she will prepare a professional comparative market analysis. They will take into consideration the square footage of your home, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the total number of rooms, the features, the upgrades and updates in your home, and the exterior features. Real estate agents may price your home higher than you would if you try to sell by owner. With an agent's negotiating skills, they will most likely net you more money.
Listing Agents Can Help You Negotiate More Than Just Price
There is a lot more to a contract than just price. Your listing agent will make sure your buyer is financially qualified to purchase your home. They will work with you and the buyer's agent to get an acceptable amount of earnest money, help negotiate any personal property or fixtures that are a part of the transaction and work hard to get you the most convenient closing date for you. They will help you navigate through the entire transaction, including the inspection, appraisal, walk throughs and closing. Their job in a nutshell is to get you the most money for the least amount of stress.
Exposure to More Buyers
If you list your home with a real estate brokerage, you'll receive exposure to more buyers than if you list your home by owner. Your agent will place your listing in the local multiple listing service (MLS). This means that all agents in the area who belong to the MLS will have access to your listing. Most of the top real estate websites upload your listing from the MLS including Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, Homes.com and more. By listing with an agent, you may receive multiple offers. This will help ensure that you get the highest price and the best terms for your home.
Many are under the misconception that if they list their home FSBO they will not have to pay any commission. It is true that if you decide to sell your home without a listing agent's representation, you won't have to pay a brokerage any listing agent commission. However, if an agent has a buyer for your home, they may contact you and ask you to pay them a commission as the selling agent. In addition, if a buyer comes forward to purchase your home without an agent, they may be looking to save the same commission dollars you are trying to save. In other words, if the buyer knows you don't have to pay a real estate brokerage any commission, he may want to purchase your home for a lower price.
When you list your home with a real estate brokerage, one of your agent's jobs is to help ensure safety. Your agent will help coordinate showings with licensed real estate agents. Your agent may place a lockbox on your front door with a key in it so showing agents can access your home safely. Most of the lockboxes used today are electronic and use Bluetooth. They record the date and time of access. They also record who has accessed your property. This helps prevent you from letting complete strangers, and possible criminals, into your home.
All in all, there are more pros to hiring listing agents to help sell homes. Let the agents do the work while sellers sit back and enjoy higher home values and better terms for their home sales.