With advances in technology and the opening of MLS (the multiple listing service) to the general public, it has become easier for individuals to sell their homes without the assistance of a Realtor. Is selling your house privately the better route? Maybe.
In an age of DIY and YouTube experts and easy social media reach do realtors still have game in the market? You bet they do!
Realtors usually earn a commission of around 5% when they buy or sell a home. On a $500,000 home, that’s as much as $25,000 off the top. This seems like a crazy amount until you understand the value of having an expert manage what will likely be your single biggest lifetime transaction.
How a Realtor Can Help
A good realtor is a specialist who knows the market deeply, and has access to resources that you don’t. (This includes things such as sold data, up-to-date MLS listings and a pool of vetted, serious buyers). They often have an extended network of experts including home inspectors, mortgage brokers and lawyers, as well as other realtors who are all critical in reaching a ready buyer for your home. A good realtor and their connections can help guide you through the sometimes confusing experience of selling.They’ll take care of the complexities of the transaction, especially if problems arise.
Every real estate transaction is unique, a point sometimes forgotten by the home seller. There is no ‘cookie cutter’ transaction. Every real estate transaction has a number of moving parts. To get the best deal for your home, whoever sells it must have a toolkit of skills and knowledge and know when to employ them. In today’s market buyers are very demanding, and it can become overwhelming knowing where to give and where to draw the line in the sand on demands. A good realtor can help negotiate the best deal for you, especially when working with other realtors. They have experience negotiating with buyers and making counteroffers, for example. A top knotch negotiator can be the edge you need to sell your home especially in a difficult market. This potentially earns you thousands more than you could have made on your own!
Should you Go it Alone?
While selling your home is a business transaction, for most homeowners it is also an emotionally charged event. Realtors have objectivity in regard to your home that you may not. This objectivity is critical when it comes to pricing your home to sell quickly and for the best price. The worse thing that can happen to any listing is being priced too high and as a result, sitting on the market with no activity. Price reductions and not selling quickly often send an erroneous message that there is something wrong with the house. The pricing process is of utmost importance and requires deep knowledge about the overall market, comparable properties and strategy experience.
For Sale By Owner (FSBO) has definitely increased with the ease of technology and access to information. Some FSBO transactions work out very well, typically for those who are natural salespeople, enjoy negotiating and have spent many hours on research. However, many do not. When it comes to making the biggest transaction you will likely make in your life we always recommend having an expert on your team! If you are thinking of going it alone we recommend you speak to a good realtor first. Make sure you understand the potential pitfalls, not just the potential savings, of selling on your own.