Even though nearly 9 out of 10 homeowners ultimately enlist a real estate agent to sell their properties, let’s face it: the thought of going it alone does go through many minds. And surveys confirm the primary motivation, which is, of course, saving the agent’s fee. Pocketing that cash would add that much more to the bottom line—that’s just common sense! Isn’t it…?
What makes sense in theory doesn’t always work out that way in the actual marketplace—in fact, the probabilities actually point in the opposite direction. The verified financial analyses tell the tale—the average sales price for real estate agent-assisted sales are so much higher than “For Sale by Owner” sales that the percentages favor the real estate agent choice: last month’s updated statistics listed the difference at more than $40,000.
Going it alone can be even more costly in other ways. Selling a house yourself is a time-consuming affair—particularly if you are having to organize all the processes from the ground up. Not only do you have to do all the initial legwork to create and manage the entire marketing and sales efforts, there winds up being no guarantee of a final sale. To anyone who has ended up after months and months of work with nothing to show for it, the time lost is a major source of dissatisfaction.
However, if you are retired or for any other reason aren’t worried about devoting the needed time to the effort, attempting to sell your home without areal estate agent could be a reasonable option for you…if the next two considerations don’t apply—
a) Sometimes the most valuable asset areal estate agent conveys is timely, accurate knowledge of the market. Having an asking price that’s too high or low can have a devastating effects on your bottom line. If it’s too high, the property can languish on the market for far too long, losing value and appeal to ensuing waves of prospective buyers. If it’s too low—lower than what would have attracted qualified buyers—you just lost the single reason you chose to do all the work yourself! IOW, if you don’t feel confident about your knowledge of market trends and recent movement, working with an active real estate agent is clearly the prudent choice.
b) Buyers frequently choose to protect their interests by being represented by a buyers’ agent, in which case the seller is responsible for paying the buyers’ agent a fee. If you are planning to sell the house yourself, make sure you feel comfortable working with the buyer or buyer’s agent and handling negotiations yourself. This requires having working knowledge of real estate contracts and real estate laws (and everything else involved in the sale of a home). If you aren’t inclined to master 50+ pages of paperwork, it’s a pretty good reason why a real estate agent is probably for you!
If you are getting serious about selling your own home this fall, you needn’t have decided to use areal estate agent to give me a call. Whatever your ultimate choice, I guarantee you will benefit from my no-pressure, obligation-free consultation!