I know what a real estate agent does for you, because I am one. New agents are taught all the right things to say, all the reasons you ought to have an agent to sell your house. Some are legit, but most you can easily do yourself. And be happy about the money you save.
I could go through all the reasons one by one and break it down but let’s come at it from a more entertaining angle. An argument. This post is being written on this day because I came across an article titled “Homes for Sale By Owners: 5 reasons Why FSBO Sales Fail“. You can guess who wrote the article. I had to read it since I know you can easily sell your house yourself.
The reason you would want to sell your home yourself is to keep the thousands of dollars you’ll be giving someone else to do it for you. The reason the real estate industry wants you to believe you can’t sell For Sale By Owner is because they want your thousands of dollars. They’ll do anything to convince you. They’ll say anything to get it.
-The biggest argument always is you’ll pocket more money using a real estate agent. I just think that’s absurd. Examples used in this case are the average FSBO price was $185,000. The average home price when represented by an agent was $245,000. That’s the average overall. They never compare homes, or properties. Those figures may very well be true but don’t mean anything. That tells me more people selling $245,000 homes used agents. There’s no way there’s going to be a $60,000 difference in 2 comparable homes in the same market in the same location.
-Next is marketing. Real estate agents offer widespread exposure for your home using the internet. So can you, and in most places
absolutely free of charge or at a very nominal cost. The article goes on to say what a real estate agent does for you is share your home with other agents and their own clients. Your home is shared with other real estate agents via the multiple listing service or mls. And that’s true, but in most cases these days consumers are searching themselves on sites like Zillow and Trulia. When they find homes they want to see they call the number or call an agent.
Real Estate agents don’t spend nearly as much time looking for homes for clients as it used to be. Consumers are finding their homes themselves. If you really feel the need to get your For Sale By Owner on the mls there are companies that will do it for a few hundred bucks.
-For Sale By owner homes might be priced wrong. True, but so may homes priced by a real estate agent, especially an inexperienced one. Don’t price your home wrong. It’s really not that difficult. If you feel you can’t do it hire an appraiser, or interview a real estate agent. Interviewing an agent doesn’t mean you have to hire one.
You could underestimate or overestimate on how much to spend on getting your house ready. True, but so could an agent. This is just math. Once you know what your house could be worth get it in order. You won’t get your money back out of a full kitchen remodel but there are things you do to spruce it up. Painting, doing any obvious repairs and cleaning are all basic things that need to be done. Your house should look nice, it’s as simple as that. If it needs updating, update it or price accordingly.
-Showings are a drag? Really? Is that really the best argument to hire a real estate agent? Your agent isn’t the only one that shows your house. If your willing to work with buyers agents they’ll be showing your house. And if you work with a buyer’s agent they’ll do all the paperwork. If you don’t want to work with buyers agents then you show your house. Yes, it’s a little bit of work but so is anything worth doing.
-Finally the favorite of the industry to try and convince you For Sale By Owner is a bad idea, paperwork. Again you may have to do a little research, make a few phone calls and spend a little money on contracts. A lot more paperwork is involved when using a real estate agent because a lot of that paperwork is designed to protect the real estate agent. All you really need is a contract and any disclosures your state requires. Or you can simply use a quit claim deed.
What a real estate agent does for you is substantial. The question, is it worth the thousands of dollars it cost to use an agent. You can easily sell your home yourself. keep your money.