When you’re selling your home, you want to make sure you get top dollar — so you might be tempted to go it alone and do a “For Sale By Owner” (sometimes referred to as FSBO for short). After all, it’s something that a lot of people consider doing, and it’s an option that makes a little sense at first.
Your house is probably your biggest financial investment. Plus, you’ve put a lot of money into maintaining it and even improving it. You might even be moving to a better property that requires you to get the most money you can out of your sale. So you’re thinking you can make a little bit more money — or at least, keep a little bit more of your sale — if you don’t work with a real estate agent who collects commission.
This is a bad idea, as any real estate agent will tell you. In fact, you can usually count on a real estate agent to help you make more money off your sale than you would if you tried to go it alone and do FSBO — plus you’ll avoid so many other problems!
How Realtors Help You Get More For Your Home
Here’s what you should consider:
- A real estate agent helps you set a reasonable price. Even if you get an appraisal on your property, a real estate agent helps you determine an appropriate price based on the market and what other homes are going for in your area. Setting the right price from the very start is so important because a home that is marked too high might not attract offers. Once your home sits on the market too long or lowers its price too many times, it starts to be unattractive to buyers.
- Get advice on any repairs you need to make. Let’s face it — very few homes are perfect. Unless you’re living in a home that was just built (in which case, you probably wouldn’t be moving), your home has a few forensic or cosmetic repairs that it needs. A fresh coat of paint throughout? New appliances in the kitchen? A crack in the basement wall when water leaks in? A real estate agent can offer you advice on what repairs are worth making to increase the value and appeal of your home, and which ones you can safely leave up to the buyer.
- A real estate agent can reach more potential buyers. A real estate agent has more resources at their disposal — in addition to listing services, they have a network of other agents plus clients (both past and present). You can also rest assured that the buyers who are working with a real estate agent are qualified to buy, and they’re not just somebody who is wasting your time. This can also be a security issue, as you might not want to let just anyone off the street come in to look at your home. When you allow a real estate agent to arrange a showing, you know your property is in good hands. Some realtors are not allowed to show FSBO properties to their buying clients.
- You get an expert’s assistance and insight. When you’re making an important life move, you never want to do it without an expert’s assistance. Handling finances for your business? You depend on an accountant. Filing a lawsuit? You need a lawyer. Why would you try to handle your biggest financial investment without the help of somebody who knows the industry? Additionally, a real estate agent understands contracts and will be able to offer you advice on what to include and what to leave out (and where you might be potentially get screwed over). When it comes to actually making the transaction, a real estate agent’s understanding gives them stronger negotiating power, so you will have an advantage if your buyers are seeking to lower the asking price.
- Finally, you’ll avoid making poor decisions. Here’s the thing about selling your home — it can be emotional. Even if you don’t think of yourself as an emotional person, it’s hard to put your home on the market and exchange these high sums of money without getting sentimental or stressed. You might even start second-guessing your decision to sell at all. When you work with a real estate agent, you’ll find that they are able to approach the transaction objectively and provide you a reality check when you need one. You’ll avoid making emotional decisions — such as asking more money than your home is worth or refusing to make cosmetic changes before listing — because you have someone in your corner who is balancing you out.