Sometimes homeowners think it’s a good idea to attempt to sell their home themselves. I disagree with that decision–not just because I’m a Realtor–but for many practical reasons which I’d like to share with you. The main reason most people want to go FSBO is “to save money”, however, the reasons to NOT sell your home FSBO more than justify the 3%.
Don’t you mean 6%?
The majority of homes are purchased by a buyer who is represented by a buyers agent. If selling your home FSBO, you have to cooperate with buyers agents and offer 2-3% or they will have no incentive to show your home. There is most likely a comparable property for sale down the street by a homeowner who is working with a listing broker or cooperating with brokers. Buyyers agents would rather show this home to their buyer clients because they have an incentive to. So if you list your home with a sellers agent at 6%, you’re really only practically looking at an extra 3% for this reason.
Reasons to work with a real estate agent versus go FSBO:
1. Real estate agents can list your home on the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) but you can’t. This markets your home to thousands of real estate agents and syndicate websites. The more people who see your home for sale, the more appointments you’ll get to view it, and the higher your chances of receiving an offer to purchase. It’s simple mathematics. Listing your home on the MLS drastically increases your chance of selling it.
2. Real estate agents can provide tips on staging your home for sale and increasing it’s curb appeal. An experienced real estate agent has worked with hundreds, possibly thousands of buyers and sellers, studies what works and what doesn’t, and can help set your home apart from the rest. I know your house feels like home to you, but an agent’s job is to make it feel like home to prospective buyers.
3. A real estate agent can do a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) or Broker Price Opinion (BPO) and provide a professional valuation. If time isn’t on your side to sell your home, pricing it correctly will make a huge difference in how fast it sells. The longer it takes to sell, the longer you are paying your mortgage, an expense which adds up over 6 months.
4. A good real estate agent has access to a network of brokers who are representing buyers. As I mentioned, the majority of buyers who purchase homes in California are represented by a real estate agent. Many real estate agents have the outlook that the goal is to sell to other agents, not buyers, because they are the ones who matter in getting your home sold.
5. An experienced real estate agent also has a database of Investors to market your home to. The average person can’t say the same, which makes sense, because how much reason do you have in your daily life to keep a list of home investors?
6. A real estate agent will market your home with their website, professional signage, and professionally designed brochures and print advertisements. There is a reason why real estate agents spend a small fortune each year on marketing material… it works! Your “For Sale” sign from Target and brochure created in Microsoft Word just doesn’t have the same appeal as compared to what a good brokerage firm has to offer.
7. Open Houses are a great way to sell a home, if done right and marketed correctly. Real estate agents will advertise open houses to their broker and investor networks, list it on the MLS, drum up interest in your neighborhood, and maximize their time and exposure of your home during the open house.
8. There are a multitude of disclosures involved with selling a home. Real estate law changes regularly and there’s no way someone outside of the industry can be expected to keep up with these changes. Working with an experienced real estate agent provides the peace of mind that you are following the proper protocol. Plus, if something goes wrong, you have someone to hold accountable.
9. Real estate agents have expertise negotating and picking the best offer. Sometimes the highest price isn’t the best offer. Financing and contingencies play a huge role in if escrow closes and how long that can take. An agent can pull from their experience of past deals gone wrong to save you from making a costly or time consuming mistake.
10. You work a full time job, right? There is a lot of time involved in marketing and showing a home to prospective buyers including responding to phone and e-mail inquiries. Most of this happens while you are at work. Selling your home is an agent’s full time job and they are available to show your home at times when you are not. An agent will filter through the Looky Lou’s and bring you serious, capable buyers.
11. Most likely the buyer is going to be represented and so should you. In comparison, you wouldn’t go up against a professional attorney in court without proper representation. Just because a real estate agent on the other side of a transaction is friendly (they should be!), doesn’t mean they have your best interest at heart. It’s for this reason that agents are required to immediately ask you to sign an Agency Relationship Disclosures to make it clear who they represent.
In the end, you have more to gain than 3% of the list price. An experienced real estate agent will take his or her commission into account, as well as all closing costs (including ones you might not have expected), and help make sure you walk away having sold your home for what you need to.
We have experienced real estate agents all throughout Southern California including Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Call 1-800-287-1808 to speak to one of our experienced agents today about listing your home for sale. We go above and beyond the call of duty, keep an open line of communication, and work hard to exceed your needs as real estate brokers.
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