If you’re in the market to put your home on the market, you are probably looking into whether to hire a real estate agent or not. The main differences in these two options goes back to what you’ll save. While you might think you can keep a lot of your hard-invested cash by selling your home alone, this is not necessarily the case. In the long run, it’ll be more beneficial to utilize a realtor versus going the FSBO (for sale by owner – pronounced fizz-bo) route. You’re the only one that can ultimately make this decision but be sure to take a moment to read some highlights on potential outcomes.
Would you rather spend your weekends off relaxing or hosting an open house? This is just one of the things a licensed real estate agent can do for you. Selling your home with a realtor also allows them to do showings throughout the week for you. Since they’ll understand what buyers are looking for, they can point out the top selling points of your home and give them ideas to remedy areas they have concerns about. They will communicate with the buyer’s agent on your home’s behalf.
The process of selling a home generally focuses on the showings and negotiations. Though before the selling process can even begin, you’ll need to properly stage the home and take photos for the listing. Let the agent cover that work for you. Realtors can also help you save your time by filing all the necessary documents. There is paperwork during much of the entire process of selling your home, and the forms can be lengthy at times. If you end up going the for sale by owner route, be prepared to invest a lot of your time into the process. According to the National Association of Realtors, houses listed with a realtor sold twenty days sooner on average than FSBO listings.
You might think that you’ll save a lot of money by listing your home as a for sale by owner property. While it is true that realtors take various fees associated with the cost of listing and selling your home, some studies show that homes sold by an agent ended with a much higher sales price than FSBO. Listing the home by yourself will still bring associated costs, like the commission for the buyer’s agent, MLS (Multi-Listing Service) listing fees, and marketing costs. If your home doesn’t sell quickly, you will have to pay to renew the MLS listing. The other big concern with listing a home as for sale by owner is in the negotiations. Experienced realtors will know how to keep the sales price as high as possible to bring you the price you deserve.
Real estate agents don’t go through the required education and licensing for nothing. There are many laws surrounding the real estate industry. Since they will be familiar with current trends and loan options, a seasoned realtor can accurately answer questions from potential buyers. Selling your home without the knowledge and experience that a realtor brings to the table could also lead to a lawsuit after closing. It is very easy to overlook certain disclosures and required forms. Listing with an agent will keep you free from potential litigations.
In the end, it is up to you to decide whether you’ll list your home for sale with a realtor or FSBO (for sale by owner). The advantages of each are clear. If you don’t mind putting in a lot of hard work and sacrificing time and money upfront, you could end up better off by selling your home on your own. However, this outcome is statistically less common. Readers are encouraged to do extensive research before attempting to sell their home without a listing agent, so you don’t end up wasting time and money or end up in a lawsuit.