It is very common for people to consider selling their own homes, and with the information and technology available today, there is good reason for that. However, it isn’t a decision or task to take lightly. Here is some information to consider before deciding whether or not to try selling your home on your own. There is also a tool at the end to help you walk through some of the things that might help you make that decision.
One common idea that comes up often in an internet search as to why to use a REALTOR is that you will get more money for your house. On the flip side, one reason people want to avoid using a REALTOR is that they don’t want to pay the commission. Your situation will dictate which of those is a key factor for you. However, there are reasons beyond money that may help you make your decision.
1. Market Data – If you have access to current market data for your area, and can use that while being non-biased toward your own home to set your listing price, you may want to consider FSBO. A REALTORS job is to ensure that they are keeping up with the latest market trends and changes. They will give you a third-party interpretation of your homes value as well as ways to make it show and sell better, and that can be very beneficial when setting your price.
2. Time – Do you have the time needed to set up appointments for showings, answer peoples questions, return information as soon as possible, and keep track of who has seen your home and shown interest? Scheduling is one thing that a good REALTOR can really help with. They will keep track of who has seen the house, and again as a third-party, can gain valuable information from those that have seen the house to help it show at its best at all times.
3. Negotiating – Do you feel confident in setting your price and sticking with it, even when someone is trying to get a lower price? If so, then you will probably do okay selling your home on your own. If you need some help, or even just a third-party to go through, then a REALTOR may be your answer. Many times it can be uncomfortable for a buyer and seller to talk to one another directly and come to a consensus on price. A REALTOR may be a great answer to that dilemma.
4. Networking – REALTORS are very well connected and generally have access to a large number of potential buyers through the use of the multiple listing service. Working with other brokerages in partnership to match buyers with listed homes is a huge benefit.
5. Contracts – Once an offer is accepted, it’s time to make it official. There are a number of contracts, title searches, etc. that can go into the final transaction. Having an attorney and/or REALTOR to help with the contracts is highly recommended to make sure the transaction is legal, and also to make sure all parties are protected in the end.
Let’s get back to that money part for a moment. In 2013, the National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers said that the average FSBO sales price was $174,900 while the average sales price for a home represented by an agent was $215,000. That is a difference of $40,100. As with most studies I am sure there is more to the story than what is seen here. But, just use this as an example, let’s say you had to pay a 6% commission on the $215,000 sale. That would be a commission of $12,900 (which doesn’t all go to your REALTOR, but that is a story for another day), leaving you with an added $27,200 to put in your pocket.
As I said before, money isn’t the only factor to consider. Still on the fence as to whether or not to sell your own home or use a REALTOR? Here is a great online tool to help you decide: https://www.upnest.com/fsbo/
And for your reading pleasure, a few links I used to get some information: