Many sellers wonder why they should pay the high cost of a real estate agent, considering how much information is readily available to help them do the job themselves. This is definitely a good avenue of thought; after all, many people successfully sell their home on their own every day.
Do not forget, however, that the vast majority of For Sale By Owner properties end up listed with a real estate agent for a reason. While some people succeed in selling their home, most don't. If your home stays on the market longer because you are doing it yourself, you'll probably end up wasting more money than you would have paid in a commission.
If you're wondering if hiring a real estate agent is really worth it, here are some things to consider.
If you hire a real estate agent, you do not have to know everything about selling real estate. Doing it on your own, however, means you have to learn how to do the job an agent spends years mastering -- and you have to do it fast. As Henry Ford said, when you hire someone smarter than you are, it proves you are smarter than they are.
Of course, not all agents are the same, so it pays to interview several agents to make sure you get the right person for the job.
Pricing your home correctly is the single most important thing you can do to get your home sold quickly. Agents do not price properties for sellers, but they do guide their clients on making the right choice. An agent will provide you with comparable sales to analyze and advise you on market conditions and local supply and demand to help you choose a competitive, realistic price.
Most people do not like the idea of negotiating directly with buyers over their home. Consider this: what if a buyer hates certain aspects of your home that you lovingly added over the years you have lived there? If both parties are represented by an agent, the buyer can rant all they like about the aspects they despise without hurting anyone's feelings. Your agent, meanwhile, will be best able to handle negotiations in these tricky situations without ruffling feathers.
Not only do agents spend a career perfecting their negotiating skills, they also have the advantage of being distant from the emotional aspects of the sale. A good agent does not merely deliver messages between parties; they are also trained to best present their client's case and agree to hold any client information confidential.
If you want to sell your home on your own, you will need to learn the legal rules governing real estate transactions in your state. This includes who must sign documents, who can conduct the transaction and what to if encumbrances are discovered that slow down the sale. There are also many state-mandated disclosures that apply to the physical condition of your home.
Make one small mistake and you risk being taken to court or losing thousands in the deal.