When a real estate agent helps an owner sell a house, the agent receives a percentage of the sale price as commission. You might think that selling your home yourself would save you some money, but it could wind up costing you a lot more.
Many buyers and real estate agents don’t take homes listed as “for sale by owner” seriously because they assume that the seller has unrealistic or unreasonable expectations or will not behave professionally. Some buyer’s agents will only show their clients houses that are listed by a seller’s agent.
It’s easy to overlook problems with your house that you see every day, but a seller’s agent would spot those flaws. A professional would be able to recommend repairs, give you advice on decluttering and staging, and help you find a professional photographer to take pictures that would attract buyers.
A real estate agent could get your home advertised on multiple listing services and major real estate websites. Agents also have large networks of professional contacts who can help draw in potential buyers.
Showing a home is time-consuming and it would be difficult to handle yourself if you work full-time. In addition, many buyers are uncomfortable viewing a home when the seller is present and therefore rush through and miss important details.
Dealing with prospective buyers and hearing negative feedback about your home could be upsetting. A professional agent could identify serious buyers and calmly respond to negative comments.
A real estate agent understands the local market and knows how to price homes to sell quickly. If you set the price too high, you could have few people interested in viewing the house. If the property spent a long time on the market, people might assume there was something wrong with it. If you set the price too low, buyers and agents might assume that the house had problems or that you were desperate to sell.
Even if you have sales experience, negotiating the sale of a house would be different, especially if it was your home and you were emotionally invested in the outcome. A real estate agent has the professional training and experience necessary to get a seller a higher price than an owner could get without an agent.
Selling a house requires a lot of legal paperwork, including a seller’s disclosure of any material facts that could affect a home’s value or desirability. If you made a mistake, the buyer could later sue you for fraud, negligence or breach of contract. A real estate agent, however, has errors and omissions insurance to cover legal mistakes.
Selling a house on your own might seem like an easy way to save thousands of dollars, but it could be risky. In addition to possibly not attracting a buyer or getting a good price, you could put yourself in legal jeopardy. This is why you would be better off getting help from an agent.