Thursday, April 24, 2014 / by Natasha Tomlinson
When it’s time to sell you home, one of the first questions you may ask yourself, “Should I hire an agent,or just do it myself?” After all if you can sell your home by yourself, you would keep the commission, and put it towards your new home or that new car or boat. Or selling your home yourself could cost you. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes sold by a Realtor sell for 16% more than homes that sold without a Realtor.
So what ARE the pros and cons of hiring a listing agent?
Market knowledge: A real estate agent will be able to provide detailed information on your overall market, your neighborhood and your home specifically. This is crucial to determining the right price and marketing strategy that will maximum exposure to your home and attract a buyer quickly.
Unbiased opinion: A good listing agent will tell you what will attract buyers to your home and what will repel them too. For example, people love to see and pet cats and dogs, but not smell them. The ability to provide a critique on your home’s curb appeal and home staging tips can be crucial to building a good first impression with buyers.
Marketing expertise: Agents are trained to know key points that will set your home apart from the competition. By building on these key points, an agent can structure a multi-media marketing approach to finding a buyer using their economy scale (advertising multiple properties) that will be hard to match as an individual homeowner.
Exposure: Using a listing agent often dramatically increases exposure through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and web marketing strategies. As typically over half of all listings are sold by co-operating brokers, when you work with a listing agent you are actually tapping into the buyer inventory of every agent in your community.
Negotiation Skills: A listing agent provides sellers with an emotional buffer between themselves and the potential buyer. This often makes negotiating a sale easier and more profitable for the homeowner as it’s far easier to reject or counter offers through a third party rather than face to face when selling on your own.
Control: Selling on your own means that you will retain full control over every aspect of the sale including pricing, marketing, and negotiating a sale. For sellers who thrive on managing the details this means success or failure will rest on their shoulders.
Price: Often sellers who forgo a listing agent pass part or all of the commission savings on to the buyer by reducing the price of the home. This strategy is designed to increase the speed of the sale by making their home the “best buy” on the block. In addition many sellers use a portion of the savings to pay for selling incentives like buying down the buyer’s interest rate or paying for part of the buyer’s closing costs.
Showing the home: Many sellers feel they are the best qualified persons to show their home. After all they know more about the home than an agent and they are often able to point out important details that both buyers and a listing agent might overlook.
Commission: Using a listing agent will often cost a substantial sum of money. For cash strapped or equity poor homeowners this can be a challenge as it will mean their net proceeds after closing will be reduced. Even sellers without any financial challenges often cringe at writing a check to a listing agent if they can avoid it by selling on their own.
Negotiation Skills: Sellers who aren’t afraid to haggle over price and terms with a buyer may prefer to negotiate directly with a buyer. By standing toe to toe with buyers many private homeowners feel secure that they won’t miss an opportunity to “make a deal.”
Consider your options carefully, and don’t be afraid to interview local For Sale By Owners who have tried it on their own and local agents who can provide you with a list of their service before you make your decision. Also, feel free to contact me with your questions at NatashaTRealtor@gmail.com or (480) 203-4364