The short answer is YES. Anyone with access to Google can see that we are in a seller's market. Interest rates are low and people are ready to buy a new home after the pandemic. This in turn has made people believe they can sell their home themselves with little effort and they are not wrong.
So, the big question should not be IF you can sell your home, but for how MUCH? The goal of For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) and ibuyer programs (Opendoor, Offerup, etc) is to save money they would have to pay an agent to sell their house, but it could end up costing them more in the long run.
Here are 5 reasons you need to list with a real estate agent:
1. Real estate agents have access to the MLS (multiple listing service).
This is a powerful tool that advertises your property to other agents and only agents have access to it. If you want the maximum amount of people to see your home you need to have it on the local MLS. And yes, there are "limited service" firms that for a flat fee will upload your home's details; however, they will not direct to you the required disclosures, set-up easy showing appointments, and/or answer any questions from other agents and their buyers.
2. No buyer's agent commission could mean less buyers.
There's no typical commission anywhere, but they are market norms that buyers come to expect. Part of the 6% commission that my firm requests from sellers, goes to pay the buyer's agent commission (2.4%-3%) for bringing the buyer. With buyers already expected to pay a lot in pre-closing expenses and closing costs, so you may turn away potential offers because buyers aren't able or willing to pay their agent as well. And agents on either side, is recipe for delays and potential costly misteps.
3. A real estate advisor can provide you the best ways to market your home.
Making sure that the home is show ready could mean the difference in thousands of dollars. Look for an agent that provides staging services, secures high quality professional photography, creates a detailed floorplan and list of selling features for online-only viewers, holding open offices, and more in order for you to have the most eyes and offers on your home.
4. Avoid the temptation to overprice your home.
Even in a market where homes are going for 20% plus over asking, if it's overpriced from the start, it's extremely difficult to sell.
Agents and buyers alike know how hot the market is right now but it’s all about finding the sweet spot--let the market demand drive up the price, not you.
Even if you get a buyer who will purchase your home for what you're asking, the question becomes, what happens when it doesn't appraise for that? If it does not and the buyer has a contingency from their lender that it has to appraise for the selling price the deal could fall through as quickly as it started. An experienced real estate agent will let you know what you can get that will still be profitable to you but will also not run the risk of not appraising.
5. You might be tempted to take the first offer that comes your way.
What if your neighbor hears you're looking to move and right out of the gate offers you the Zillow estimate (the "Zestimate price")? You might think "great, let's do it!" But what if you could get multiple offers over asking price to choose from instead?
Plus, remember even in a multiple offer situation, the highest price might not always be the best. An experienced real estate agent should advise you of things for in offers differences--the close date, the due diligence and earnest money amounts offered, additional addendums, loan type, etc. Weighing the pros and cons carefully of each deal will not only help you get extra money for your home but give you less of a chance that the deal would fall through before closing.
When it is all said and done there is no substitute for expertise. Even in a market where selling a property is a sure thing, trusting an expert to sell your home will ensure no money is left on the table.
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