Why a For Sale by Owner Should Consider Using a Real Estate Agent
For Sale by Owners (FSBO's) represent less than 10% of the homes currently for sale and of those, approximately 90% will end up listing with a real estate agent. Let's look at why.....
Of course the homeowner know their homes better than anyone, but that doesn't make them the best person to sell it. Real Estate agents have been recognized profressionals for 100+ years. That's a lot of time to fine tune the business associated with real estate transactions. Any profession that's been around for that period of time must have some value.
Most homeowners attempt to sell their home on their own to save the commission that they would normally pay to a real estate agent. But would you represent yourself as an attorney in a court of law, or diagnose and treat your own illness, all for the sake of saving some money? Selling a home is no different. It's one of the largest transactions you'll make in your life, complete with legal implications and responsibilities. Most buyers that shop with FSBO's are doing so because they're looking to save money too. But how can this be? Common sense dictates that it won't work both ways. One of you will likely be giving away money in the long run.
A real estate agent is well versed on the current market, as well as the current real estate laws. They have resources available to them on market data that helps them to price your home correctly, in order to get it sold in the shortest time frame possible, for the most money. Studies substantiate that homes priced correctly from the start are more likely to sell quickly and for a higher price than those properties that sit on the market for long periods of time. Time on market decreases value. Period. Therefore, isn't it important to get it right?
A real estate agent is able to look at your home from an objective viewpoint and make suggestions as to what needs to occur before the home is listed in order to maximize the sales price. This may be in the form of necessary repairs or staging. A real estate agent will also be able to point out areas of concern that might pop up on an inspection, suggesting that your rectify them before listing so as to avoid additional cost once in the midst of a transaction.
Sure, a FSBO could get lucky and have someone in the neighborhood that wants their home, but the reality of today's real estate market is that over 96% people start their home search on the internet. Therefore, the most important aspect of selling any home is to get it marketed on the internet and out in front of as many people as posssible, for a successful successful sale. Although FSBO's may list their home on a website they will have no where near the exposure that a trained agent has. Real estate agents will list your home on at least one Multiple Listing Service (MLS), thus marketing to the thousands of other agents that are members of the MLS. Each of these agents are likely working with several buyers that wouldn't have known about your home if it didn't get listed on the MLS. Your home will be will be featured on the real estate companies website, and listing with a broker that has a national platform, such as Coldwell Banker Prime Properties, you'll gain even more exposure. Additionally, Coldwell Banker Prime Properties agents are trained in methods that boost your home to the top of an internet search.
Real estate agents usually have an inventory of available properties and buyers are likely to seek them out for this purpose and to establish a buyers agency so that they can benefit from their expertise and representation. A real estate agent will pre-qualify buyers before taking them through your home. This means that they're serious buyers, prepared to make an offer if they like the home, are credit worthy, and have been pre-qualified by a lender for a certain dollar amount.
A real estate agent is able to show the home when you're not available, but also when it's convenient for the buyers. Buyers who have to wait to coordinate with your schedule to see the home are likely to move on. Buyers often feel uncomfortable looking through a home with the owners present. They won't open closets or cupboards because they feel like they're invading your privacy; they won't ask questions for fear of offending you. But usually these same buyers have developed a rapport with their agent and are comfortable asking questions and looking in those closets. All of these are important in getting the house sold as opposed to just having "lookers" trapze through your home.
Once an offer is received on your home this is where the true value of a trained real estate agent comes in. The negotiating process. Very often homeowners have an emotional attachment to the home and this clouds their ability to view the transaction as strictly a business endeavour, which it is. Your agent will advise you, will negotiate (of course at your direction) for the best possible price, will assure that all legally required documents and disclosures are part of the documentation, will track important dates in the contract to be certain they're met, will represent you during the inspection and appraisal process, and will get you to the closing table. Without this oversight and expertise, it's too easy for the transaction to fall apart and you'll be back at square one.
There's probably a multitude of other reasons why using a real estate agent is to the seller's benefit, but this list alone should convince you that working with a professional is in your best interest.