You may be interested in a similar approach to selling your house. In an age of do-it-yourselfers and self-starters, you may be wondering, do I need a real estate agent?
It’s understandable that you want to eliminate the middleman and move confidently toward the FSBO sale. The national average commission rate is 5.8%. However, this decision can leave you feeling frustrated and stressed.
As you make this decision, consider whether you are able to identify with any of these signs.
1. It would be difficult to market your home or answer phone calls if you have a day job.
When you are completing an executive review or crunching spreadsheet numbers, will you give up everything to respond to homebuyer show requests?
We didn’t believe so. You’re not the only one.
The intensity of American work culture is evident with the average American professional working over 34 hours per week, and 64% of families having two parents who are employed.
If you have a lot of professional and personal obligations, it’s rare that you find time to squeeze in a spin class or some quality downtime. Or you might be a master at time management and scheduling.
It can seem impossible to list your home, schedule showings, and navigate paperwork all while still managing your day. This is why 89% of homeowners chose an agent to help them sell their homes in 2022.
Although it may appear that the life of a realtor is a series of champagne-laden open houses, it’s not easy.
Many people don’t realize the amount of work involved in selling a house and believe that it is an easy job.
“Full-time realtors(r), like myself, do this every day, nothing other,” says Martin Tokos. has 18 years of industry experience and sold homes 52% faster that the average Malden agent. Many people think of real estate agents who have a license simply because they enjoy looking at houses and helping one or two others.
These are just a few of the many tasks your agent will handle while you’re at work.
- Hosting and scheduling tours
- Calling prospective buyers
- Photography and staging
- Creating listings on MLS or other platforms
- Sign-making and posting
- Social media sharing and client networking
- Negotiating with buyers and making offers
A team with an agent makes it easier and more stress-free to manage your business. This allows you to concentrate on your S&P gains or your fantasy football lineup, while your agent takes care of the day-to-day tasks.
2. You would like to sell your house as quickly as possible.
In an effort to save money, most homeowners sell their homes alone. They believe they can save money by selling their home without an agent and get a better return on their investment. This is not always true. Recent reports show that the median selling price for FSBO homes is approximately $24,000 lower than those sold by agents.
Black Knight has partnered with Collateral Analytics, a leading real-estate data source, to confirm the findings. To determine the price difference between FSBOs and traditional agent-represented sales, they looked at a variety of geographic real estate markets including Phoenix, San Diego, and Boston. The study revealed that FSBOs are able to sell for 5.5%, or even 6%, less than traditional agent-assisted sales.
You were concerned about the 5.8% commission? You could lose that money if you undersell your home without an agent. Many homebuyers view FSBOs as a guaranteed win, as they act as a buffer during the negotiation process.
Tokos mentions that many sellers don’t fully understand the market conditions and nuances of the negotiation process. “This can give the buyer’s agent an advantage — and allow them to negotiate with the seller down by quite a bit.”
The buyer’s agent is not only an expert in negotiation but also has years of experience in local markets and transactions. This gives them a distinct advantage.
Tokos describes how he helps homeowners to protect their prices by prepping for inspection. This is to make sure buyers don’t ask for credit or negotiate.
3. It would be preferable to have someone who is experienced in handling unfamiliar paperwork.
Although it can vary from one state to the next, a real property transaction can involve up to 180 pages worth of paperwork. This can make it seem overwhelming for many sellers who have to deal with this type of paperwork on their own.
It will be easier to have an expert verify the accuracy of each crossed “t” and dotted “i”, and save you time and headaches later.
Mandatory disclosures are another part of the puzzle and require a lot more paperwork. The seller could be held responsible if they fail to disclose important information to buyers.
According to the National Association of Realtors (r), 30% of home sales were held up in October 2020 because of various obstacles such as title, inspections, and financing. Each step of the process is complicated and can lead to misunderstandings that could negatively impact your ability to close the deal.
The most difficult task for FSBO sellers is understanding the paperwork. This is why your agent will offer you services in most states that include an evaluation and review of all paperwork.
Your agent will assist you from reviewing offers to closing the deal. They will be your guide through the finer points of negotiation terms.
What does all the hard work of an agent mean to you? Your attorney will spend less time billing you.
4. You are in a rush to sell your property or you have a deadline for moving out.
According to FSBO sellers, selling within the timeframe was one of the five most difficult tasks. This is not ideal if time is tight. Finding a buyer without the assistance of an agent is one of the greatest challenges in FSBO.
Agents bring a wealth of knowledge and negotiation skills to sellers. An agent who is a top-notch professional will have a large network of clients and potential buyers ready to help them buy their dream home.
Solo sellers can’t replicate this exposure, no matter how well-respected their social media profiles may be. Tokos says, “With top agents, it really is the exposure you get for your home.”
If an FSBO sells quickly, it is likely that the seller had a buyer in mind before listing the property. NAR reports that 52% of FSBO sellers sold their homes to someone they knew in 2020. This could be a relative, friend, or neighbor.
5. You can price your home without a real estate agent by using the internet.
Pricing your home accurately is important and requires the ability to evaluate all elements that affect its value. While estimators can be helpful, it is difficult to price a home correctly.
Tokos shares the challenges and nuance of pricing. Some sellers may not be able to understand the implications of certain elements, such as a wider driveway or the size and slope of your lot.
Although your home may look the same as your neighbor’s, subtle differences can drastically affect its value. The proximity to an airport or noisy highway is two examples of features that can lower the value of your house. This makes pricing difficult and nuanced.
A real estate agent can help you assess the value and price of your home. This will ensure that your pricing strategy is precise.
It is not easy to assess the home’s value and analyze recent sales to gain a real understanding of its market value. It can be difficult to find enough comparable sales and make sure that all details are included in your home.
It may be possible for people with strong Wi-Fi connections and a determined spirit to do it, but it might not be practical for everyone. A professional can help you navigate the complexities of CMAs.
Tokos shares his tips with sellers on how to improve the value of their homes before they list them on the market.
6. This house has been your home for many years and you have many fond memories.
Although we try to not let emotions take over, selling your home is a significant milestone that can tug at your otherwise calm heartstrings.
Do I need a real estate agent to sell my house? Yes, you do.
An agent in real estate brings an objective view, leaving behind emotional baggage and relying solely on professional instincts.
Negotiation is an art form that can be complex on its own. Add emotions to the mix, and you have a new animal.
Overpricing can be caused by emotions, as well as the horrible dance that ensues. Sellers who set unrealistic prices can make buyers feel insulted if they are offered a lower price and refuse to negotiate.
Tokos shares the fact that some homeowners are prone to emotional reactions during negotiations, which can lead to poor decisions and tricky transactions. The worst-case scenario is when the FSBO seller becomes upset, and the deal may be ended.
An agent can help you with pricing and constructive criticism. An agent can provide advice that maximizes your profit.
7. A highly skilled agent can help you reduce stress and make your life easier by taking over the tasks listed above.
There is no law that states you have to use a Realtor in order to sell your house. There’s a reason that only 8% of home sellers do it themselves. Agents are there to help you get the best price, guide you through the process, and protect your sanity from demanding buyers.
Tokos points out that the real estate industry is a mixed bag and not all agents are equal. Depending on who you are with, you may be either on the right path to success or doom in real estate.
It’s important to research your options so that your agent selection is targeted and purposeful.
Finding a good agent and selling a house can be difficult. But, it doesn’t have to be.