One of the many decisions that has to be made by homeowners when selling their house is whether they should hire a real estate agent to sell their house or sell it on their own. A homeowner who decides to sell their own house is often referred to as a “for sale by owner” or FSBO.
Statistics show that the majority of FSBOs fail when attempting to sell their house. There are many reasons why for sale by owners in real estate don’t work. Even though the majority of FSBOs fail in real estate, it is possible that a homeowner can sell their own house.
Homeowners who are asking themselves whether to hire a real estate agent should not feel like they are weird or crazy. The reality is that the question whether to hire a real estate agent to sell a home or not is one of the most FAQs from home sellers.
Before you decide whether to hire a real estate agent to sell your house or not, make sure you read the information below to help you decide whether hiring a real estate agent is the right choice or whether you should attempt selling your house as a for sale by owner.
Should You Hire A Real Estate Agent To Sell Your House?
Since approximately 90% of FSBOs fail, there are many reasons why a homeowner should hire a real estate agent to sell their house. Below are many things a homeowner needs to consider when determining whether they should hire a real estate agent to sell their house.
Properly Pricing A House Is Critical
Pricing in real estate is the number one factor of whether a house sells or does not sell. One of the most important reasons why a homeowner should hire a real estate agent to sell their house is for their knowledge and experience with properly pricing houses.
There are many real estate pricing mistakes that are made by homeowners as well as real estate agents that need to be avoided, however, having an experienced top notch listing agent will greatly reduce the chance these mistakes are made.
Top notch real estate agents will use a variety of pricing methods and tactics to properly determine the proper listing price for a house. Many of the real estate pricing methods and tactics that are used by real estate agents are foreign language to homeowners.
An example of a pricing method that many top notch real estate professionals use to properly price a house is a comparative market analysis, also known as a CMA.
Visibility & Exposure
Your House Gets Lots Of Visibility & Maximum Exposure When You Hire A Top Real Estate Agent
One thing that homeowners who hire a real estate agent should expect from their Realtor when selling their house is tons of visibility and exposure for their house. High visibility and maximum exposure is a very important reason to hire a real estate agent to sell a house.
There are many things a top notch real estate agent will do to give the houses they are selling maximum exposure and high visibility. One of the first things a real estate agent will do when listing a house for sale is post it to their local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This puts a house in front of other local real estate agents who may have the perfect buyer for the house. A house that is not listed in the MLS cannot reach these local real estate agents and likely will lead to a lower sale price.
Other marketing avenues and tactics that top notch real estate agents will promote the houses they are selling to obtain maximum exposure include;
- Professionally designed website
- Highly ranked real estate blog
- Various social media sites
- Craigslist and other local online classifieds
- Real estate section in local newspaper
- Local television stations
The internet has had a huge impact on the real estate industry. A top notch real estate agent stays up to date on how the newest technologies and knows where potential home buyers are are shopping for houses that are for sale in their local area. A real estate agent who stays current on the newest technologies will likely have a highly ranking website, which is reason enough to hire a real estate agent when selling a house since the majority of home buyers are starting their house hunt online.
Screening Potential Buyers
Another perk of hiring a real estate agent when selling a house is their ability to screen potential buyers. The ability to know how to properly screen potential buyers is a trait that top Realtors possess. When selling a house, whether you hire a real estate agent or not, it’s important to understand the difference between a pre-approval and pre-qualification.
When you hire a real estate agent to sell your house who is experienced and knowledgeable, you greatly increase the chances that qualified buyers are walking through your house. A top Realtor will understand what questions they should ask inquiring buyers regarding their financing which can eliminate wasting time on non-qualified home buyers.
A top Realtor will also know the importance of securing a buyer who is pre-approved versus a buyer who is pre-qualified. A pre-qualified buyer is much weaker than a buyer who has went through the mortgage pre-approval process. A top Realtor should be able to identify when purchase offers are received which buyers are the strongest and advise a homeowner on who they believe is the strongest candidate to purchase their house.
Make Suggestions To Maximize Sale Price
When selling a house, the number one goal is to maximize the sale price. Another reason to hire a real estate agent to sell your house is the ability they have to make suggestions that will maximize the sale price of a home.
There are many things to know before selling a house, such as the importance of properly preparing a house for the market. Something as simple as knowing how to stage a room or properly declutter a home can yield a seller more money in their pocket from the sale of their house.
Below are some of the popular suggestions that sellers may hear when they hire a real estate agent to sell their house to maximize the sale price.
- Freshly paint rooms, especially those bold colors
- Update light fixtures
- Update ceiling fans
- Update hardware on cabinets
- Improve curb appeal
Real Estate Agents May Have Prospective Buyers
The dream scenario when selling your house is to secure a ready, willing, and able buyer within the first day or two on the market who is willing to pay top dollar for your house. When you hire a real estate agent to sell your house, one of the first instincts they have is to try and match a buyer they’re working with to your house. Top real estate agents will have a list of buyers they’re working with who may be a great fit for your home.
For example, recently while selling a home in Irondequoit, NY, I happened to have a first time home buyer that was referred to me who I felt would be a great fit for the sellers house. As a result, the first time home buyer ended up loving my sellers house and ended up placing an offer on the house the first day it was listed for sale. A quick, painless, and profitable sale for my seller which is exactly what every seller dreams of!
Should You Sell Your House As A For Sale By Owner (FSBO)?
Should I Sell My House As A For Sale By Owner (FSBO) – Details On What Considerations Should Be Made Before Deciding Whether to Attempt A FSBO or Not
There are tons of things that need to be factored into whether you should attempt to sell your house by owner or not. Below are many of the considerations that homeowners need to make before attempting a FSBO!
Do You Have The Time To Sell Your House?
Selling your own house can consume a considerable amount of time. One of the most important considerations that homeowners need to make before attempting a FSBO is whether they have the time it takes to sell their house.
One of the biggest time consuming activities it takes to sell a house is scheduling appointments. A house that is newly listed for sale, if priced properly, should have lots of inquiries immediately. What this means for a FSBO is fielding several phone calls a day from potential buyers and perhaps potential buyers real estate agents, if the homeowner is willing to pay a commission to a buyers real estate agent.
Homeowners who are considering a FSBO should ask themselves a few different questions to help determine whether they have the time to sell their house.
- Will my job allow me to field phone calls to coordinate appointments?
- Will I be able to be accommodate buyers and be able to show my house at times that work for their schedules?
- Will I have the time to promote my house being for sale on various websites to gain exposure and potential buyers?
- Will my schedule allow me to give access to my house to the home inspector and bank appraiser?
- Will I have the time to contact local newspapers and print media outlets to inquire about the process and cost of advertising my house?
Does A FSBO Make Sense Due To Financial Circumstances?
The most common reason a homeowner decides to sell their own house is because they financially cannot afford to hire a real estate agent. Real estate commissions are negotiable, but some homeowners aren’t able to afford to pay real estate commissions, also known as brokerage fees.
Depending on your circumstances, attempting to sell your own house maybe the only way to avoid potentially having to sell your house as a short sale. Short sales can be extremely tricky and in many cases are unsuccessful.
Even if you cannot afford to hire a real estate agent to sell your house, it’s important to strongly consider paying real estate commissions to a buyers real estate agent. Many buyers, especially first time buyers, will not go through the process without a real estate agent. If a buyer is interested in your house but you’re not willing to pay a buyers real estate agent, you may lose out on a large number of potential buyers for your house.
Do You Know How To Successfully Negotiate A Real Estate Contract?
Knowing how to sell a home as a for sale by owner is something that most homeowners have no idea about. One of the most important steps to a successful home sale is negotiating the real estate contract.
If a homeowner is familiar with the real estate contract and the terms and conditions that are set forth, it may not be necessary to hire a real estate agent. It’s important that homeowners who attempt to sell their own house understand the different real estate contract contingenciesthat buyers have the option to include in a purchase offer or not.
Selling a house as a FSBO still lacks many of the services that are received when a homeowner hires a real estate agent, but knowing how to navigate a real estate contract is often an area most FSBOs don’t have a clue about.
Some FSBOs will utilize a good real estate attorney to negotiate the real estate contract. It’s important to know what the cost is before agreeing to use their services. A great real estate attorney will obviously have a strong understanding of the legality of a real estate contract. One thing to be aware of when utilizing only a real estate attorney to negotiate a real estate contract is the possibility that they may not be as well versed in the practical aspect of the documents in comparison to a top notch real estate agent.
Should you hire a real estate agent to sell your house? The answer is NOT always “yes” you should. In most cases though, you should hire a real estate agent to sell your house. The above information provides many reasons why hiring a real estate agent versus selling your house as a for sale by owner is normally the better option.
If you decide to hire a real estate agent to sell your house, it’s vital that you select a top real estate agent. Understanding what interview questions to ask Realtors when selling your house is critical. By asking the right question, you greatly increase the chances you hire a top agent not a DUD!
Other Top Home Selling Resources
- Selling Your Home For Sale By Owner via Paul Sian
- 9 Reasons Listing With A Realtor Beats FSBO via Knox & Associates
- Strategies Realtors Use To Make Sellers More Money via Raleigh Realty
- 7 Traits To Look For In A Real Estate Agent via Loans101