The costs associated with selling a home appear to be very high to some and therefore, many consider selling without an agent. Is this an option for me?
I feel the first step required in order to answer this question is to define success for you in selling your home.
Does success mean closing a sale without an agent?
Selling without an agent for the top price?
Closing in less than 30 days
Net $ _____ at close of escrow
The answer depends on several factors; your home, your situation, your ability, and how much time you have available to devote to the task.
You may seek an attorney to provide assistance with the contract and related paperwork. However, how familiar is he/she with your specific market conditions?
Zillow and other online websites are not the best resources to use in pricing you home. They are not able to factor property condition, unique amenities and other distinctive features.
Real estate transactions are complicated. Some sellers may have limited access to the market data, but lack understanding in utilizing the information for their benefit. The law of supply and demand, the competition, and understanding how to identify and judge the best comparable sales are critical pricing factors. Then, bringing the parties together takes skilled negotiation. I have seen home sellers by owner (FSBO) give the commission they “saved” away to the buyer needlessly. They took all the risk, did all the work, endured all the stress and netted the same amount as if they had used an agent!
Most of us are rarely in the market and cannot learn enough to take advantage of how the industry works. Many home sellers starting down the FSBO path end up utilizing an agent for some or all of the work, wasting time and opportunities in the process.
While the real estate brokerage industry has numerous flaws, I believe the current system is the best method yet devised to bring the best buyers and sellers together.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), more than 90 percent of consumers choose an agent rather than trying to buy or sell on their own. Consumers apparently believe that avoiding an agent can be riskier, more time-consuming, and may not save money.
Think about the FSBO seller in this scenario.
They placed a “for sale” sign in the front yard
Advertised in FSBO magazines and online FSBO websites
Excluded the majority of home buyers that are using an agent with full access to the MLS.
Unfortunately, the seller is limiting their market, which is contrary to the law of supply and demand. The irony here is that even if they ultimately negotiate and close the sale, it is unlikely they will have saved any money.
The significant savings comes by identifying an excellent real estate agent, and knowing how to take advantage of their tools and their knowledge. Learning how to identify suitable agents is not easy to do, because marginal agents mimic the best agents in delivering a presentation, but cannot perform in the execution. Learning how to interview multiple agents for competency and then choosing the agent that best fits your circumstances and personality is the final step in agent selection.