No one said that selling real estate was cheap. In fact, it can be downright expensive. Because of the potentially hefty price tag associated with selling, many sellers may be tempted to go it alone without the help of a seasoned real estate agent in an effort to save some money in commissions.
But while they think they may be avoiding some fees, solo sellers might actually be biting off more than they can chew. In fact, most sellers regret not employing the services of a real estate agent and wind up calling a professional at some point throughout the transaction.
Here are a few reasons why you might regret not hiring a real estate agent to help you sell your home.
1. You Don’t Have the Training and Experience
There’s a lot to know about selling real estate than just how to post a listing on MLS. Selling a house takes a lot of industry knowledge and know-how to ensure a successful transaction. Without the help of an agent, you’ll have to acquire all of this information on your own if you want to come out on the other end with a successful deal.
Many sellers who go the FSBO route regret not using a realtor for the simple fact that these professionals have far more education and experience that could have come in handy when marketing the property and negotiating a contract.
2. You Don’t Have the Inside Scoop of the Neighborhood
Sure, you may have lived in your home for a while, but how well do you know the area in terms of real estate value and what buyers might be willing to spend in your area? Do you know what buyers are looking for in a home in your neighborhood? In-depth knowledge of real estate in a particular community is crucial to ensuring a lucrative deal.
Real estate agents have in-depth knowledge and are experienced in finding the pertinent info about your neighborhood. They have the tools to find comparable sales to help you identify how much your home is worth, which will come in handy when it comes time to price your home.
They’ll also know the type of buyers searching in the area and what they’re looking for in a home to help you market it accordingly and attract an offer quickly. Unless you’re an agent yourself, you won’t be able to take advantage of this insider information.
3. You Won’t Have a Buffer Between You and Buyers
Do you really want to hear buyers complain and nit-pick about your home at showings and open houses? Do you want to wheel and deal directly with buyers at the negotiating table? Selling real estate is a highly emotional experience for sellers.
It’s not surprising to know that debates on price and other factors can get pretty heated between buyers and sellers. Part of the job of a real estate agent is to act as a buffer between buyers and sellers so that the transaction can proceed in a professional way without any heated exchanges.
4. You’ll Spend a Lot of Time Fielding Calls and Scheduling Showings
Like most Americans, you probably have a job to go to every day. As such, you probably don’t have a lot of free time to dedicate to selling your home. Real estate agents spend a lot of time taking phone calls, booking showings, hosting open houses, marketing the property, and networking with other agents to get the word out there about a listing.
Do you have the time and the network do all that? Probably not, which is a solid reason why an agent should be part of your sales team.
5. You Won’t Know Exactly How Much to List For
You might be tempted to price your home high in order to profit handsomely. But arbitrarily picking a price based on what you believe (whether accurately or falsely) your home is worth is not the way to sell a home in a reasonable amount of time. In fact, you could be sabotaging the sale of your home if you don’t price according to market values.
Real estate agents help guide their clients to make the right choices in terms of listing prices. They’re able to use the tools available to them and the knowledge they’ve acquired through training and experience to establish an appropriate listing price.
If you can come with the right listing price for your home, you stand the best chance of selling quickly and for top dollar. On the other hand, listing at a price that does not accurately reflect the current market will leave you high and dry.
6. You’ll Have to Gather All the Industry Experts Yourself
Selling real estate rarely only involves just a real estate agent. Typically, there are plenty of other experts that are involved with these types of transactions, such as lawyers, escrow companies, title insurance companies, home inspectors, home stagers, and contractors. These services are usually needed to successfully sell real estate.
Having an agent working with you will afford you with the benefit of being able to tap into their network of professionals. Sure, you can always find and choose your own professionals, but an agent can offer you recommendations of experts that they’ve previously had positive experiences with. For this reason, your agent can help you make the best decisions on who to work with.
7. You’ll Have to Deal With a Lot of Paperwork
Today’s real estate purchase agreements are several pages long and are filled with a ton of jargon that you might not understand. On top of the actual contract, there is usually other paperwork that is typically associated with transferring property ownership.
Not only is all that documentation time-consuming to go through, it can even land you in legal hot water if there is anything missing or incorrect. You don’t want to be on the hook for any mishaps with real estate paperwork, and you don’t have to be if you let the experts in real estate handle all that pesky paperwork for you.
8. You Might Not Have the Appropriate Negotiating Skills
Negotiating the sale price and all other terms of the contract requires a good deal of skill, level-headedness, and experience. If you’re the emotional type and have little to no experience wheeling and dealing real estate deals, you could wind up with a transaction that doesn’t benefit you as much as it could have had you hired an experienced real estate agent to handle the negotiations for you.
The Bottom Line
A real estate transaction is not the time to attempt a DIY endeavor. Your home sale is a big deal and is certainly not something that you want to mess up. As such, you’d be well advised to team up with an agent who knows all the ins and outs of selling real estate so that you don’t end up making mistakes along the way that can cost you a lot more than what you may have saved in commission fees.