Selling Your House with a Real Estate Agent
Some people will tell you that trying to sell a home on your own is a recipe for problems. Still others say you can save thousands of dollars when selling without a real estate agent. So who’s right? Can both be right? Yes, you can save thousands of dollars on real estate commissions but those commissions are paid to those who are professionals at buying and selling real estate. Real estate agents buy and sell every day whereas you may only buy two or three homes throughout your lifetime.
Depending upon where you live, a typical real estate agent’s commission is somewhere around five or six percent. If your home is worth say $250,000, a six percent commission turns out to be $15,000. That’s how much you could save by listing the home on your own. If your goal is to net as much money as possible then it’s likely doing the “For Sale By Owner or FSBO” thing has crossed your mind. But do you really save that much money?
First, a real estate agent’s commission is negotiable. If the predominant listing fee is say six percent that doesn’t automatically mean that’s what you’re going to pay. Real estate agents compete for your business and one of the things they can negotiate is their fee. Remember, that unless the agent is also the broker of record for the real estate office, your agent will also share part of the commission with their broker. When you interview different real estate agents they will all prepare what is called a Comparative Market Analysis, or CMA. This compares recent sales of homes in your area with a proposed list price.
The agent will research sales over the previous 12 months as well as active listings to come to an amount that will provide you with the greatest return. The agent will inspect your home taking into consideration any upgrades and other features of your home that will add value. This amount can vary based upon how long you’re willing to wait for the home to sell. If you want to sell quickly, the agent will provide you with a price. If you have plenty of time and can wait for the right offer to come in, there will be a higher price. This is where the agent’s experience comes into play. Preparing the right price along with an anticipated “Days on Market” is based upon the agent’s research and experience in your neighborhood. Your home will be staged properly. Curb appeal will be enhanced and the home will be marketed. Just having your home listed in the local multiple listing service is worth the price of admission alone.
If you decide to sell on your own saving money, you won’t have access to sales information that your agent does. It’s very possible that you list your home for sale at a low price which costs you thousands. To get the highest price, you need to market your home to the widest audience possible and that comes from your real estate agent. You can post your property on various FSBO websites but they don’t get nearly the traffic that your agent can provide.