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Should You Sell Your House Yourself?

Posted by Christie Gray on Tuesday, July 7th, 2015 at 10:28am.

Today I want to post about the option of doing For Sale By Owner.  Some home owners opt to sell their home themselves, without the service of a real estate agent.  This can be done successfully, but it's difficult and here are some reasons why I'd recommend using an agent rather than selling a home yourself:

1.  Commission -- You'll still have to pay commission to the buyer's agent regardless of whether you use an agent yourself or not.  The vast majority of buyers use an agent, so the seller is responsible for paying that agent's brokerage if that sale goes through.

2.  Coordination -- Your agent will coordinate open houses, showings, lockboxes, yard sign installation, home inspections, appraisal, and more.  All of these things take time, and many of them cost money.

3.  Marketing -- Providing a comprehensive marketing plan is one of the most valuable things that a Realtor can do for you.  We do this for all of our listings, so we know what works and what doesn't!  We also have access to the MLS, which is absolutely critical for getting a home sold for top dollar.

4.  Negotiation/Paperwork -- The RPA (Residential Purchase Agreement) is a dense form that takes a long time to learn inside and out.  Realtors are experienced at reading offers, negotiating properly, and sealing the deal.

5.  Sale Price -- For Sale By Owner homes, according to the NAR, sell for 80% of the amount that homes sold by Realtors sell for.  When you consider that the typical commission to a seller's agent is 3.5%, you can see that using a Realtor will usually save you a lot of money.

According to the National Association of Realtors, here are the items that For Sale by Owner sellers have the most trouble with:  

  • Understanding and performing paperwork: 18%

  • Getting the right price: 13%

  • Preparing/fixing up home for sale: 12%

  • Helping buyer obtain financing: 3%

  • Attracting potential buyers: 3%

  • Selling within the planned length of time: 7%

  • Having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale: 6%

Are you convinced yet!?   In my opinion, Realtors provide a great deal of expertise and value, and it behooves home sellers to utilize the professional services of an agent to ensure their transaction goes smoothly.


Related Posts: 

How to Get the Most Money When You Sell

What Sellers Should Expect from a Realtor 

What Does a Realtor Do To Earn Their Commission? 


Christie Gray is a full-time REALTOR in the San Diego area who enjoys sharing real estate-related content.  She is always striving to utilize the latest and greatest real estate technology to help her clients achieve their goals.  When she's not working, you'll find Christie spending time with her family, friends and pets, and exploring local craft breweries and restaurants. 

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