There’s a lot to think about when it comes to selling a home. So much, in fact, that many opt for the assistance of a realtor to guide them through the entire process. But are realtors worth it?
Why Realtors Are Helpful
Selling a home without a realtor is time-consuming, complicated and can still cost you quite a bit of money. While realtors receive up to 6% of the home’s final selling price in commission, clients in turn receive professional service and guidance through an otherwise complicated process. In order to save time, confusion and even legal fees, many homeowners simply hand over the primary responsibilities to an agent.
If you choose to sell without a realtor, chances are you will still be working with a buyers’ agent, putting you at risk during negotiations (source). Those who don’t have the time, real estate education, energy or marketing experience typically benefit from hiring a realtor.
The Multiple Listing Service
The multiple listing service, or MLS, is an exclusive source used by agents everywhere to search for and sell properties on behalf of clients (source). Many realtors will only show homes that are listed on the MLS. This service, however, is offered solely to real estate agents; therefore, homeowners looking to sell are not technically allowed to add a listing to the MLS. That being said, there are some agencies that charge a flat fee to post homes for sale by owner.
Marketing, Paperwork and Loose Ends
There is a myriad of marketing responsibilities involved in selling a property, such as:
- Keeping the home show-ready
- Taking appealing photos
- Writing a detailed description of the home
- Creating and posting promotional fliers and “for sale” signs
- Listing the home for an accurate price
Aside from marketing, real estate agents screen potential buyers, reviewing pre-approved letters from lending companies to ensure the buyer is approved for the price of purchase. Individuals who sell without a real estate agent typically still hire real estate attorneys at the end of the sales process to give advice and review final contracts. A small oversight can become an expensive legal fee when a homeowner attempts to sell without the assistance of a realtor.
But Is Hiring a Realtor More Money Than It Is Worth?
In Britain, realtors who perform the same job as agents in the United States receive 2-3% commission of the final sales price (source); that is half of the commission promised to realtors in the US.
Commission can add up to thousands of dollars for homeowners looking to sell. To make matters worse, two thirds of clients select a realtor based on a previous personal relationship or a referral from family or friends (source), often making it uncomfortable to voice concern throughout the sales process.
What You Need to Know to Sell Without a Realtor
In order to sell without the assistance of a real estate agent, you must:
- Price your home appropriately
- Be ready for criticism and rejection when it comes to your home (often an overlooked and sensitive issue for self-sellers)
- Be available to show your home often and respond to inquiries in a timely manner
- Be prepared to work with a buyer’s agent
- Take responsibility for all sales and marketing
- Be comfortable with the contract and the steps to take when closing a deal
So, Are Realtors Worth It?
The professional assistance of a realtor can greatly simplify the selling process. This ease of mind, however, can come with a substantial price tag.
If you want to sell your home quickly, without the added expense of a realtor or the responsibility of selling on your own, there is another option: Fair Property Buyers will purchase your home quickly and at a fair price—regardless of its condition. This way, there’s no need to spend money out-of-pocket or waste your precious time and energy. Contact Fair Property Buyers today for a free consultation and an alternative selling experience.