Should You Use An Agent to Sell Your Home?

April 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Real Estate Investing

Many homeowners choose to try to save money in real estate agent commissions by posting their home ‘For Sale By Owner,’ or FSBO in the real estate world. This commission can reach as high as 6% of the sale price, but you must consider the time and energy that a seasoned professional may be able to put toward selling your home that you may not.

Expansive advertising methods available exclusively to agents provide a wider audience to entice a buyer, and an agent will also handle showings for you. If you are not willing to put the time and energy into doing these things yourself, you should probably retain the services of a good real estate agent.

Don’t forget that you will need to spend money on advertising if you sell your home yourself, too. Newspaper ads and flyers can get quite expensive, especially if the home doesn’t sell immediately – and there’s no way of knowing when this will happen!

If you home sells for $200,000, a 6% commission will amount to $12,000 for the agent. Depending upon the amount of equity you have in your home, this can be very expensive. However, you can always try negotiating payment of the commission with your buyer, either asking them to pay it in full or splitting it with you.

Agents also provide other advantages, such as living and breathing the housing market in your area. They can easily asses a good price to list your home at, and help you to adjust it to account for a shorter selling time. Even a 1 or 2% difference in price can make the difference between your home being on the market for a year versus a month or two.

A trained real estate agent will also know what features of your home will attract the most buyers, and play up these features to entice additional showings. Don’t forget that most prospective buyers team up with one real estate agent that is familiar with their needs and interests, so contacting an agent may immediately find you one or two potential offers.

All this being said, it is still possible to post your home FSBO and be successful. If you are just trying to quickly rid of it, you can post a sign and a few online ads at a low enough price. Utilizing all the tools available on the Internet today can help you reach a wide audience of potential buyers – you can even post your own FSBO website featuring only your property and add a mortgage loan calculator if you’re computer-savvy!

Even if you don’t use a real estate agent or broker, you’ll need to seek out the aid of a real estate attorney or other professional along the line. Purchase agreements and other contracts will need to be drafted, and things such as inspections and title searches will be conducted.

A good place to start may be with your current mortgage lender to ask for a great referral or tools such as generic contracts which may apply to your situation.