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Sell Smarter: Why Working with a Real Estate Agent May Beat Going Solo

The True Cost of Selling Your House on Your Own

If you’re thinking about selling your house on your own, called “For Sale by Owner” or FSBO, there are some important things to consider. Going this route means taking on a lot of responsibilities by yourself – and that can be a bit of a headache. These sellers often encounter various challenges without the guidance of a real estate agent. If you’re currently considering selling your house on your own, here’s what you should know.

The most recent Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) surveyed homeowners who’d recently sold their own homes and asked what difficulties they faced. Those sellers say some of the greatest challenges were prepping their home for sale, pricing it right, and properly managing the required paperwork, just to name a few.

A recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found two of the most difficult tasks for people who sell their house on their own are getting the price right and understanding and performing paperwork.

Here are just a few of the ways an agent helps with those difficult tasks.

Getting the Price Right

Setting the right price for your house is important when you’re trying to sell it. If you’re selling your house on your own, two common issues can happen. For starters, you might ask for too much money (overpricing). Alternatively, you might not ask for enough (underpricing). Either can make it hard to sell your house. According to NerdWallet:

“When selling a home, first impressions matter. Your house’s market debut is your first chance to attract a buyer and it’s important to get the pricing right. If your home is overpriced, you run the risk of buyers not seeing the listing.

 . . . But price your house too low and you could end up leaving some serious money on the table. A bargain-basement price could also turn some buyers away, as they may wonder if there are any underlying problems with the house.”

To avoid these problems, it’s a good idea to team up with a real estate agent. Real estate agents know how to figure out the perfect price because they understand the local housing market. They can use their expertise to set a price that matches what buyers are willing to pay, giving your house the best chance to impress from the start.

Understanding and Performing Paperwork

Selling a house involves a bunch of paperwork and legal documentation that has to be just right. There are a lot of rules and regulations to follow, making it a bit tricky for homeowners to manage everything on their own. Without a pro by your side, you could end up facing liability risks and legal complications.

Real estate agents are experts in all the contracts and paperwork needed for selling a house. They know the rules and can guide you through it all, reducing the chance of mistakes that might lead to legal problems or delays.

So, instead of dealing with the growing pile of documents on your own, team up with an agent who can be your advisor, helping you avoid any legal bumps in the road.

When it comes to selling your most valuable asset, consider the invaluable support that a real estate agent can provide. By partnering with an agent, you can navigate the complexities of the selling process with confidence. Here are just a few of the many ways an agent is essential to your home sale:

1. Marketing and Exposure

Effective marketing is a key piece of attracting qualified buyers to your property. Real estate agents have access to various marketing tools and platforms, including MLS listings, professional photography, virtual tours, and extensive professional networks. They can create a compelling listing that highlights your home’s best features and reaches a wider audience.

If you sell on your own, you may struggle to match the reach of agents, resulting in limited exposure and, ultimately, fewer potential buyers.

2. Managing Liability and Legal Considerations

Today, more disclosures and regulations are mandatory when selling a house. And all that paperwork and all the legal aspects of selling a home can be a lot to manage. Selling a house without professional guidance exposes homeowners to potential liability risks and legal complications.

Real estate agents are well-versed in the contracts, disclosures, and regulations necessary during a sale. Their expertise helps minimize the risk of errors or omissions that could lead to legal disputes or delays.

3. Negotiations and Contracts

Negotiating the terms of a home sale can be challenging, especially when emotions are involved. You may find it overwhelming to navigate these negotiations alone. Without an agent, you assume this responsibility on your own. This means you’ll have full accountability for working and negotiating with:

  • The buyer, who wants the best deal possible.
  • The buyer’s agent, who will use their expertise to advocate for the buyer.
  • The home inspection company, who works for the buyer.
  • The home appraiser, who assesses the property’s value to protect the lender.

Rather than going toe-to-toe with all these parties alone, lean on an expert. Real estate agents act as intermediaries, skillfully negotiating on your behalf and ensuring that your best interests are protected. They have experience in handling tough negotiations, counteroffers, and contingencies. When you sell your house yourself, you’ll need to be prepared to manage these vendors on your own.

4. Pricing and Housing Market Knowledge

Determining the right asking price for your property is crucial. It requires in-depth knowledge of the local real estate market, including recent sales data, neighborhood trends, and the current demand for properties. Real estate agents have access to comprehensive market data and the expertise to analyze it accurately.

When you sell your house on your own without this comprehensive information, you risk overpricing or underpricing your home. This can result in an extended time on the market and also the risk of leaving money on the table – which decreases your future buying power. An agent is a key piece of the pricing puzzle.

Bottom Line

While selling a home on your own might seem appealing at first, the challenges that come with it can quickly become overwhelming. The expertise that a real estate agent brings to the table is vital for a successful sale. Instead of tackling it alone, let’s connect to make sure you have an expert on your side.

Matt Willis
Opelika, AL
Qualified Broker, REALTOR®
(334) 663-2950
matt@crawfordwillisgroup.com

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