Should You Sell Your Home Without a Real Estate Agent?
Selling a home is a big responsibility with a lot of money at stake. This transaction is both emotional and financially important. There are so many decisions that must be made about the logistics of moving, where to move and what price to ask for your home.
One of the biggest decisions faced by sellers is whether they will use a real estate agent. While some sellers in high-traffic and highly-desirable neighborhoods may put a sign in the yard and get multiple offers quickly. This is not the norm. Many inexperienced sellers with busy schedules feel compelled to turn this task over to an agent for practical reasons.
As sellers try to decide whether to sell their own home, they must ask themselves some important questions before making a final decision. Do they know how to attract buyers? Do they know how to price the house? Do they know how to read and negotiate a real estate contract? Do they know the steps necessary to close on the home once they sell it? Answering "No" to any of these questions does not mean a seller can't sell it themself, but it does mean they need to learn the answers to these questions.
The 7 Steps You Should Take to Determine Whether to Sell On Your Own
- Conduct research on the process of selling your house.
- Decide on important questions to ask agents.
- Research, identify and interview real estate agents.
- Determine the cost of using different agents and what services they are offering for the commission rate being charged.
- Decide whether you believe you are capable of selling your home on your own based on the time it takes and your expertise or ability to develop the skills necessary.
- Compare different agents' offerings.
- Make a final decision about whether you want to sell your house on your own or hire an agent.
The 7 Steps Explained
There are many ways to research selling a home. Sellers can get online and do a lot of the work. By consulting different articles about how to sell a home on your own, you can learn a lot. Remember to consider the source when you read these articles. Obviously, if a real estate agent or broker writes the article, they are going to try and convince you that you need an agent.
Price is one of the main factors you need to research. Find out what other similar homes in your neighborhood have sold for in the last six months. That will give you an idea about a good asking price. You have to factor in any mortgage owed and real estate commissions you would pay if you hire a realtor. This exercise will definitely shed some light on a seller's decision.
Zillow is a recommended site to scour while you compare prices. There are also tax sites for many counties that will show what homes have sold for in the neighborhood. It is important to remember that asking price has little relevance. Overly ambitious sellers often ask a lot more for their home than they eventually get for it. The price homes sell for is what needs to be considered as sellers try and decide on a price.
The good news is that agents interviewed will typically recommend a selling price. They consult with listing services to get solid data. Agents are a great source of information that you can use if you decide to sell the home yourself.
Be sure and ask agents what their commission rate is. You also need to know about the length of the listing period, and how they plan to market your home. Get as many details as possible.
Ask about how much experience they have and why you should hire them over other agents. Their answers will be helpful if you decide to use an agent and need to compare experience levels and professionalism.
Use the information provided by the agents and try and determine whether you feel capable of selling the house yourself. Be honest with yourself about the time you have available and whether you can sell it by yourself in the timeframe necessary.
Factor in the commission rates being charged as you calculate the price of the home you are selling and the equity you hope to pocket. Sometimes, commission rates are so high that you really can't afford to hire an agent if you don't have enough equity in the house.
After running the numbers and considering the steps you need to take to sell your own home, make a final decision. Remember, you can try to sell it on your own first, then get an agent later if it becomes too difficult.