Should You Hire a Real Estate Agent?

If you’re selling your home, you have a lot to consider. The first question you’ll encounter is if you are going to hire a real estate agent or try to sell for sale by owner (FSBO).

The traditional way of selling (using an agent) may seem a bit pricey, which could deter you. However, selling your home independently through an FSBO site will require a lot of hard work on your end. In the end, you’ll have to decide, what does your time cost to you?

If your time is valuable, you won’t be able to spend the time to list your own home. You won’t be able to spend countless hours managing your FSBO home while looking for another home, working your full-time job and taking care of your family. These are the reasons why you should hire a traditional real estate agent instead of attempting FSBO.

1. Marketing and advertising a house takes a great deal of time. Also, each advertising or marketing effort will cost you. Maybe you are a great photographer or have one in your contacts. If you aren’t a professional, you’re going to have to hire one. With an agent, you wouldn’t have to worry about getting a professional. They would do it for you, and the price would come out of their fee.Agents have for sale yard signs already made. You will have to make and buy one yourself - and they are not cheap!Do you have the time to list your home on multiple real estate and advertising websites? People search on a variety of websites for their desired properties, and there are a large amount out there. You will have to get your home on a Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This is a service for real estate agents so they know which listings are for sale. Usually, agents will allow FSBO listings on these services as long as the homeowners pay for the service.

2. Agents will have better connections. Selling agents and buying agents often work together. Your selling agent might offer a percentage of his or her fee to a buying agent if the home is purchased. This will incentivize buying agents to show your house. Buyer’s agents typically expect a cut from the selling agent so if you choose to not work with an agent, far fewer buyers will be looking at your home. FSBO sellers will also have to find people to help them complete the sale. Whereas agents will know real estate attorneys, appraisers, and contractors, FSBO sellers will need to hire each individually.

3. Agents know the true value of your home. You have lived in your home and, therefore, you’re connected to it. There is a strong chance you would not price it correctly. Your children grew up here. You might find more sentimental value and place a higher price than what people are willing to pay. If that’s the case, and it sits on the market too long, people will start wondering what’s wrong with your home. It will get fewer and fewer interested buyers as months go on. On the other hand, you also know every dent and scratch in your home. You might end up pricing your home far too low and get lower than you would have if you had hired an agent. While we’re talking about sentimental value, the emotional side of selling your home should not be overlooked. You’ve made memories in this house and it will hurt when buyers try to negotiate your pricing. People will bring up all the shortcomings of your home, and you need to be ready for that.

4. The new systems to selling your home, such as Open Door, still charge a service fee. Though the service fee may be a small percentage lower, it does not make up for the time spent on my end.

It is for these reasons that I would choose the stress-free option of using a real estate agent instead of attempting FSBO. Some people who choose FSBO, never sell and have to revert to an agent’s help anyway.