Sale By Owner Or With Agent?
Once you've decided to sell, one of the first questions you'll have
to address is: Should I hire an agent or try For Sale By Owner, known
in the trade as FSBO. There's lots of emotion surrounding this question
and it's difficult to get an unbiased opinion. While there is no simple
answer, there are a few questions you can ask to help you decide which
is best for you. Many sellers, thinking they can't afford to pay an
agent's commission, go it alone; and sometimes those sellers are disappointed
or worse. If you are not familiar with the sales process, it's easy
to get into trouble trying to sell without the help of a professional.
Since I have no relationship with either approach, I will give what
I think is an unbiased answer. I will describe both methods, and you
can choose the one that best fits your situation.
Real estate professionals are quick to point out one of their favorite
statistics. According to the National Association of Realtors®,
sellers who use an agent net approximately 16% more at closing. While
there's lots of disagreement on the methodology of arriving at that
number, I do believe that agent represented sellers on average net
more at closing than those who go it alone. How can that be? What
about the commission that can range up to 6%?
While it's true that agent represented sellers will pay a commission-in
today's market it's possible to negotiate a lower rate than what used
to be standard-FSBO sellers are often disadvantaged by not knowing
the actual value of their home. While anecdotal evidence may be helpful,
one can't just determine price based upon the selling-or especially
the listing-price of their neighbors' homes. What is needed is a Comparative
Market Analysis or CMA. Realtors® can easily do the research necessary
to determine the value of a property. Then, armed with that knowledge,
they can guide sellers during the negotiating process, keeping them
from lowering the price unnecessarily. Realtors® also will list
their properties in the Multiple Listing Service or MLS which exposes
the property to thousands of other Realtors® as well as millions
of potential buyers.
On the other hand, FSBO sellers can pay a fee for an MLS listing,
can do research on property values, and can do the marketing necessary
to find a buyer. The question is: Is the average seller willing to
do all that is necessary to sell their home or, more importantly,
are they even aware of what is necessary? And do they have the time
to dedicate to the process? Generally not. That's the major reason
that many FSBOs take longer to sell. If both spouses have full-time
jobs-and a stay at home mom is certainly full time-when will they
do it? Determining value takes time and takes one's full attention.
Then, there are the questions of being available to show the home
on short notice, being sufficiently knowledgeable to answer potential
buyers' questions, knowing and understanding financing options, and
preparing a contract that does not unnecessarily favor the buyer.
If you think you are prepared to meet these challenges, and there
are some of you that can and will do a great job, then go for it.
But, if you have any reservations, I'd recommend using the services
of a Realtor®.
It may seem that I lean towards using Realtors®, and I do. Although
I have been in the housing business most of my life, I've never sold
a home without using one, and I've only purchased two without an agent's
help. I've never resented the commissions I paid-I was paying for
services I either didn't want to do or ones I felt others were better
qualified to perform. Most of the Realtors® I've known have been
hard-working, dedicated, and professional. Those who are not shouldn't
be in the business and shouldn't be considered. For more info, click
on the link, Recruiting The Experts.