Can I Buy or Sell Without a Real Estate Agent?
By Dustin Meyer
Buying or selling a home is complicated. Selling a home yourself is referred to as “for sale by owner” or FSBO. That sounds like a great way to save thousands of dollars... right?
Buying or selling a home is complicated. Selling a home yourself is referred to as “for sale by owner” or FSBO. It sounds like a great way to save thousands of dollars, right? An agent’s commission can average around 6%. So let’s use an average home price in Austin, TX as an example. Let’s say you list your home for $450,000. Working with an agent with a 6% commission means they get $27,000, right? No wonder a seller might be tempted to sell their own home without getting an agent involved.
So what are the benefits of going with a Realtor®?
People get emotional about selling their homes.
A Realtor® will not show their client a “For Sale by Owner” property.
If an FSBO house shows on the market, a buyer’s agent will tell their client to avoid that home. Licensed agents know every step of the home buying process, as well as making sure their client is getting what they paid for. Because most FSBO sellers want to save on commissions, it makes it difficult for the buyer’s agent to collect the commission they earned from conducting the home transaction on behalf of their buyer. And yes, there are FSBO sellers who refuse to pay the buyer’s agent. So agents get discouraged because of this and usually avoid these deals.
Emotional Sales Scares Away Agents.
People get emotional about selling their homes. Memories of raising their kids in that home, improvements the seller made to the house, and many more reasons can cause the sales offer process very difficult. An agent working with the seller can help them avoid making emotional decisions. These mistakes include pricing your home too high, getting offended and refusing to counter offer a lower-priced bid, or even avoiding people of certain backgrounds which could be a federal offense. Working with an agent helps sellers avoid making emotional decisions and helps them to better understand the entire home selling process.
An agent knows how to highlight the best of your home
Let the Agent Do the Work.
Being a Realtor® is a full-time job. This means being available when a potential buyer wants to see the house while you are busy. They answer calls and emails from people wanting to look at your property. Real estate agents also have access to a much larger network they use to spread the word about your listing. Agents know how to weed out unqualified buyers, eliminating the time wasted with buyers who can’t afford your house. When it comes to showing your home, an agent knows how to highlight the best of your home and answer questions in a professional manner. Professional real estate agents have skills in price negotiation and avoid making emotional mistakes in the process. And most importantly, a licensed Realtor® will help the seller avoid any legal risks. This includes compliance with disclosure laws, which if overlooked can land the seller in very hot water.
Selling your home can be a long, complicated, and emotional legal process that always requires your full attention. Hiring a professional real estate agent gives your home more exposure, professional help with negotiating a deal, dedicates more time to sell your home, and helps you avoid making emotional and legal mistakes. Most sellers don’t have real estate expertise, whereas a Realtor® helps you navigate one of the biggest transactions you’ll ever make.
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