Although you don’t need a license or an agent to sell your own home, hiring a listing agent can save you time and stress. The process of selling a home can be a full-time job, and real estate agents bring value to the transaction. However, opting for the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route can be equally rewarding.
Selling a home is not an easy task and it can be one of the most resource-intensive projects you will encounter in your life. However, despite all the legal and logistic complexities surrounding real estate, you do not need to hire a real estate agent to sell your own home.
The Value Of A Real Estate Agent
Nearly 90% of home sellers choose to work with a seller’s agent. Why? From handling multiple offers to marketing your home, a seller’s agent brings value to the transaction by handling all the logistics.
In addition, a seller’s agent brings tangible value. According to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), FSBO homes sold at $60,000 less than homes with an agent. However, this figure represents a nationwide median of all homes sold in 2017, so although FSBO sellers may miss out on $60,000 during negotiation, they can save that value by not having to pay a higher commission.
Before beginning your home selling journey, you can start your research with real estate resources for FSBOs like Fizber.
What Do Real Estate Agents Do?
Real estate agents can handle as much of the home selling process as you require or ask them to. For example, you may know how to handle marketing your own home and only need an agent to handle negotiating and reviewing offers. They can also coordinate communication with possible buyers and lead walkthroughs of your home.
They can help provide guidance for the overall selling process as well as offer support with paperwork and assisting with contract negotiations. Real estate agents additionally are in charge of putting up signs and posters in the area as well as monitoring online listings on social media pages.
One attractive perk that comes with choosing to use a real estate agent is the network they have. You have to remember that realators have other clients looking for homes as well as connections with other realtors. This house selling network can make the process of selling your home move faster.
How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make?
The standard real estate commission in most markets is 5-7% (6% being the norm). Of this, though, 40-50% goes to the buyer’s realtor — which you will most likely have to pay even if you go the FSBO route.
According to the 2017 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report by NAR, 83% of sellers wanted an agent who was able to provide broad management of all aspects of home selling, whereas 8% only wanted limited services such as listing the home on the MLS.
You can negotiate the commission with your realtor if you handle some of the listing tasks yourself. You may also be more persuasive in negotiation if you are working to buy a new home and sell your existing home with the realtor.
In most cases, you will additionally need to offer your buyer’s agent a small commision in addition to your own agent’s commision.
How to Sell Your House Without a Real Estate Agent
You can also put your home up for auction (either online or traditional) — or sell it directly to an investor. There are many traditional property investors out there — undoubtedly some in your area — but there are now many additional options available online. Sites like REX, Redefy, Purplebricks and Home Bay are just some of these new and emerging options.
Some ways you can sell your house without a real estate agent is to market it yourself online. Research fair listing prices based on your area, amenities of the neighborhood, or state of your house. What your neighbor has their house listed for may not be the same price you should list yours for depending on what you have put into your house. If your price is too low you could lose out on thousands of dollars. However, if the price is too high, your listing may get overlooked and not get as many possible buyers looking at it.
When you are selling your house yourself, it is important to remember that you remove your emotions from the transaction. This means that your memories, time, and connection with your home should be blocked out so they do not trigger you to become objective or defensive about the comments or price possible buyers make.
Check the laws in your area for selling houses. Despite the financial and legal complexities, homeowners who opt for the FSBO route do not need a valid real estate license. You can sell your own house without a listing agent, but real estate agents do save home sellers considerable time as they handle all the logistics. Regardless of how you sell your home, it’s highly encouraged to consult with a real estate attorney before you start. Real estate attorneys help with essential paperwork but can also inform you of fair housing laws and other regulations for selling houses in your area.
Another factor to be aware of when selling your house yourself is time. Yes, maybe the cost you are saving is attractive, but people choose the realtor route for a reason, and that is because selling a house takes a lot of time. So make sure to budget out hours or days to do pre-listing and final paperwork, take pictures, host open houses, etc.
Benefits of Selling Your House Yourself
FSBO has several key advantages over the traditional brokerage path. The biggest one, though, is that you save on the commission that would otherwise go to the agent. With the listing agent out of the equation, you can save a considerable amount regardless of the market. But it is not for everyone — and it is not the only option.
If you’re looking for an all-cash offer with the flexibility of mutual acceptance, selling your home to an investor may be the right option for you. Selling to a real estate investor may be best if your home is in less-than-ideal condition or if the market has turned south.
If you are still asking- “do I need a realtor to sell my house?” The answer is no, but you may consider hiring a real estate agent to help reduce the time, stress, and receive guidance during your selling process. They will also be helpful when finalizing paperwork.
You can “save on commissions, sell for more, faster, easier” with Sold.com. Take our quiz here to find matches and tools to sell your home today.