Sell Myself or Use a Realtor?

In today’s market many sellers are trying to save costs somewhere and the first place they turn to is Real Estate commissions, resulting in selling their home on their own. When putting up a for sale by owner, “FSBO”, sellers need to make sure they are ready for the work ahead of them that a Realtor is experienced and knowledgeable to do.

Marketing: Some of the benefits of working with a Realtor start with advertising costs and knowing the right places to market. Agencies are equipped to take professional photography and know how to stage a home for each room to look pristine. In addition, they provide clean and professional marketing materials, such as brochures, post cards, and floor plans.

Not only will this be very helpful for potential buyers, but it will target buyers through different channels.

Negotiations: Sellers need to ask themselves if they are only allowing buyers without agents in their home or if they are willing to allow buyers in who are currently being represented by agents. There is a big difference, sellers need to realize that the agent will expect a commission if the home sells to their buyer and as the seller you will have to negotiate with the buyer’s agent directly.

Market Knowledge: Sellers carry the burden of making sure they know the fair market value of the house they’re putting up for sale. Realtors are equipped not only with the resources, but experience to give accurate valuation of your home in today’s market. Pricing a house too high is a disadvantage to the seller because the house will sit on the market and become ‘old inventory’. Pricing the house just right, will not only bring many buyers through your door, but will help get the home sold quickly.

Experience: Sellers need to be prepared to host an Open House for two to four hours, allowing potential buyers to walk through their home and accept any criticism regarding it. We learn over time that sellers believe their home is perfect for any buyer that walks through the door, however, for a new buyer, the dining room may be too small, the kitchen may be dated, or the red walls in the bathroom may be too dark, and that is OK. Realtors have the experience to walk buyers through a home and explain how the advantages of a home outweigh the disadvantages, which are mostly aesthetic and can be altered. When one buys a house they make it their own.

There are a number of “behind the scenes” steps that take place in a home purchase transaction. Owners selling their own home, especially for the first time, don’t know the steps that need to be taken and need to do the research to make sure the transaction goes smoothly without any hiccups, deterring the buyer from getting to the closing table successfully. One of the most important factors being available funds. The seller of a FSBO needs to make sure the potential buyer is capable of purchasing the house and getting a mortgage or coming up with the funds at closing. Realtors work with a network of professionals, such as mortgage brokers and attorneys, who they work hand in hand with to make sure you, as the seller, is protected and fully aware of all aspects of the deal before closing.

Accessibility: Sellers must realize that they need to be readily available to show their home at any time of day and any day of the week. They need to be prepared to give up any free time or even take time off from work to show their home to potential buyers. Realtors are available round the clock to show your home, whether it is during the work day, dinner time or even weekends. You wouldn’t want to push a potential buyer away because of timing.

While a commission to a Realtor may sound like a lot for sellers, it is actually a small price to pay to make sure that one’s house is marketed properly, sold in a quick efficient manner, and saved from any legal issues. Our job as agents is to market and sell your house to help you achieve maximum value. Give us the opportunity to do our jobs as agents and sell your home!


By: Michelle Wasserlauf
Sales Associate / Realtor

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