Many people ask the question ‘should I sell my house by owner or realtor?’ because there is nothing to stop you selling your home yourself, and the thought of not paying thousands of dollars in commission fees is quite attractive. There are also more and more online sites that can help you advertise your home and guide you through the process of selling.
Below we look in more detail at some of the pros and cons for each side of the coin – sell by owner vs. agent.
Should I use a realtor to sell my home?
People feel more secure using a realtor because it can be a lengthy, stressful process. Having a professional to follow up with prospective buyers, organize open homes and negotiate a reasonable price makes it easier for the owner. After all, selling houses is what realtors do, and they’re experts at it. Yes, they charge a commission for the work they do, but a good realtor is usually worth the commission you pay them, especially if they can get you top dollar.
Realtors have a lot of marketing tools at their disposal, e.g., signs, flyers, brochures, print ads and online ads, to advertise your home and attract a large pool of potential buyers. They have an extensive database of contacts that they work hard to maintain, and can at times sell a house before it goes on the market.
Then there’s all the legal paperwork that needs completing once the house sells. Some of this can be quite complex, and it has to be filled out correctly, so you don’t have legal issues later on. Realtors can take care of all of this for you, and make sure everything is in order. They are also up to date with all the current rules and regulations.
Should I sell my home by owner?
The main benefit of selling your home by owner is that you can pocket the sale price of your home, without having to pay commission fees. But you have to be careful that you set the right price in the first place. Too low and you’ll be underselling it, too high, and you won’t get any nibbles. You might get buyers who will bid low because they know that you aren’t paying commission.
You should be prepared to put some budget towards marketing materials such as flyers and yard signs. Some internet sites also charge monthly fees to list on them, but there are also free sites such as HomeBuyer.com and Zillow. If you don’t use a realtor you will need some business and marketing savvy and learn things like:
- where and how to advertise your home
- home description copywriting
- photography and design skills
- digital marketing campaign tactics
If you like meeting and greeting people, then you’ll find conducting open homes enjoyable, though it will mean staying home on nights and weekends to show the property. If you have work or family commitments, it can be challenging to find time to organize viewings, provide feedback and follow up with questions. Be sure to allocate at least one hour a day to manage marketing, showings, open houses, and screening offers.
Selling a home by owner isn’t for the faint of heart as it takes a blend of real estate know-how, business savvy, and time commitment. Real estate agents are seasoned in real estate transactions, and their core responsibility is to provide clarity for their clients throughout the selling process.