Here is the dirty little secret most real estate agents won’t tell you: Many homsellers wonder, “What are the benefits of hiring an agent vs. just doing For Sale By Owner myself?”
Maybe your internal monologue looks something like this, “Do I really need a real estate agent? They make so much money, and it seems like they hardly do anything… I know what my home is worth, I’ll just sell it myself.” Does this sound familiar?
When it’s time to sell your house, you want to do what is best for you: You want to make the most money, and that’s logical. So does everybody! Your two basic options are either to use a real estate agent or to do a for sale by owner (FSBO) deal. But which is the better route to take?
If you hire an agent, you will have to pay her a commission, but if you sell it yourself, you get to keep all the money, right? The problem is, there is far more to it than that.
So let’s look at the benefits of hiring an agent over an FSBO in Seattle, and then you’ll have the information you need to make a good decision for your particular situation.
List of Benefits of Hiring an Agent vs. Doing A FSBO in Seattle, WA
Hiring an agent (instead of doing an FSBO) in Seattle comes with multiple benefits, including:
- Agents are filters. A great benefit of using an agent is that it can save you considerable time. That includes handling the day-to-day hassles of showing a home and fielding offers, and it also includes the “hidden cost” of time lost if your deal falls apart and the buyer doesnt complete the closing. Your agent can separate the tire kicker home buyers from the serious buyers early on in the process.
A long time ago, when I sold one of my properties without a seller’s agent to represent me, the deal fell apart with the first buyer because they told me on the day of closing they couldn’t get the financing lined up. That setback meant the house didn’t sell for another two months, after I had located a second buyer. With professional representation, that might have gone differently.
- Agents are objective. An agent won’t have the emotional attachment to your home that you do. That means your agent will be a better negotiator and can usually get you a better price. A big problem FSBO’s tend to have is overpricing their homes because ALL SELLERS think their home is worth more than it is, and in general owners selling their own homes are particularly reluctant to lower their prices. Often this can be a problem if you don’t have very much equity in your property, which may be why you are trying to sell your home yourself in the first place.
- Agents understand the market. An agent will know the prices in your area and what features buyers find most attractive in your particular niche market. There may be a few simple things you can do to enhance the curb appeal of the home. Or, conversely, there may be expensive renovations its best to avoid because they won’t realize the ROI you are hoping for upon resale.
- Agents invest time and money in your property. The relationship you forge with your agent doesn’t end when the contract is signed. I’m not “just-a-yard-sign-and-MLS” type of agent (although we could discuss that for a flat fee if that’s all you’re looking for).
Typically, I consult extensively with clients on how to prepare their home for sale before it ever appears on the market. Once it’s listed, we begin an intensive, high-tech digital marketing campaign to target all the buyers who might be looking for the type of property you are selling. We do weekly check-ins and are available to answer questions or address concerns before and after closing.
- Agents save you work, time, and money. Your agent will do the all the work you would have to do yourself with a FSBO listing. We provide the contracts, expertise, time and knowledge to ensure your property sale is a success. When you factor in the value of all these items separately, you can see that a good agent will be an efficient and practical investment.
Other Top Benefits of Hiring an Agent in Seattle
An important benefit of hiring an agent in [market-city] is that they are usually bound by the Washington State Law and are required to always put your interests above their own. The law also holds agents accountable for making full disclosures about a property’s problems and issues when talking with the potential buyers of your home. If you, in selling the home yourself, hide or fail to disclose material defects, you could be liable after-the-fact, when the seller finds out. By working with a real estate agent, you can protect yourself and your buyers, and know you’re doing the right thing, which is always important.
Agents have the experience and industry knowledge to allow them to accurately assess the value of your home as soon as they walk through the front door. In addition, your agent will know the value of comparable homes in the neighborhood, which means she can advise you in pricing it right.
You can, of course, check out home prices online yourself, but hiring an agent in [market-city] can help you avoid wasting a lot of time. Your agent can help you find the sweet spot for pricing – one that allows you to get the sale price you need while at the same time promoting a fairly quick sale.
REPAIR REQUESTS AND CONCESSIONS
Repair and concessions requests are an inevitable part of the house-selling process, but it can get a little sticky. Most homes have one or more upgrade/repair issues that need to be addressed, and navigating successfully through this requires a good amount of both experience and skill. When surprises come up on the property inspection, no one is happy, but its good to know how to negotiate these things like a pro. Your agent can help you avoid getting taken or giving away too much just to close the deal.
There are, then, multiple benefits of hiring an agent over an FSBO in Seattle. When you work with a real estate agent, she is really the expert in your corner trying to get you the best deal possible. For one thing, her livelihood depends on it. And, besides, it just makes sense to save time, effort, and money whenever you can.