The Risks of Selling Your House Without An Agent in Seattle

The idea of selling your home yourself is tempting. Even if you can only cut out half of the usual 6 percent fee that real estate agents charge, you can save some serious money.  Sell your house – and you also want to put all the sale proceeds in your pocket. You certainly can. Many people do sell without an agent and don’t have to pay an agent commission. But is that the best way, and does it really save you money? Real estate statistics show that “FSBO listings sell for about 5.5 percent less than comparable properties sold through the MLS.”  The problem is that many people just don’t understand the many benefits of using an agent. And, on the flip side, are you aware of the risks of selling your house without an agent in Seattle.

Incorrect Pricing

You’re an expert in what you’d like to get for your property, but selling your house requires a different kind of expertise. You need to be able to figure out what a buyer will pay for your property and price it there so that you can get people to tour your house, offer on it and ultimately buy it. Sometimes it’s hard to look at your home through a buyer’s eyes, and that is why many “For Sale by Owner” homes are overpriced.

Pricing a property to sell requires the experience and knowledge that only an agent has. You have to know what comparable houses have been selling for in the same area, and you have to understand the local market. If you don’t, you run the risk of having your house sit on the market unsold for months – which typically means that you eventually wind up selling your house for less.

Less Marketing Reach

Marketing is a key element of selling a house. So one of the major risks of selling your house without an agent in Seattle is limited and ineffective marketing. Simply put, listing with an agent gets your house more exposure, and more eyeballs on your listing means a greater chance of a sale at the price you want. In addition, real estate marketing has largely moved on online, so not using an agent could cause you to lose out on the huge reach of online marketing.

The Time Cost

When you act as your own agent, you’re probably going to have to spend a lot of time to get your house sold. Instead of having a real estate professional sit at your house during nights and weekends for tours and open houses, you will. Without an agent, you’ll have to use up a lot of your valuable time marketing, showing your house at odd and inconvenient hours, negotiating with buyers, and rounding up all the necessary documents. Selling your house without an agent can be a huge time sink.

Ineffective Negotiations

One of the greatest benefits your agent can bring to the table is her negotiating expertise and experience. So a risk of selling your house without an agent in Seattle is selling for less. Negotiating with buyers can be a tricky business to get the most for you as the seller while still allowing buyers to think they are getting something. Do you know how to get the most for your house without giving away too much in the form of concessions? Your agent does.

Legal Risk

When you’re your own agent, you’re legally responsible for everything you do. Acting as your own agent, you are legally responsible and liable for everything you do. And if you aren’t up to speed on all the pertinent laws and regulations, especially your state’s disclosure laws, you could open yourself up to a lawsuit. Then, you would have to hire an attorney – which costs enormously more than an agent’s commission.

Really, there is not a good reason not to use an agent. After reading about the risks of selling your house without an agent in Seattle, you probably agree. Then, the challenge is finding a qualified, experienced local agent who can meet your real estate needs. Our agents fit that bill. Find out how we can help avoid the risks and get a better deal.

Learn more about how our agents can help when selling your house in Seattle! Contact us today at 206-395-6262!

Emily Cressey

Emily Cressey is a real estate broker residing in Lake Forest Park, WA who services the Greater Seattle area including Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Lynnwood, Kenmore, Bothell and Edmonds, WA.

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