If you are about to put your home on the market, there is one big question you will undoubtedly have to answer in the process: “Should I try to sell it myself or hire a Realtor?”
There are a lot of factors that can influence your decision to go “For Sale By Owner,” but regardless of what you decide, that decision should be an informed one. To that end, we've put together a pros and cons list for those considering selling their home without hiring an agent.
You won't have to pay a commission fee. Commission fees are generally negotiable and should be factored into your decision on a selling price. By selling the home yourself, you can pocket the full sale price of the home or lower the price by the commission to encourage a faster sale.
You have complete control over the entire process. If you are a detail-oriented person and like to wear a lot of different hats, selling your own home might be something you enjoy. In the end you will know that you were there for every step of the process, from the staging of the home to the signing of the sale documents.
No one knows your property better than you. Who else could better extoll the virtues of your home than you, the person who has been living it it? You will also know what aspects of your home deserve less of a potential buyer's attention.
“It's a seller's market.” If there is a lot of competition between buyers, then not having a Realtor on your side will be less of a disadvantage.
You are in for a lot of work. Selling a home is much more than putting up a sign and showing it to prospective buyers. Be prepared to put in some long hours learning the local housing market, taking photos, and creating all the online listings, signs, and other marketing materials. Another very time consuming-aspect you have to consider in selling your own home is researching applicable laws and making sure all the paperwork is filled out correctly.
You may be less likely to accurately price your home. A Realtor has access to up-to-date data and is out there in the trenches every day. A good agent will have a feel for the market that no amount of research or Googling can offer. Additionally, your Realtor is just as motivated as you to sell your home and get a good price for it, so he or she will be better able to spot an upcoming boom or slump in the market and encourage you to price accordingly.
You are too emotionally involved in the sale. This could this cause you to miss what some would consider positive (or negative) aspects of your home and cause you to set the price too low (or high), Also, the buyer will be aware that you are deeply financially invested in the sale of the home, which gives them the upper hand in negotiations.
“It's a buyer's market.” If it is indeed a buyer's market, then things can be very difficult when you to go “For Sale by Owner." The competition will be fierce and those with the expertise of a Realtor in their court will definitely have the upper hand.
You will need to hire a real estate attorney. Unless you are 100% confident in your knowledge of the applicable laws in the sale of your home, you will definitely want to hire an attorney to look over all paperwork. Neglecting this can cost you big if there are any errors. A Realtor will make sure all the paperwork is legal and correct.
Indeed, there is a lot to consider when choosing the route “For Sale by Owner.” If you were to boil it down to two key questions, however, they would be 1) “Do you have a lot of free time?” and 2) “Are you confident that selling the home yourself in current market conditions is the smart move?” Choose wisely, Grasshopper!
If you'd like more information about selling your home from a real estate professional, get in touch with Julian directly via the Sarasota Property Finders Contact Page.
Sarasota Area Real Estate Specialist