For Sale by Owner? Why a Realtor is a Better Choice

Monday, July 6th, 2015 at 12:00pm.

For Sale by Owner? Why a Realtor is a Better Choice

When the time comes to sell your home, you might feel tempted to go the “for sale by owner” (FSBO) route. After all, who knows your home better than you? And how hard can it really be to convince someone that the home you’ve loved for the last several years will bring them equal happiness? However, while selling your house might seem like an easy way to avoid realtor costs and inch out every dollar of value on your home, you might want to think twice. A good realtor will more than earn their commission and you might be surprised by how much goes into selling a home beyond simply putting a sign in the front yard.

Here are several reasons to sell with a realtor: 

A realtor knows the market.

Realtors have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) with comparable sales data for your neighborhood, which can help inform how much your home should be listed for when it’s time to put it on the market. This data is absolutely essential because it can help ensure that your home is listed appropriately, which can expedite the sale. Furthermore, you need to be sure that your home sells for around its appraised value, because if you’re selling to a buyer with financing, the bank will only finance the appraised value of the home. In other words, if you list your house for more than it is worth and you find a buyer who is willing to pay it, they are going to have to be willing to pay cash or come up with the difference between the agreed upon value and the appraised value. Many home sales fall apart when the listing price and the appraised value aren’t in line.

A realtor can help you make sure your home is ready to sell.

Oftentimes, there are little updates that you can make to your home that will make it more appealing to prospective buyers, and a realtor can make suggestions to help you present your home in the best light. This can be something as simple as suggesting a lighter paint on walls, packing away some clutter, or changing the lighting.

A realtor can show your home when you aren’t around.

Everyone hopes that the first person who visits their home will fall in love and make an offer, but this is rarely the case, and it isn’t always practical to drop everything and show your home to any person off the street who wants to see it. A realtor can handle showings when you’re at work or out running errands, alleviating the burden on you. In fact, many buyers prefer that the homeowner isn’t home because it can make the process uncomfortable.

A realtor is in your corner every step of the way.

Real estate transactions are a complicated process, and it can help to work with a professional realtor who knows what he or she is doing. Between receiving an offer, scheduling a home inspection, having your home appraised, and closing, there are too many steps to a home sale for the average home owner to navigate. When you have a realtor walking you through every step it simplifies the process and provides assurance that everything is going according to plan. And, if there is a bump in the road, you can rely on the experience of your realtor who has likely handled the issue before.

A realtor legitimizes your sale.

Many prospective buyers will only look at homes that have a listing agent because it indicates that the seller is serious about the home sale. Anyone can put a “For Sale” sign on their home, but hiring a realtor means business. Plus, a home sale involves a significant transfer of funds, and buyers tend to feel more comfortable with the process when realtors, title companies and real estate attorneys are involved.

When the housing market is good, you might think that listing your house yourself might be an easy way to save some money on closing costs and get the most money for your home, but hiring a realtor is without a doubt the smartest way to sell your home. To hire a realtor today, contact the Northrop team!

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