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Think you can sell your house on your own? Here are 5 reasons to reconsider

Hiring a real estate professional is not only the easiest way to sell your home, it’s also the smartest.


Now that winter is finally coming to an end and spring is here, the busiest time of the year for home sales is upon us. It’s natural for any homeowner to focus on maximizing profit when it comes to putting his/her home on the market. One tactic many prospective sellers consider is to cut out the “middleman” and sell the property on their own instead of hiring an agent.

Trust me – I get it. When we sold our house a few years ago I had friends of neighbors knocking on my door and I was motivated to save a commission by selling it before it went on the market. (Check back at the end of this post to see how my transaction ended up.)

The reality is: Selling your home yourself is not the money-saving solution you think it is. The dollars you might save on commissions are often a wash when you consider the higher sales prices that an experienced agent – with pricing expertise, negotiating skills, connections/relationships, and access – can bring to the table. Real estate professionals have the resources to get top dollar for your home, and they can secure an accepted offer more quickly and get the deal closed on time.

Still skeptical? Well, the numbers don’t lie. Statistically, a home on the market listed “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) takes longer to sell (and eventually sells for less) than its real estate pro–represented counterparts. According to data from the National Association of Realtors, FSBOs accounted for 9% of home sales in 2013. The typical FSBO home sold for $184,000, compared with $230,000 for agent-assisted home sales. You do the math.

Here are five key points that prove why you should always work with a real estate professional:

1. Pricing

The most essential component to getting your house sold is to price it correctly. Price too high, and your home simply sits on the market, becoming a stale listing. The longer your house sits on the market, the more people start questioning what is wrong with your house. If you price it too low, then you lose money. Home sellers have an emotional connection to their homes and tend to think they are worth more than the market will bear. An experienced agent knows the nuances of your local market, how to price based on those specifics, and then justifies the price of your home to potential buyers.

2. Negotiating

Selling your home is a major business transaction. There are three significant negotiations in the sale process: the initial offer, the counteroffer, and the post-offer period that includes inspections, assessments and requests for concessions. We can’t stress this enough: You need a skilled and objective negotiator on your side during those discussions.

3. Exposure

You want your home to get the maximum exposure to the greatest number of potential buyers. Not only will a professional prepare all the marketing materials, coordinate the online marketing, and host open houses, he or she will also network regularly with other agents who may have interested buyers.

4. Buyer perception

This is a major one that many people people considering a FSBO don’t realize. The vast majority of potential buyers are going to be represented by an agent of their own. FSBO deals can often deter those agents who prefer to work with another real estate professional or who worry about receiving their own half of the commission.

And if, as the seller, you do plan to pay a buyer’s agent commission, you’re really saving only 3%, not 6%, on the sale.

5. Smooth sales process

A professional real estate agent has the experience to work through the sale process efficiently, stepping in when there are financing problems, dealing directly with buyers’ objections and complaints, keeping everything on track, and facilitating the contracts and escrow to a successful, smooth close.


So, let’s travel back to when I sold my house. I made a decision to put my money where my mouth was and we listed our house on the multiple listing service (MLS) and had results that exceeded my expectations. I ended up getting competing offers that drove the price up and we received $10,000 over what we had been listed for. The power of marketing to get exposure to as many buyers as possible was extremely effective!


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