Consumer Tips

Reasons to Use a Real Estate Agent

If you’re extra budget conscious, you might be thinking about selling your home on your own. Before you make a final decision on whether you will use a real estate agent or not – you should consider a few things first.

 
Commission Costs

When you crunch the numbers, remember that you can always save money by not using a real estate agent on your end. But if a buyer comes in with an agent, you will be obligated to pay their commission. So, for instance, a typical agent will require a 3% commission. If you don’t use an agent but your buyers have an agent, you would save 3% or 6% if they don’t have an agent. When you’re considering the cost of using a listing agent, keep in mind that (conservatively) it will be about 3% of the total purchase price.

Your Time Comes at a Price

Fundamentally, you could probably For Sale By Owner (FSBO) easily in a seller’s market in the summer – when the conditions are perfect, without much effort. But, like most situations, there are usually challenges to overcome. Not to mention, if you work full-time, you have to be realistic about how much time selling your home could take away from your work or family. Marketing and showing your home alone are huge time-sucks, which can be avoided for a 3-6% commission.

Do the math and figure out what your time is worth, then calculate how many hours you might need to put against selling your home in order to justify the use of an agent.

Other Costs When FSBO

If you decide to go the FSBO route, take into account the extra things you might have to pay for:

  • MLS listing fees
  • Professional pictures or video of your home
  • Home sale and open house signs
  • Lawyer fees to review contracts
  • Time off for home showings
  • Staging advice
  • Storage fees (for staging)
  • Home buying agent commission fees
  • Extra incentives for buying agents
Agents Have Connections

If you live in a small or big town, agents talk. This is one of the benefits of using an agent. They will use all of their networks, referral groups, Web tools and connections in order to market your home. Agents have access to the MLS, which is the number one home sale site. They also have connections with ancillary service providers that could market your home better, including photographers, home stagers, storage providers, etc.

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