Why Use a REALTOR® vs. Selling On Your Own
Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. The selling process generally begins with a determination of a reasonable asking price. Your real estate agent or REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms, and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly, and with minimum hassle. But, did you know that real estate agents offer other benefits to you as well? They offer personal safety, a powerful online strategy, experienced negotiation skills, the ability to help qualify potential buyers, protect you legally, and net you more income on the sale of your home!
Consider the following if you live in Nebraska and are considering selling on your own also known as For Sale By Owner (FSBO) in the industry.
When a property is marketed with an agent's help, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Agents will generally pre-screen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
The next step is a marketing plan. Often, your agent can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of the property. Marketing includes the exposure of your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, more than 50 percent of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer.
Your agent acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.
Advertising is part of marketing. The choice of media and frequency of advertising depends a lot on the property and specific market. For example, in some areas, newspaper advertising generates phone calls to the real estate office but statistically has minimum effectiveness in selling a specific property. Overexposure of a property in any media may give a buyer the impression the property is distressed or the seller is desperate. Your real estate agent will know when, where, and how to advertise your property. There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® studies shows that 82 percent of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family, and personal contacts.
Recent studies from NAR have shown that, even before COVID-19, the first step 43% of all buyers took when looking for a home was to search online. Throughout the process, that number jumps to 97%. Today, those numbers have grown exponentially. Most real estate agents have developed a strong Internet and social media strategy to promote the sale of your house.
The negotiation process deals with much the same issues for both buyers and sellers, as noted above under the buying process. Your agent can help you objectively evaluate every buyer's proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections, and financing -- a lot of possible pitfalls. Your agent can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.
Are you still thinking of selling on your own? Here are just a few of the people you’ll need to negotiate with if you decide to FSBO:
- The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
- The buyer’s agent, who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
- The inspection company, which works for the buyer and will almost always find challenges with the house
- The appraiser, if there is a question of value
As part of their ongoing training, Nebraska Realty agents are taught how to negotiate every aspect of the real estate transaction and how to mediate the emotions felt by buyers looking to make what is probably the largest purchase of their lives.
Monitoring, Renegotiating, and Closing
Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing, or a cloud on title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your agent is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).
All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR® logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® is committed to treating all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that almost 85 percent of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again.
The Bottom Line
Listing on your own leaves you to manage the entire transaction by yourself. Why do that when you can hire an agent from Nebraska Realty and still net the same amount of money and in some cases even more? Before you decide to take on the challenge of selling your house alone, reach out to a local real estate professional to discuss your options.