Why do you need a real estate agent?
Well, there are a number of reasons why choosing to buy or sell with a knowledgeable agent could only work out to your benefit. In this article, we dive in deep about the ins and outs of FSBO (For Sale By Owner) to help you make an informed decision, and about why using an agent is worth your time and every penny. Here are ten reason why you should buy or sell your home with a licensed real estate agent:
The first thought that comes to everyone's mind when they think of going FSBO (For Sale By Owner) is that they are going to be saving a ton of money -- this is not necessarily true. According to the National Association of Realtors, the “median sales price of a FSBO home was $200,000 in 2018, which is nearly $65,000 less than the median sales price of $264,900 for agent-assisted home sales.” This means that you might think you’re getting a great deal because you don’t have to pay that 5-7% commission for an agent, but without a marketing strategy, extensive sales experience, and industry knowledge, your home may end up selling for far less than what you deserve.
The truth is that everyone wants to get the biggest possible return on their investment -- but if you consider the median sales price by going FSBO, on top of the fact that you will probably still have to pay a commission if your buyer is represented by an agent, it all turns out to be about the same. Why not save yourself the headache of doing all the work yourself, and use an agent with industry knowledge and experience?
Whether you’re the buyer or the seller, your real estate agent has a legal obligation to put your best interests first. Every licensed real estate agent has what’s called a “fiduciary” responsibility. This holds them to very high standards of confidentiality that will be followed with hefty legal recourse if not upheld.
As a buyer, you’re playing a very risky game when it comes to buying a home from someone who is going FSBO because the owner of the home is not held to the same standards as a licensed agent. You are essentially trusting someone with your intimate financial information and hoping they have your best interests in mind throughout the entire transaction. The same goes for a buyer who is not represented by an agent. The sellers agent has a fiduciary responsibility to ONLY the seller -- so it only makes sense for both parties to represent themselves with someone who is going to be on their side the whole way through.
Buying or selling a home is too large of an investment to only “trust” and only “hope” that everyone is doing the right thing. Making the decision to go FSBO on the buyers or the sellers side could have some benefits if you know what you’re doing -- but legal responsibility is far from one of them.
Having your home listed on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) will give you the best possible opportunity because it forwards your home out to dozens of online listing sites. Being in the MLS also gives all of the buyer’s agents in your area access to your listing, so your home will almost never be without showings or open houses.
The only way for your property to be listed on the MLS is by working with a licensed agent because they are the only ones allowed access to this platform. However, if you do decide to go FSBO, you can pay a flat fee for a broker to list your home for you on the MLS. But if you’re going to go through the trouble to do this then you might as well invest a little extra money in a real estate agent who already has MLS access, market knowledge, and the sales experience needed to negotiate the best deal for your home.
If you have never been in sales, then negotiating may not come so easy to you. Imagine selling your first property FSBO and walking to the negotiating table only to find a seasoned real estate agent that’s been in the market for decades and knows the ins and outs of every objection you could possibly come up with.. That does not sound like a win win situation no matter how you cut it. Don’t forget the agents fiduciary duty either! The buyers agent will only have an obligation to get the buyer the best deal possible (and vice versa) -- they aren’t worried about how much you THINK you should be getting for your home.
People who choose to take the FSBO route always have an emotional tie to their home in some shape or form. Same goes for a buyer that is not represented by an agent -- the buyer might be willing to fork over the extra money for a home they’ve always wanted, not realizing that they could have avoided those unnecessary expenses if they had used an agent with expert negotiating skills.
No matter what side of the real estate “fence” you’re on, the bottom line is that you want to get a good deal for your home and save as much money as possible. Without having any prior negotiating experience, If you think that you can save a ton of money by not paying that 5-7% agent commission -- think again.
There is so much more to selling a home than listing it on a bunch of websites and hoping for the best. Marketing plays an essential role in making sure that your home is properly represented, receives the best exposure, and displays the most flattering features of your home. Real estate agents have the best angle when it comes to marketing because they are constantly networking with other agents about their properties, they know exactly what sites are seeing the most traffic, and they have the experience needed to understand which qualities of your home are worth showcasing.
The only way to get the best bang for your buck is to have a great marketing strategy -- and investing in a real estate agent with industry knowledge is the only way to make that guarantee.
Buying or selling a home, in itself, is a very emotional process. For most people, it’s a place where they have spent a majority of their life and they only want to see the best possible outcome. It can become a very difficult process to buy or sell your home with nothing clouding your judgement -- that is why it is always beneficial to work with an agent that has no emotional ties to the property.
What most people forget to realize is how much really goes into selling a home. It’s not like you can just stick a “for sale” sign in your yard and hope for the best (but wouldn’t that be nice?) -- you have to market your home, prepare for multiple showings, host open houses, go out of your way to find potential buyers, and complete endless amounts of confusing paperwork just to name a few. This is only the tip of the “selling iceberg,” not to mention the full-time job you likely already have!
For real estate agents, this IS their full-time job. The commission you pay to them is to help relieve any stress you’d have to go through with selling your home on your own.
If you have never bought or sold a home before, then you might not realize just how much paperwork you have to go through to get the job done. And if you have bought or sold in the past -- do you really want to take all of the responsibility for any financial or legal mistakes that could happen if not read or filled out properly? The nice thing about working with an agent is not only their extensive understanding of the process AND the paperwork, but the fact that any legal repercussions would be extended onto them if anything were to happen.
If you’re still thinking about going FSBO simply to save money -- consider the fact that any mistakes on the required federal, state, and local documents could cost you much more than you would pay in commission to an agent!
However, if selling your home on your own is something you really want to do, at least consider paying a small fee to have a broker look over any contracts and legal documents so you know for certain that everything is in order.
The best way to go about getting an accurate price on your home is by having a licensed agent walk through the property to physically evaluate it. The reason for this is because real estate agents have exclusive access to neighborhood information and comparable home sales that date back many years. Homeowners that choose to take the FSBO route to sell their home do not have access to this information, and have to base the price of their home on their best educated guess -- and “guessing” just doesn’t cut it in the real estate industry.
If you overprice your home by even a couple thousand dollars, you could be missing out on a whole demographic of potential buyers because their search criteria won’t match the price of your home. The last thing you want is for your home to sit on the market for months because the right people are unable to access the property -- that is why it’s so important to get the accurate value of your home before listing it! There is no better resource to use than a Realtor when it comes to pricing your home, but if you’re looking for a quick, accurate estimate then visit the home evaluation page on our website! We use industry data and information based on current market trends to give you the most accurate home evaluation. Fill out the form and will send you a free comparative market analysis!
If nothing else, Realtors are resourceful, networking powerhouses with a slew of potential buyers and sellers in their sphere. Real estate agents are constantly working with people who are actively looking to buy or sell their home, so it only makes sense to have someone like this in your corner if you hope to reach your end goal in a timely manner.
Above all else, helping you make an informed decision when it comes to an investment as large as buying or selling a home is our number one priority. Although it is highly recommended to use a real estate agent, choosing to go FSBO is ultimately your decision and we want you to feel like you have someone in your corner. If you have any questions about the buying or selling process, or if you simply just want to talk, we would love to hear from you! Send us an email or give us a call at 907.302.0024 any time and as always -- keep moving forward!
Precision Home Group is based in Anchorage, and provides real estate services to Southcentral Alaska. We will keep you informed on current trends and market dynamics to help you make the best informed decision. If you are interested in purchasing a home, get in touch with our experienced real estate agents! Our team of experts will negotiate great deals for your home and help you navigate the buying or selling process every step of the way. If you are looking to get into a property that makes sense, or need help analyzing a potential property, reach out at 907-302-1011 or email at email@example.com.