Selling your home on your own can be enticing. After all, who wants to pay tens of thousands of dollars to an agent when buyers are falling all over themselves to buy homes? If you’ve been paying attention at all to the Cincinnati real estate market, you know that the last few years have been kind. Whether it’s Anderson Township, Mason or Batavia, the Cincinnati market has been hot. But, is it staying that way or is the market turning? Before you decide to list on your own, keep in mind the benefits and disadvantages of both. Look at the benefits of hiring an agent versus attempting an FSBO in Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky to give yourself the best chance of selling fast and for the most money.
Real estate agents are in the thick of the real estate market and understand the nuances of trends happening at that moment. Where you may price a home based on what you see on Zillow, your agent will consider the entire market scope, your exact neighborhood pocket and all the factors that affect pricing a home for a fast sale. I can’t tell you how many times the conversation of a Zestimate has come up in my office with agents snickering about misguided sellers.
You have to price the home right, especially now as the market is changing and heading in the fall and winter months. The longer a home sits on the market, the harder it becomes to sell being referred to as a “stale listing.” One of the major problems with FSBOs is that the owner misses on the pricing, thinking their home is worth more than it is. This creates a downward spiral immediately about the property. Not a good thing.
Worth the Commission
One of the primary reasons a homeowner chooses to sell his own home is because he wants to save on the commission paid in the sale. A real estate transaction can cost the seller up to 6% of the home sale price. If the owner doesn’t have a seller’s agent, this saves at least 2 to 3 percent. If he can convince a buyer to not use a buyer’s agent, the seller can save that entire commission which can be tens of thousands of dollars.
However, the FSBO transaction often is priced under the market value and is often sold for less than what an agent would be able to get a client. What the agent often gets the client is a net profit after the commission that is still higher than the price the seller would get on his own. The question a seller needs to ask is not how much is the purchase price of the home, but how much will you net in the sale. A good real estate agent will sell the home for more and allow the seller to net more, even after the commission is paid. Plus, you get all of the benefits of the agent’s expertise and contact skills.
A good real estate agent will also help you work through tricky situations, like when you are selling and buying a home at the same time. In these situations, it’s helpful to have the experience of someone who has worked with these transactions that need the right timing.
Most homeowners don’t have the same network of realtors and potential buyers that an agent does. Many homes are sold in pocket listings when an agent announces an upcoming listing at an office meeting. The ability for a real estate agent to tap his network works to help a seller find the right buyer sooner than later. Remember that stale listings usually end up dropping the listing price and reducing the profits. When agents are working their network they are helping sellers prevent price reductions and listings getting old and not attracting buyers.
The agent is there to market the home. This starts with an assessment of what upgrades, fixes and clean-ups will help price the home higher. It moves to location research to set sales expectations at the right level. Then the agent begins to market the property with professional pictures and perhaps even engaging in a staging expert to make the home as appealing as possible.
At Team Sztanyo, I come to real estate having had 10 years of Internet Marketing experience. It’s one of the prime advantages of working with me as your listing agent because I know how to get exposure and get homes sold. Plus, I have all of the power of my brokerage, professional photography and the MLS to help me sell your house.
A real estate agent negotiates on your behalf against buyer’s offers and potential requests for repairs or credits. The agent understands the timelines of escrow and is there to ensure you don’t miss any deadlines. The agent also has resources of escrow and title companies he can trust to do the job effectively. The real estate agent becomes the conductor of the entire process of escrow that has a lot of moving parts that can lead to legal trouble if you don’t adhere to the rules.
If you still are thinking about selling your house by owner, we recommend you talk to other friends or family members. Ask them if they got as much as they thought they would. Ask them if they would do it again. In some cases, they may say yes. However, you may be surprised at how many people who have tried to go FSBO end up working with a real estate agent.
We recommend you call us today and weigh the pros and cons for yourself. At Team Sztanyo, we are helping families find their way home. If you need to talk more about the benefits of using an agent vs. FSBO, give us a call. And, if you need to sell your house fast, we also buy houses for cash in Cincinnati and NKY. We’re happy to explore all of your options and find out what will work best for you.