With conditions in real estate continuing to improve, some homeowners thinking about selling may be tempted to save money by attempting to sell their homes without an agent. Although on the surface this may appear to be a good strategy, it rarely works to the benefit of the seller. That’s why over 80% of home sellers that try the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) strategy, eventually lists with an agent. Having expert representation is a must for a variety of reasons as described below:
- Expertise – Successful agents are full-time professionals that spend hours every day representing sellers and dealing with buyers. Even if a seller believes he is smarter than an agent, the expertise that comes from living a profession almost always trumps intellect.
- Market Knowledge – Understanding the value of real estate is not a formula, it’s an art that requires a deep understanding of market data and market trends. Giving good advice requires knowing what to research and then spending hours researching market data and explaining how that data directly impacts an individual sellers personal situation.
- Objectivity – When it comes to taking a step back and being objective, it’s virtually impossible for a homeowner to be objective. In most cases, a deep emotion is attached to homeownership with fond memories that make it impossible to be objective. Additionally, flaws that are obvious to buyers become obscured to a homeowner that have seen them day after day, month after month, and year after year.
- Buyer Mentality – Most buyers aren’t comfortable dealing directly with a seller and prefer to have a detached party showing them property. When a buyer is dealing directly with the seller, they expect to be successful offering less because the seller isn’t paying a commission. Either the seller will make a little more or the buyer will pay a little less. You can’t have both.
- Credibility – Every buyer knows that real estate agents are governed by strict standards that require them to be ethical in their dealings with clients. In a buyers mind, a seller has a vested interest in making as much as possible so the seller isn’t perceived to be as credible as an agent.
- Negotiation Skills – Good agents have successfully negotiated hundreds of transactions and have mastered the skills that will make the deal happen and keep it together to closing.
Home sellers should not make the mistake of assuming they can achieve the same level of success as experts in the business. Even when a sale is consummated, the bottom line is almost always significantly less than it would have been had adequate representation been secured.