DENVER – Timothy Schumer, a self-proclaimed Denver native, jumped feet first into the excitement of the Mile High City’s wild housing market by listing his own home. Armed with a For Sale sign from Home Depot and a wide-tipped black Sharpie, Tim officially listed his property as a FSBO. Then, after taking a few quick pictures with his Samsung Galaxy, he listed his home on Facebook Marketplace.
“I listed a bean bag chair on Facebook Marketplace once. I didn’t get any buyers, but you can see how many people saved your listing. It’s just comforting to know that people like your listing,” said Tim.
When asked by friends why Tim chose to forego the help of a real estate agent, Tim said he “knew a thing or two about the industry” and that he “took a marketing class in high school.”
Sources said they told Tim, yes, real estate agents make a commission on every sale, but he could make significantly more at closing by hiring an agent. However, Tim remarked that he “isn’t in it for the money,” but more for “meeting fun new people along the way.”
Seventy-five days later, Tim’s house is still on the market, but that doesn’t get him down. Tim told sources that he believes the right buyer will come along with time. “There were a few times I almost closed, but to my surprise, the buyers were unqualified.”
He’s okay with the countless hours he’s spent during the home selling process – “if not me, then who?” Tim asked inquisitively.
Why Sellers Should Always Use a Real Estate Agent to List Their Home
Don’t be like Tim. If you’re looking to sell your home quickly for the most value possible, hire a real estate agent. There are several reasons why you should list with an agent.
For one, buyers tend to be leery of FSBO listings. With FSBOs, there may be no legal documents or proofs of transactions. Many people have found themselves in situations where they lost their money because the transaction was not official; in other words, a scam.
Additionally, very few sellers know how to handle the sales process. Luckily, when you add an agent to the equation, neither party (buyer or seller) must worry about moving parts.
Furthermore, listing agents are the marketing experts. They know all of the ins and outs of the industry, and they certainly know how to get your listing the most exposure while bringing in highly qualified buyers.
Listing agents get traffic to your house fast by using different marketing strategies like professional real estate photos, 3D virtual tour solutions, interactive floorplans, and single property websites. While a FSBO can find and hire visual marketing specialists to help, they likely do not have the resources or knowledge base to do it independently.
When a real estate agent lists a home on the MLS and third-party listing sites, they actively promote the listing to thousands of potential buyers and buyers agents. Real estate agents work together to match up buyers with the perfect home, which could be yours!
And when the time comes to start showings, a listing agent will know precisely how to prepare your home. FSBO sellers rarely understand what buyers look for and what questions will be thrown their way. An agent knows what to say and will answer any questions the buyer might have. A great real estate agent can play up the great features of your home while downplaying the more mundane elements.
Remember, a real estate agent’s primary job is to sell your house for its maximum value. So when you’re working with a listing agent, you can be sure that everything they do is in your best interest. They want to sell your home just as much as you do.
Without real estate experience, you can easily undervalue your home and lose out on an opportunity to make more money. That often happens when the seller is in a hurry to sell their house. Setting the price too low can land you at a significant loss.
If you are emotionally attached to your home, you may accidentally price the listing too high. Buyers see that your house is not worth the price you’re asking. If that’s the case, it will take you a while to figure that out, too, until you eventually lower the cost.
Keep in mind that listing agents work tirelessly to get their client’s home sold fast and for the most value. Their commission and referral depend on it.
If you aren’t sure how to go about the process of selling your house, it might be a bit late to pursue an education in real estate. However, it’s never too late to hire a professional real estate agent. They will save you time and money while making the entire process less stressful. With a great listing agent, you can list your home through the proper channels, price it to sell (for maximum value), and find your ideal buyer.
Here are some high-level reasons why you should always use a real estate agent when selling your home:
- Realtors May Not Show a “For Sale By Owner” Home (Investopedia)
- Agents Avoid Emotional Sales (Investopedia)
- Real Estate Agents Act in Your Best Interest (Virtuance)
- Listing Agents are Marketing Experts (Virtuance)
- Earn More Money for Your Home (Virtuance)
- Agents Know the Entire Home Selling Process (Virtuance)
- Weeding Out Unqualified Buyers (Investopedia)
- Real Estate Agents Have a Large Buyer Network (Virtuance)
- Privacy, Confidentiality and Fiduciary Duty (the balance)
- Agents Have Superior Negotiating Skills (the balance)
- Years of Experience (RISMedia)
- Extensive Knowledge of the Neighborhood (Knox Team Homes)
- Provide Valuable Price Guidance (Knox Team Homes)
- Provide Professional Advice in Respect of the Closing Process (Knox Team Homes)
- Provide Information on Current Market Conditions (Knox Team Homes)
- Agents Spot Potential Problems (Mashvisor)
- Agents Provide Home Staging Advice (Mashvisor)
- Real Estate Agents Understand Contracts (McKissock)