Home Selling in Bellingham>Question Details

Daria Dillard, Home Owner in Bellingham, WA

Is it worth using a real etate agent?

Asked by Daria Dillard, Bellingham, WA Tue Apr 24, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


Absolutely if they are competent. Unfortunately our industry has low barriers to entry, so do your research, ask for referrals.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 24, 2012
For what? I would not use one if you need to get the house painted, but I would use one to buy or sell a house.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 24, 2012
Daria, thanks for your question.
Frankly, the answer is Yes, s/he will be worth every penny, to get you the
best price on the sale of your home and help you with disclosures and choosing the best offer.

S/he may also guide with your next purchase or relocation to another city.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 14, 2015
In my situation I'd say most definitely. I actually cater more to overseas investors who are looking for houses for sale and villas for long term rental in Rawai, Phuket so most of my clients need someone who is competent and well-versed in the area to guide them around the different investors' landscape and so they can make informed decisions about overseas property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 14, 2015
Nope: better to get a lawyer and bypass the broker. They don't really care if your house sells for 30 or 50 K more of less as the dollar amount is marginal. Only reason to use oe if they ahve been very successful at legislating themselves into the process so you almost have to deal with one yet need to conver your bases with a lawyer. Not much real value IMHO
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 21, 2012
Hello Daria,

There are purchases and there are sales.

If you are buying real estate - the seller pays your realtor commissions, so you get a free negotiator and professional who'll guide you through the process.

If you are selling - working with a realtor means that, on average, you'll sell at at least 50K higher then on your own (based on NAR statistics). With a good agent - probably higher than that. Example, for sale by owner average property sold at 160K in 2011, and 210K with an agent. Buyers who target FSBOs offer lowball prices.

Hope this helps,

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 12, 2012
Yes, it is a very good idea especially if you are buying or selling Real Estate. I'm not a great cook nor would I be good at sewing etc. Seriously though....
There are many reasons:
For Sale by Owners are victimized by the system. I was a builder for many years and sold all my own homes and investments. I used every means possible and just could not get the exposure MLS provides. Even when I did, many offers were low because of the perception of weakness and the need to sell. Smart Buyers know you are missing the active market. It was hard for me to admit that, but it was true. Now, I use every means possible and the MLS and it works great. Get it done by using a Realtor! You will actually make more money. There is much more to this, so feel free to contact me to discuss this in more depth.
You will net far more home for the buck, and you will avoid litigation and other problems. Just the know-how will save you money. Negotiation is the biggest reason. It is not just bartering, it is understanding exactly how the process works. The psychology of the deal is where money is made and lost. I could go on and on as most Realtors do,:-) so call me and we can have that chat!
Rick Moore
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 29, 2012
Unless you have nothing but time on your hands, and are an expert in marketing, negotiating, and all of the other things that top agents routinely do in their daily job, the answer is an unequivocal yes.

Unfortunately there are more lousy agents than great ones and even worse the public tends not to know whether their agent is exceptional or exceptionally bad until it's too late.

I live and work on the other side of the country so I can't personally help you, but below is a link o one of the most popular blogs I've posted here on Trulia about how to find a great agent wherever you live.

I wish you all the best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 25, 2012
Yes, twenty years ago the reason to use a Realtor® was they had access to information the public did not have, that has since changed and the public has almost the same information we have. Today the main reason to use a Realtor® (other than experience) is the mountain of paperwork which is involved in a transaction, in the 80’s we had a 2 or 3 page contract, today I regularly turn in offers which consist of more than 100 pages. The laws have changed, deals made on a handshake and a paper napkin are not holding up. What follows is how to choose a Realtor® Picking a Realtor®; you should interview several Realtors® before making a decision. Do not solely rely on a referral! Do the work yourself and interview several. Here’s a short check list of questions to ask & things to consider:
1) The paperwork involved in this process is extremely complicated, having stated this It is important that a Realtor be “practiced at our trade” pick a Realtor® which has completed 15+ transactions the previous year
2) Interview 3-5 full time Realtors® (very few part-time agents have the same skills as a person who works Real Estate on a full time basis)
3) Do not choose a Realtor® who proclaims themselves as “EXPERTS” because they have taken a seminar and have a designation on their business card. (CDPE, ABR, CRS and others) many of these expert classes require less than 16 hours of training and everyone who pays the fee passes. The experts are the ones who run the race not just buy the t-shirt.
4) Do a basic back ground check on your Realtor® use a site like PIPL or just goggle their name, this usually turns up items such as lawsuits, bankruptcies or other items which you feel might interfere or conflict with a Realtor® representing your best interest. Ps: this does not work for a John Smith
5) Once you have interviewed your potential Realtors® and if you are still unsure and want a “trail run” sign an exclusive buyers agency for 48 hours with the Realtor® and explain if all goes well in the beginning then you will be willing to commit for 1- 3 months.
6) Work with a Realtor® which is local to your area. Meaning a 10-20 mile radius, they will know the schools, shopping and the growth potential of the area without having to go look it up!

Before you even start this process consider purchasing the book by Dave Ramsey “The Total Money Makeover” this will provide valuable information in regard to having a successful financial life & make a prudent home purchase!

That’s your list! Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 25, 2012
If you are a buyer, looking at listed homes, then yes. There is no specific cost to you, the commission is pre-arranged and paid by the seller.
If you are a seller, you could try by owner, but as others have stated the results historically aren't as effective at getting top dollar as listing with an agent, especially if you use a great agent.
If you do try to sell on your own your best result will happen in the first two weeks or not at all. Buyer's for your home, if sold FSBO would likely come from people you already know or neighbors. If you get the word out to your sphere of friends and neighbors and don't find a buyer soon, your odds of success drop off significantly.
Selling on your own raises the question of how to price it. If you have a recent comparable sale in the neighborhood that is in similar condition to your home, you have a place to start. The question becomes who really saves the commission? FSBO buyer's are expecting to save it on their side as you would likely desire to save it on your side. If you meet in the middle, you've essentially paid 1/2 the commission but assumed all the risk and liability.
Our services as Brokers, requires us to put our clients’ needs first. We ensure the laws and local rules are all followed, we use our market knowledge to assist in determining a price range and our skill in negotiating to come up with an acceptable deal for our clients.
There is much more, but ultimately our value is up to you to decide. Best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 24, 2012

I can only repeat what most other agents have already said. To answer the question for your self. Would you go to a trial if you were accused of a felony without an attorney? I am sure you do not think you have enough experience to do so. It is not much different when you buy or sell a house. There are so many things I could share that they would fill pages & pages. In the end, with a good agent, you will be protected & save money. I guarantee it. Give me a call if you want to talk. 206-841-9976

Jirius Isaac
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 24, 2012
I like the answers below. Many owners simply do not have the room to lower their price so it would make sence to try and save the 6% in order to have the room to sell the house and actually pay off the mortgage. Before I became a real estate agent I sold software and thought since I was a "gifted salesperson" I could sell my house myself. I did not have success when I did.

Buyers in negoiating for your property, typically know that you are saving money on the commishion will want the savings passed on to them, hence the lower price.

There are many techniques agents use to actually SELL homes especially in this kind of market. It would be wisdom to interview a few agents to find out what they actually do to sell homes and then decide for yourself if you want to "steal" their marketing ideas and do it yourself or if you want to pay them for the service that they will provide.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 24, 2012
Agents sell properties higher than any FSBO.
Best agents sell it so that your bottom line is the same, despite the commissions paid.

Agents make the sale happen because they provide the main thing:
EXPOSURE - needed to sell the property. More feet to come into your house, more eyeballs to see your house on all large internet sites, UTube your property and community...making the buyer compete for your property, getting the top dollar!

Buyers who are shopping FSBOs know that when you sell by owner, you can get a deal - so they will steal your the money you were hoping to save. At the same time, somebody will have to do an agent's job - so you will try to work as an agent, paying a lot for the exposure the agent would be paying otherwise, attempting to do the agent's duties.

Only 30% of FSBO sell their houses, at 32% discount on price.

Hope this helps,

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 24, 2012
Very good answers by the other agents and I hope that helps.
Here are some other reasons why it is a good idea to hire a broker:
Why You Are Hiring Me

1. Help Avoid Legal Entanglements
Time frames, deadlines, contracts, lead base paint, septic & well inspections, agency pamphlet, Real Property Disclosure – Form 17, Title Reports & Foreclosure liabilities
2. Negotiate In Your Interest
Price, contingencies, time frames, repairs, title & escrow
3. Minimize Inconveniences
Unforeseen problems: 60% of the work begins after we give an offer
Lender issues & Home Owner Insurance
Appraisal requirements
Repairs (unexpected) / work orders
Setting up appointments
Septic systems
Manage time frames
Preliminary Title
Time frames change due to unforeseen issues or changes in policy

4. Follow Your Transaction Through Closing
From open of escrow to closing of the sale

5. Assist in the Home Buying Process
Prepare the necessary and correct paperwork
(Inexperienced Realtors can cost you money w/ incorrect paperwork)
Present all offers for you
Deposit earnest money check
Follow up with inspections and negotiate requests
Follow up with financing status
Confirm appraisal was ordered and handle any issue that may arise (price or work repairs)
Follow up with closing agent and lenders regarding loan documents / status
Signing appointments
Problem solve any and every issue that may arise

I hope this helps
Sean Jeffrey
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 24, 2012
Dear Daria;

When I was buying and selling homes I oftentimes used a broker, and just as often I didn't. There are compelling reasons to do both, and it really does depend upon your situation as well as the market's situation.

I suppose the main reason to go at it on your own revolves around paying or not paying a commission to sell your home. This must be factored in with stats that declare that listed homes typically end up closing for more money than un-listed homes.

Another great reason to list your home in a buyer's market may be that your home needs more marketing than it may need in a seller's market. The MLS is a great advertiser, as well as the other advertising mediums a good agent will employ.

A good agent should have the experience to walk you through the selling process. Oftentimes I will converse with a seller regarding price...whether too high or too low. I will provide real reasons (not emotional reasons) why I feel your home is worth X amount. I will support this with data. I do not, repeat do not consult zillow or the assessor's data either when pricing a home.

There are many reasons to use an experienced and motivated broker, and typically only one reason (cost) why you may choose not to.

Hopefully this helps!


Rob Merhaut,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 24, 2012
YES, there is just too much to know to do this your self, unless you have purchases several properties and sold several, you just don't know what problems can come up and how to handle them. So find a good local agent and hear what they say, and you will live a lot longer. Let them deal with the problems that can come up, and let them worry not you.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 24, 2012
For Sale By Owner home sales represent less then 10% of the home sales. Of the homes that sell For Sale By Owner, more then half of those sales are when a seller knows the buyer (friend or family member, or neighbor).

For the sellers who don't already have a family or friend ready to buy the home, the process of trying to market the home without a Realtor (to save on commissions), most end up wasting time and money and hiring an agent once they see it's not working.

The ones who do sell, sell on average for less money (lower median price on average by as much as 16% lower in some studies).

When you list your home without a Realtor, not only do you not get the 100% market exposure your home needs, but you get the filter an agent provides, so that your generally only getting offers and showings from qualified buyers. Many investors and "looky-lou's" will approach For Sale By Owners and so you can waste a lot of time..
Further, many qualified buyers are working with buyers agents, and the buyers agents are showing the homes that are listed (by another agent). So many of the most qualified buyers for your home simply will never see it if it's not listed.

So if you are looking to sell, and don't have a buyer already lined up, it is well worth it to hire a Realtor. Especially if you hire a good one!

To find a good one, ask for a referral from someone you know, and do your research. Not all Realtors are created equal and many do not give you the value you should expect to warrant the fees charged.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 24, 2012
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer