Using a Realtor versus for sale by owner in selling your home
What really helps sell your home? The MLS (multiple listing service). It is a large network of properties for sale through brokers that practically every local Realtor is a member of. Those agents have clients who buy your home. The MLS exposes your home to thousands of potential buyers. When you sell your home yourself you are only exposed to buyers who see your ad in the newspaper, maybe on ads such as Craigslist, and those who drive by your house.
The main reason most people list their house as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) is because they don't want to pay the broker a real estate commission. But what is entailed in this commission? Realtors provide a wide variety of services to their customers beyond selling the property. Typically a Realtor will list the property in the MLS and several other web sites on the Internet, place an ad in the newspaper or home magazine, send out for sale postcards and e-mails, design a property features flyer, hold an open house, put a for sale sign in the front yard, work with pre-qualified buyers, and negotiate the deal.
Time is of the essence and time means money. A Realtor will help in other ways as well. They can provide a free market analysis on the home which includes comparable homes already sold and homes currently on the market. A homeowner typically prices their home based on what they think their home should be worth. This pricing is based on very little accurate data.
A Realtor will take professional photographs and post them in the MLS. A Realtor will complete all of the necessary state required real estate forms. As a FSBO, do you know what is required and how to get these forms? A Realtor will add the listing to their web site, set up appointments to show the property, answer buyers questions, arrange for home inspections, help resolve issues prior to closing, attend final walk-throughs and lastly, attend the closing. All of these tasks can help sell your home at a higher price and therefore, helping to cut the costs of listing the home yourself.
Many web sites will give you helpful information on selling your house as a FSBO. It certainly works for some people. It largely depends on the market conditions in your area. Do your research before you make a decision on selling as a FSBO or working with a Realtor.