I don't know if 26% is a valid number in your area as far as Non-Represented Sellers Vs Realtor sales but I can Guarantee you that 14% is valid across the board. From year to year the difference oscillates between 14% to 16% more money in YOUR pocket when you use a REALTOR!. This has been verified not only by the National Association of Realtors but also honest independant studies such as done by the Univeristy of Texas.
Bettina gave excellent advice. She refers to checking your local ordinance regarding the sign. That is very important since allowable size varies from county to county...you want the sign to be as big as the county allows. I use 4 X 8 signs and they are of such a quality that they last a few years. My rural properties sometimes take that long to sell because of the uniqueness of the properties and the limited pool of buyers.
Speaking of a limited pool of buyers you have to expose your property to every possible buyer and this includes possibly the international set.
Talk to various horse clubs and possibly other property owners to find 2 or more agents to interview. It will be well worth it.
Agents will want to TELL you what they are going to do. Make them SHOW you what they have done. YOU want RESULTS!
Now some math for those percent challenged folks out there (belive it or not I'm talking about other agents)
Property Sale Price $500,000
Agent fee 10%
Other Closing Costs $10,000
Money to YOU before bank payoff $440,000
Non Represented Sale Loosing 14% $420,000
Closing Costs $10,000
Money to YOU before bank payoff $430,000
See why it makes sense! Not only that, did you know beyond what you see on the surface of a REALTOR's work there are around 200 different steps involved in getting the property SOLD and the transaction CLOSED sucessfully?
I hope this helps you
JD "Dan" Weisenburger, GRI
Vanguard Realty, Inc. GMAC Real Estate