What is Involved with Selling your Home Yourself vs. Using an Agent?
So, you’re contemplating selling your home. What strategy should you use when selling your property? Which approach works… I mean, which approach is the most effective for the homes in our area? When selling real estate, many factors come into play. How soon do you, the homeowner, need to sell? How much money is needed from the proceeds for you to make the biggest investment results you deserve?
Here we will discuss the drawbacks of attempting to conduct the sale of your home on your own. After all, should the new or experienced home seller really take such a risk in any real estate market, whether it is Huntington Beach or any other Orange County market?
1. Navigating Negotiations
There are many middlemen with whom you must negotiate with in the average real estate transaction:
- The buyer or borrower who almost always desires the best deal possible. Some may even be looking for a steal.
- The buyer’s representative or buyer’s agent who works solely for the buyer’s interest.
- The buyer’s closing attorney who, again, also represents the buyer and the buyer’s lender alone (in parts of the country).
- The buyer’s home inspector who will almost always find some defects with the
- When the home under appraises, the appraiser leans to the side of the buyer.
- In a short sale situation, your bank is your challenger, as well.
2. Exposure, Exposure, Exposure
The latest studies show that 92% of home buyers search the Internet for a house. Compare this to only 28% utilizing print advertising. Most reputable real estate agents have a plan to use online tools to promote your property.
Take a look at where the typical buyer finds the property they end up purchasing…
- 43% online
- 9% from the agency yard sign
- 1% from the “love to hate” newspaper
The good old days of selling your home by simply installing a “For Sale” sign in the front yard and placing an ad in the Sunday newspaper have forever fizzled out. Having an aggressive Internet presence is imperative and most home sellers simply don’t have this. Yes, they THINK they have a presence online, but the truth is the one-person home seller does not have the tools that a typical agency can utilize on the seller’s behalf. Only a real estate agent or broker can list a property on MLS (Multiple Listing Service) that allows your property to be visible on home buying websites. These tools ultimately scatter the home for sale all over the Internet in a very short period of time.
3. The Money
Some home sellers think it’s possible to save the expense of commissions by selling their property themselves without the aid of a real estate agent. Think about the word “buyer” and try to understand that the #1 reason buyers choose to view “For Sale By Owner” is because they also think they can use the absence of commission to save money by offering a lower price. Naturally, seller and buyer can’t both save the commission, right?
Statistics have shown that the typical property sold by the homeowner without the assistance of a real estate agent sold for $184,000, while the typical home sold by a real estate agent sold for $230,000. This certainly does not mean that a realtor can get almost $50,000 more for the home being sold as studies have also shown that sellers are even more ready to sell on their own in markets with lower average prices.
Is it possible for a seller to really succeed in selling their home on their own? Of course, this can happen, but our ultimate goal in this article is to thoroughly cover a few points as to what can be the result in most cases.
All in all, be sure to select a good agent. To do this, make sure you ask the right questions. Don’t be afraid to ask how long they have been selling in the Orange County area, do they have referrals you can call, and what does their track record look like. This can include their own or the company’s track record. Get into specifics – ask what their average list-to-sale ratio is. This will give you an idea of what to expect when they sell your home. And lastly, ask what their average days on market is. This will tell you how long they take to sell an Orange County home. Although a quick sale is what some sellers are looking for, it may not always be for the price they want. Compare the average sale to their average days on market. If the time to sell is very quick, but the list-to-sale ratio is terrible, this may be a sign that they are a quick sale but at a low price agent. Do you want to feel pressured by such an agent to sell your home for less than you want or need?