A common step homeowners take when preparing to sell their home is to reach out to a real estate agent. During an initial consultation with a real estate agent, you may learn more about the suggested list price or market value of your home as well as the fees that the agent may charge you. While the fees vary, it is common for a seller to pay for both the buyer’s and seller’s real estate agent fees. This could be six percent of the sales price or more in some cases. If you are looking for a way to avoid paying these fees, you may be thinking about selling your home as a “for sale by owner” property. While this sounds like a great idea on the surface, it actually has many downsides to consider.


1. Marketing Your Home

One of the primary initial services that a real estate agent will provide to you when listing your home for sale is marketing. Your home will actively compete in an open market against numerous other homes in your area. It must be priced appropriately to sell, and it also must be marketed in a way that buyers and their agents notice it. Listing the home in the local MLS is just one of the steps most real estate agents take. Everything from the wording and the quality of photos or videos in the online listing to the placement of the ad on real estate apps, hosting open houses and creating yard fliers can impact your ability to sell your home quickly and for top dollar. Keep in mind that a home that sits on the market for a longer period of time may indicate to a buyer that you are getting desperate to get an offer or that something may be wrong with the property. This can result in potentially receiving lower offers.


2. Negotiating With Clients

Your real estate agent can also play a critical role when negotiating with clients. This may include the initial sales price, closing date, seller-paid closing costs and more. It may also include property repairs and other factors that may arise after the third party reports arise. Many homeowners lack excellent negotiation skills. They also may feel an emotional connection to the property and may be challenged to negotiate in a reasonable, unbiased manner.


3. Understanding Real Estate Laws and Contracts

A real estate sales contract is a legally binding agreement. Your seller’s disclosure and other documents also can play a role in the legality of your property’s sale. For example, if you fail to disclose known defects about the home on the seller’s disclosure, you could be sued for damages or worse. A real estate agent can explain all of the rules, laws and obligations to you throughout the process so that you understand the significance and your requirements to perform in certain ways.


The Need to Pay the Buyer’s Agent Fees

You may think that you could potentially save six percent of the sales price when you list your home for sale by owner, but this is not actually true. This six percent is usually equally divided between a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent. Therefore, you may only save approximately three percent of the sales price in fees by taking this step. The overall financial benefit is rather low, and you can see that the benefits associated with using a real estate agent’s services are high.


While real estate agent services will eat into your net profit from selling the house, you can see that your real estate agent can provide you with substantial benefits throughout the process. With this in mind, it is wise to start looking for an experienced real estate agent to represent you with your upcoming transaction.

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