With the advent of online real estate outlets like Zillow and Trulia, a lot of Realtors have become exceedingly more worried about the future of their industry. It seems as though a lot of folks would prefer to forego hiring an agent to list their property in order to save the commission. Most of these folks seem to believe that they will save themselves 3-6% by selling their homes by owner (FSBO, or FiSBO as it's often referred.) It makes sense that these folks should find success on their own with free sites like Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia and even Craigslist. Some of these individuals do manage to relieve themselves of their properties. However, many of these folks find their outcome to be less fruitful than they had hoped.
I admit that I have wondered about the future of the real estate agent with today's internet marketplaces. That worry was halted when I read a recent article by Raleigh Realty entitled "Does Selling Your Home With a Realtor® Net You More Money?" This article comes with a handy infographic that shows the data to prove that hiring a Realtor to sell your home is absolutely in your best interest. They have broken the pros down into 10 reasons that selling with a Realtor will net you more at the end of the day.
- 1) Seller's net 25% more when the list with a Realtor
- This is really the big reveal. The data gathered from across the country shows that listing with a Realtor rather than selling on your own will net you 25% more at closing. Only 9% of home sells in 2013 were from FSBOs. Of them, the average sale price was around $184,000. The remaining homes were sold with Realtors/agents and averaged $230,000.
- 2) 89% of FSBOs will end up listing with a Realtor
- This is simply because selling a home is an arduous process. FSBOs realize early on how much work, attention and diligence is required to sell a home. Not to mention that marketing a home is not a cheap expense.
- 3) Over 88% of buyers are using a Realtor
- Realtors represent buyers that are qualified and motivated to buy homes. Why wouldn't you want to work with an individual whose job it is to find available homes for people who want to buy them? Many Realtors do not want to approach a seller with a FSBO property because they have already showed a lack of desire to work with Realtors. And only 12% of buyers are without a Realtor. That means that these FSBOs are only even marketable to 12% of the buyers out there.
- 4) Contract Law
- Aside from finances, this is the biggest reason to work with a Realtor. Contract law is difficult. It is meant to protect all parties, but if you are unaware of these clauses and contingencies, you are likely to get burned when selling on your own. Many FSBO sellers are not aware of the importance of attaining a written contract and therefore, never get one. Without a contract, your buyer is not accountable and the likelihood of even closing the property (especially in the seller's favor) is low.
- More Contract Law
- Because FSBO sellers are not familiar with real estate law or contract law, they can find themselves in trouble. If they are savvy enough to slate out a contract, they might find themselves in some predicament where they are "not performing" (not holding up their end of the bargain). When this happens, they can wind up in court and have to pay legal fees. There are a multitude of reasons that people can find themselves not performing in contracts. I should write an entire post about contingencies and performance. At the end of the day, it is much safer to just work with someone who navigates these contracts every day.
- Realtors know other Realtors
- This is the kind of industry where you have to work closely with your competition. I hear stories all the time of Realtors getting properties closed incredibly swiftly by reaching out to a colleague. When you work with a Realtor, they naturally come attached to a larger professional circle. Realtors will always tell other Realtors about their listings or their buyer's wants. You'd be surprised how many successful transactions come out of these conversations.
- Sales Strategies
- Realtors will come up with specific strategies for properties. Listing the property on the MLS and waiting for a qualified and motivated buyer is really a marketing strategy. This one is enacted 99% of the time, but there are usually other methods employed in addition. As the author of the article states, many of us will use a strategy known as reverse prospecting. One example of reverse prospecting is to approach another Realtor who represent buyers when buying homes similar to what you have to sell. That Realtor might have a well-qualified buyer waiting in the wings for a property just like yours!
- Marketing Strategies
- The biggest marketing perk of working with a Realtor is the MLS. The MLS (multiple listing service) is a product made by NAR (National Association of Realtors) that is just a market place for homes that are listed by Realtors in their corresponding market. You must be a real estate professional to have access. Meaning that the public does not get to put their homes for sale on this platform. Those who have access to the MLS are those that are either representing a seller or representing a buyer. Those hired by buying agents are pre-vetted, qualified and motivated. Aside from the MLS, Realtors know multiple outlets in which to market properties for sell. If you Google any available properties, 2615 Huffman Lane North Charleston, SC 29406 for example, the entire first page+ are links to that listing. You get exponentially more exposure when you work with a Realtor and that is what sells homes!
- Less emotions = Smarter sells
- Selling your home can be a very emotionally difficult prospect. Rightfully so. This is/was your home. However, being too emotionally invested can spark spark less rational behavior. This can cause the seller to scare away their counter-part or to stir up the water and cause the transaction to be less amicable, which can often lead to spite. Real estate and spite do not cooperate. Spite is expensive and time consuming. Using a Realtor creates an almost 3rd part that keeps the end goal in focus. A good Realtor should calm nerves and solve problems.
I meant for this post to be a shorter one. Unfortunately, this topic is actually a lot more complicated than it would seem. It's a lot like the real estate market. What seems as simple as buying or selling a home is indeed much more complicated than appears. That is why employing a Realtor is absolutely in your best interest. Not only will they save you money, but they will make the entire process exponentially less terrifying. If you or anyone you know is need of a Realtor, let me know! My client's satisfaction is my priority!
Troy Franklin Gandee