It’s no secret that technology has become a major part of the real estate process. The number of buyers who begin their search online recently rose to 9 out of every 10 house hunters, according to The National Association of Realtors. With third-party data websites like Zillow and Trulia emerging, the temptation to not use a Realtor has never been greater. Although some might think that it’s an option that can save money, it can actually be incredibly risky.
These sites claim to be excellent sources for finding available homes on the market, most consumers don’t take into account the possibility of inaccuracy when they are falling in love with the home at 123 Main Street that they found on Zillow.com. Only when they call the broker’s office to set up a showing do they find out that 123 Main Street has been sold for over three months.
Quite a few homeowners think that not using a real estate professional will save them a ton of money. However, according to Realtor.com, statistics show that using a Realtor results in a higher sale price with enough money for the commission and some left over for the seller’s pocket. The 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows that those who listed with a licensed Realtor received an average of $46,000 more than those who sold their homes themselves.
By hiring a Realtor, the seller is placing their home in the hands of someone with access to market data, which can help price the home appropriately. An agent can also help by making suggestions on how to make a home more appealing to buyers and have distinctive insight when it comes to home staging.
Selling can home can be very stressful and not having a representative will only add to that. Having a home For Sale by Owner or “FSBO” can place a seller in a rather vulnerable spot while a Realtor can screen the visitors that enter the home and can make sure that they are qualified buyers and aren’t just checking the place out.
Another thing to keep in mind is that most buyers today end up working with a buyers’ agent. If you are selling your home yourself, you’ll be negotiating with a professional and it will be up to you to finalize the contract, leaving yourself open for potential legal issues.
Let’s just face it: a Realtor sells houses for a living; they’re experts at professionally marketing homes for sale. While a FSBO can be successful in certain cases, 90 percent of homeowners prefer working with a real estate professional instead of taking their chances by going at it alone.