Do I really need an agent to sell my home?
With the housing market recovery well under way in San Diego we have seen a slight increase in For Sale By Owner homes in the market. Home owners who go it alone in selling their homes so do for a variety of reasons. The most popular reason is a desire to save money on commissions. A second popular reason is control, the home owner wants more control and say in the marketing and sale of his/her home. Both of these reasons are completely valid but I would like to look a little closer.
I had a friend looking to buy a home in the Midwest last fall. He found a local agent and viewed a variety of homes over several days to get a feel for the market. The agent conducted a tour of the area, prepared an analysis of the market, provided comparable homes that had sold recently in the area and finally showed available homes to my friend. Armed with a lot of good information, my friend viewed a For Sale By Owner home as well. He expected there to be some price concessions on the home, after all the owner wasn’t paying a sales commission. Instead he found the home to be priced almost 20% higher than the homes he had viewed in the same area. When he brought this information to the attention of the owner/seller my friend was told that this was the amount the seller wanted, period. The owner/seller didn’t care what other homes were selling for, he believed his home was worth the sales price. My friend thanked the owner and proceeded to purchase a home that his agent had shown him that was more competitive with the rest of the market.
As a real estate agent, I live by my numbers. I have statistics for just about everything you could imagine related to the business, economic and real estate markets in San Diego. I can tell you immediately when a home is over or under priced. I can tell you which amenities buyers prefer and are willing to pay more for. I can tell you how you can get an appraisal at the price you need. I can tell you what is a good offer versus a great offer, it isn’t all about money. I can help you read and understand a purchase contract. I can tell you ways to protect yourself as a seller against that dreaded threat of a lawsuit. I can tell you how much money you are leaving on the table when you don’t understand all of these things.
If you are willing to market your home longer and usually sell for a lower price, then by all means go it alone. If you want to sell quickly and for the highest possible price, then get help. Do I really need an agent to sell my home? You be the judge.