There are a number of different avenues to go though when looking to sell a home. Whether it’s an old school “For Sale by Owner,” selling through a realtor, or going through an “cash offer in minutes” option online, you have choices.
Now, cards on the table: the writer of this article is biased. I want you to choose to list your home with an agent, perhaps even with The Jenner Group. However, I think I can make a pretty good case as to why you should list with a realtor instead of going another route. Obviously, the point of going either of the other two routes is to avoid real estate commissions.
Going “For Sale by Owner” has some pretty obvious drawbacks. Unless you are a real estate professional, you probably aren’t familiar with the process of working with escrow companies, pricing the home, creating a listing, taking appealing photos, and issues that will come up in the transaction process. There is a ton of information online, but, in my opinion, computer pricing models like Zillow are a mile wide and an inch deep. Since they don’t know the details of your home, they can leave you giving a ton of extra value to the buyer, or a price that is too high with very few bites. You’ll also get a lot of offers from buyers who want to offer lowball prices and won’t come up to something reasonable. This is usually because they believe you are an amateur and think they can persuade you to accept an unfair price.
Similarly, you’ve seen (haven’t we all) commercials offering “fast all cash offers” “no listing hassle” and “move on your schedule!” The term that is often used for these types of companies is “Opportunity Investors” and their opportunity is you. They will offer you convenience in exchange for not paying the full value of your home.
Selling a home is usually one of, if not, the biggest financial transactions that a person will make in a lifetime. Having someone who knows what they are doing and is on your side is the best way to get this done.
Realtors have an understanding of the price range your house should be at to attract the largest amount of potential buyers who will make you a fair offer on the property. They know how to photograph, list, and promote your house to bring in the maximum dollar value for your property.
You also won’t have to deal with as many condescending vultures and their ilk, or people trying to slide provisions into the contract, or jerking you around on the home inspection, as you might in a “For Sale by Owner.”
Certainly, there are good agents and bad agents, but choosing the right one (again, perhaps even us) will more than make up for the real estate commissions you pay them.