In the ever-evolving world of real estate, we sometimes meet potential clients who would prefer to sell their homes or properties themselves rather than utilize a Realtor. The benefits of this are that the seller does not have to pay agent commission, so ideally they would be saving money. However, research conducted by the National Association of Realtors suggests that in 2014 the average FSBO home sold for approximately 13% less than the average home sold by a Realtor!
In most cases, it pays to have an agent. This is partly due to sheer marketing power, and the ability to expose your listing to the maximum amount of buyers. Real estate companies have huge marketing budgets, highly developed marketing plans, and are constantly measuring Return on Investment. They can attract buyers in a way that the average homeowner simply cannot compete with. In Larimer County, only licensed brokers can access the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), which is the single largest source for local agents to search available properties. Higher exposure means a larger buyer pool, which potentially creates a higher, more competitive demand for listings. Homes whose owners are unwilling to pay a Realtor’s commission likely won’t be shown to this extensive pool of motivated and qualified buyers.
Furthermore, buyers want to be sure they are making a good investment, and many prefer to work with a professional rather than risk a negative buying experience. A whopping 88% of buyers used an agent to find a home in 2014. The buying and selling of property is not only a business transaction, it is a highly emotional process for both sides. Having an arm’s length distance via a transaction mediator (or Realtor) decreases the risk of problems caused by emotional decision making, and increases the likelihood of closing the deal. Additionally, statistics illustrate that buyers favor viewing homes without the sellers present, allowing them to more easily visualize themselves in the home, and to comment freely without insult.
Most sellers are not experts in contracts, regulations, and negotiations. That’s what Realtors are for – to help navigate the transaction process, protect the client, and be a trusted consultant for market conditions. This is why finding the right Realtor is almost always in the seller’s best interests.
For more information, be sure to check out NAR’s 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers here: http://www.realtor.org/sites/default/files/reports/2014/2014-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers-highlights.pdf