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Should I use a realtor?

Updated on August 3, 2016

Selling a home is a daunting task for just about everyone. There are so many details that go into selling a home that it's easy to become quickly overwhelmed. Whether you are just beginning your plans to sell your home or your house is already on the market you will have many questions to answer. An important question you may ask (as many do) is, “Should I use a realtor?” It may seem like there is an easy answer, however, it is a valid question and should be carefully considered. So, I ask you, should you use a realtor or should you be selling your house yourself?

Why should I ask that question?

One of the biggest hurdles while selling a home is finding a buyer. It seems obvious, but without finding a buyer nothing else can happen. So how does one go about finding a buyer? In the past the most used option was to use a realtor who would then bring potential buyers to your home. However, according to realtor.org, 44% of home buyers found their home on the internet, while only 33% found their home via realtor. It’s interesting to see that 44% of home buyers didn't actually find their home with a realtor. How does this happen?

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Enter For Sale By Owner

For Sale By Owner, or FSBO for short, is a term that means exactly what it says. Unless you count the owner of the home as a realtor, there are no realtors here. From start to finish you sell your home without a realtor. You take charge and sell you home by taking on the responsibility of finding a buyer. The benefit of this is that you won’t have to pay the realtors fee when your house sells. Websites like Trulia.com, Zillow.com, and even Facebook.com make FSBO a popular way to sell homes as reaching large audiences isn’t as hard or expensive as it used to be. If you decide to go this route, remember, it’s your home. You get to choose how to sell your own home by choosing how to find buyers. However, maybe selling your house by yourself isn’t a task you are up for.

Have you successfully sold a home without a real estate agent?

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Enter Realtor

A realtor’s main goal is to match people looking to buy a home with a home that is for sale. That being said, a realtor is the middle man, or woman, between you and someone looking to buy your home. According to http://therealestatetrainer.com, the average FSBO home sells for $184k while the average home sold by a realtor sells for $230k. This statistic doesn’t necessarily mean that a realtor can ALWAYS sell your house for more, but it does say something about the houses realtors are selling. Maybe realtors have a higher number of expensive homes to sell rather than less expensive. Just make sure that you don’t assume that a realtor can always sell your house for more because that may not be true.

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Is using a realtor or going the FSBO route better?

Like most things, there is no clear cut answers to this and it seems like everyone has an answer. It may be beneficial to take a look at and weigh the pros and cons of FSBO and using a realtor.

Pros and Cons

Realtor
 
FSBO
Less paperwork to deal with
>
You have to handle the paperwork yourself
Less time on your part
>
More time spent looking for buyers and showing the property
Possible experts in the market and negotiation
?
Understanding the market and negotiation skills may be new to you
Commission of 6%
<
Nominal fixed listing fees
Their attention is split among multiple clients
?
You are in control
Middleman who you may fight with you
<
You can do what you want without complaint

Is there a happy medium?

When it comes to selling your house, there are ways to try to combine FSBO and realtors together. Websites like UtahFSBOtips.com mesh the freedom of FSBO with the expertise of a realtor. It’s an interesting idea and definitely not something to overlook when selling your house.

The Decision

Because every home is different there is no clear cut answer. What works for me most likely won’t work for you and vice versa. Find out what others in your area have done and what works best for them. It’s important to do as much research as you can before you make your decision. Lastly, if one way doesn’t work don’t be afraid to switch!

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