It is an age old question as to whether you should list your property with a real estate firm or sell it yourself. There are benefits to both. However, the benefits of listing with an agent far outweigh selling it yourself.
When you put the house on the market yourself, you are acting as your own agent. This means you are in charge of everything. Although you may like the sound of that, there are some pitfalls. The first thing is you must be available twenty four hours a day seven days a week. This is so the buyers can reach you when it is convenient for them. You can use an answering machine or voice mail, but many buyers will not leave a message. Many will not call back either, if they do not reach a real person. It is a simple matter of when someone is looking for information they want it right away. If they can not find it in one place they will look in another. A real estate agent has an entire team to answer calls when they come in.
You will also need to be aware of how much the market value of your home is. When you do not know what the other houses sold for, you have no way to judge what the market will bear. You may be pricing your home too high. You could also be pricing your home too low. This happens when someone has owned a home for twenty or so years and has not paid close attention to the real estate market. They can sometimes forget about the appreciation factor. I have seen houses bought for $25,000 and listed 20 or 30 years later for only $40,000. The market had appreciated so much the home was actually worth $95,000. The first sell sold it for the $40,000. The new buyer sold it one week later for the $95,000. This represents an uneducated seller. This would have never happened if the seller had listed with a real estate agent.
There is also the title office and the lenders you will have to deal with if you get an offer on your home. Not to mention the purchase agreement you will have to draw up. If the buyer wants to add some type of creative financing into the mix, it can get confusing. The real estate agent is a trained professional. He or she has experience in dealing with title searches, mortgage lenders, and creative financing. By listing with the real estate agent, you do not have to worry about being taken for a ride by a crooked buyer. The agent will have the buyer pre-qualified before they are brought to your home. The lender will work with the title company and the agent to get things wrapped up quickly. When you try to sell on your own a deal can take much longer to get everything set up for a closing.
Exposure is an important reason to list with a real estate agent. When you sell the property on your own, you can only advertise in a limited area. With a real estate agent, the property is usually listed with the multiple listing service (MLS). This means the property can be viewed by anyone in the country at any time.
The cost of the commission may be high for some people. The benefits it yields are amazing. What it can save you if the deal goes bad are worth every penny. Think of it as payment to a contractor for a job you should not do yourself.