When you’re ready to sell your home, you have basically two choices: 1) you can use a real estate agent, or 2) you can do a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) deal. Although both ways have their pros and cons, more and more people today are opting for the FSBO solution. Their reasoning is that they can do it all themselves, save the agent’s commission, and wind up with more money in their pocket. But the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t always work out that way. Let’s take a look, then, at 6 things that a real estate agent can offer that an FSBO can’t.
1. Time Savings
First of all, selling your house is the primary full-time job for your real estate agent. For you, though, it will be a second job in addition to your day job. An FSBO will mean that you will spend a lot of additional time on all those tasks involved in selling your house, such as marketing, showing, negotiating, and so on.
Are you willing and able to invest all this extra time and effort that selling your house will require? Or would you rather enjoy the time savings that a real estate agent can provide? To discover more about how your agent can assist you, call 866-593-7012.
2. Buyer Screening
Be aware too that if you go with an FSBO, you’ll have to deal with a lot of tire-kickers. But with a real estate agent you can avoid most of that hassle because buyers will have been screened and vetted. An agent can determine whether someone interested in a viewing is in fact (or not) a serious, qualified buyer.
Agents “are trained to ask qualifying questions to determine the seriousness, qualification, and motivation of a prospect.” They “are also trained to ask closing questions about how long buyers have been looking, whether they’ve seen any other homes that would work for their needs, if they are paying cash or have been prequalified, what schools they are looking for, and so on. They can move a qualified and motivated person to the point of purchase. FSBO sellers lack this training and skill set.”
3. Large Networks
Another valuable thing a real estate agent can offer that an FSBO can’t is a large professional network. This network means that an agent will have a large pool of potential buyers to tap into, which typically results in a quicker sale and at a better price. With a large network and numerous professional contacts, an agent can get the word out fast to many people as soon as she lists your house.
Consider what a top New York agent does on listing a property. “I have a distribution list of over 3,500 contacts that get an email blast from me within 48 hours that we list a property. Then I start to market the property in every available website, MLS, and site for real estate to keep the momentum and [to keep] showing consistently.”
4. Negotiating Skill
Negotiating skill is one of the most important things a real estate agent can offer. Even if you have sales experience, eve if that’s your job, it’s still not the same as negotiating a real estate (especially a home) sale. An agent will have the training and experience to negotiate you a better deal and a better price.
Keep in mind, too, that when you’re selling your home it’s difficult to set your emotions aside. If you’re not completely objective, you’re not in a good position to negotiate effectively. And then there may be local customs and market conditions you’re not familiar with, which will put you at a disadvantage in negotiating an FSBO deal. Using a local real estate agent will give you an edge when you get down to the nitty-gritty of negotiating.
5. Tools and Capabilities
Besides buyer screening, a large network, and negotiating skill, a real estate agent typically has many more tools and capabilities she can deploy on your behalf. These include:
- Marketings kills and connections
- Use of video virtual tours
- Knowledge of contract and legal issues (to help you avoid attorney fees)
- Ability to be flexible on commissioning
- Availability for showings at all hours
Pretty much all these tools, knowledge, and capabilities your agent can offer an FSBO can’t.
6. More Money
Finally, circling back to what we said at the beginning concerning sellers thinking they can save the agent commission and make more money with an FSBO . . . well, that just isn’t so most of the time. In most cases, even though you don’t have to pay the commission, you will lose money on the sale price. A National Association of Realtors survey found that the average FSBO property sells for almost $60,000 less than an agent-listed property.
So what can a real estate agent offer that an FSBO can’t? Well, as you’ve seen, several things, but the most important is a lot more money in your pocket at the end of the day.