The decision a seller has to make is pretty simple. You can decide to sell it yourself, hire one of those “seller helper” companies or hire a real estate agent.
The big advantage a seller enjoys if they sell their own home without involving a real estate agent is saving money. A real estate agent hired to sell someone’s home is going to get a percentage of the selling price as compensation for their services. In my area, it’s generally 5% or 6%, but that can vary depending on where you live.
If you sell it yourself, you save a lot of money but you’ll probably have to hire an attorney to assist you with all the legal mumbo jumbo that goes hand-in-hand with a real estate transaction. You’ll have to work a lot harder and deal with a lot of red tape yourself if you decide to sell your home yourself. There’s nothing wrong with selling your home yourself, but just realize that it’s a lot more difficult than hiring a real estate agent in terms of the amount of work you’ll need to do and it’s likely to take a lot longer than it would if you hired a real estate agent.
There are all kinds of new limited-service companies that have sprung up in recent years that offer partial real estate service, such as getting your home listed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listings. I really don’t know too much about these companies so that’s about all I have to say on the subject.
If you want to know what I suggest, I say go with a real estate agent. I’m no longer a real estate agent or have anything to do with the industry (other than maintaining this website) so I really don’t have anything to gain whether you decide to hire a real estate agent or not.
I can tell you that each time I have bought or sold a home, I have hired a real estate agent and the reasons for that are because it’s the quickest way to get your home sold and it saves you a lot of time and effort. Frankly, just going through all the work it takes to prepare a home for sale and then be cleaning it up and vacating it for every showing is enough work for me! I’m willing to give up 5% or 6% of the selling price for the services of a real estate agent which makes selling my house one heck of a lot easier than if I did it myself.
Who Should I Hire To Sell My Home?
If you have decided to hire a real estate agent to sell your home, you may benefit from an experience I recently had.
You can choose to hire one of the “big name” agencies or you can hire a local “mom and pop” agency. I’m all for local business, but if you decide to hire a small, local real estate company to sell your home, I suggest you make sure the agent you hire is very hard-working and motivated.
In my experience, the big-name companies have a lot more resources than the smaller agencies and bigger budgets as well. This was demonstrated to me when I hired a small, local agency to sell a property for me and was rather shocked to see how casual they seemed about getting it sold. As far as I could tell, their marketing efforts consisted of slapping a cheesy-looking sign on a tree in front of the property, listing it in MLS and running an ad in the Sunday paper one time.
There were a number of showings of the property to potential buyers and for the vast majority of them I received no feedback whatsoever. That was really surprising to me since I recall being taught in real estate school a few years ago that keeping your client informed and up-to-date was the most important thing a selling agent can do.
It’s probably not surprising to hear that I let the contract expire with that company and did not renew it. I was extremely unimpressed with their effort to sell the property.
I then decided to hire one of the big-name companies that is dominant in this area. The difference was like night and day. The agent (who I did know from a number of years ago) was fantastic. She provided more feedback from showings that I could have expected and she did it very promptly.
The agent from the big company also had access to resources that the smaller company just did not have, giving the property more exposure in more places. I could not have been happier with the experience I had with the agent I had hired from the big agency.
I’m not saying that an agent from a smaller company cannot do a good job selling a property. I’m willing to wager that there are some top-notch agents working at small companies. They just have to work a little harder than the agents from the big companies because the big companies have the funds and resources to market a property to a wider audience and with more of the latest tools and technology.