buying a home with little money in savings

Real Estate Agent Vs. For Sale By Owner

by Fernando Moore

For many, their first home is rarely their dream home. Everything's the perfect fit for you and your spouse, then your family expands and everyone is tripping over each other. In this do-it-yourself age, you may be considering listing the property yourself, but take a moment to consider the benefits of hiring a real estate agent.


If you have a full-time job and are considering For Sale By Owner, consider the amount of time that you will have to dedicate to the task. Real estate agents have access to resources on recent sales in your neighborhood and the knowledge of the best venue for marketing your home in the area. As an independent seller, you will have to do the leg work to find this information and use a fair amount of trial and error to discover what attracts more buyers. Agents can also screen calls for people interested in seeing your home and show it at more convenient times than your schedule may allow.


A 2013 census, indicated that 9% of owners were FSBO and earned typically $184k as opposed to $230k for people who went with an agent. Additionally, agents can assist potential buyers with finding financing. This added benefit can be the difference of your home sitting on the market or selling relatively quickly. Consider as well that homes listed by-owner take longer to sell. You will want to calculate how much it costs to continue living in your home, including property taxes, insurance, and the mortgage. For sale by owner listings sell more quickly if you offer the buyers' agent a 3 or 4 percent commission. So you may still get stuck paying commission fees, even if it isn't your personal agent.


Many people are concerned with saving as much money as possible when it come to selling their home, and rightfully so. Understand, however, that you are hiring a real estate agent for her expertise in the area. In the aforementioned census, 18% of the For Sale By Owner crowd stated that they had the most trouble understanding the paperwork. A qualified agent will understand the process of closing a sale and accepting the offer and initiating the inspection phase and will be able to explain it to you. Agents can also help to negotiate better prices for your sale and act as a buffer between you and the buyers and their agent. Additionally, they know the market trends and the best ways to present your home so that it will appeal to local buyers.

Everything that the real estate agent has access to, you also have access too. Consider, though, that you will also have to declutter and prepare your home in addition to making time to learn the ins and outs of selling while showing your home to potential buyers. Further, with the added price of remaining in your home and the potential to make much less than your intended price, it may not be worth the time and money to skip hiring a knowledgeable agent.