Do you need a Realtor when selling your home?

·February 17, 2024·Home Selling Tips·5 min·

When you're ready to sell your home, why hire a real estate agent? FSBO vs Realtor

A vibrant orange 'For Sale By Owner' sign on a lush green lawn in front of a suburban home, signifying a property on the market without a real estate agent.
A person's hands are interacting with a tablet displaying a photo gallery, with a laptop open in the background on a wooden desk, indicating multitasking between devices.

Navigating the Digital World: A Touch Away

In today’s modern age of internet, we have so much information at touch of our fingertips. With a quick swype, or a “hey Siri” or “OK Google” you have access to unlimited data. When it comes to Real Estate, the internet has already proven to be one of the most valuable tools whether you’re buying or selling a home. It’s no secret that websites like Zillow allow the average consumer to search homes and even list your home For Sale By Owner (FSBO) at little to no cost. You can find tips to prepare your home, how to stage, and even figure out a price point if you do enough research. So when you’re ready to sell your home, why hire a realtor? Though the answer to that question is simple to me as i do it every day for a living, allow me to go a little more in depth in understanding what services real estate agents actually provide when it comes to selling a home.

A vibrant orange 'For Sale By Owner' sign on a lush green lawn in front of a suburban home, signifying a property on the market without a real estate agent.

Ready for the Next Chapter: Home for Sale by Owner

First off, let’s talk about Zillow. I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but Zillow isn’t designed to help the consumer, it’s actually just a highly effective lead generation tool for Real Estate Agents. Have you ever contacted one of the agents to get more information on a home or schedule a showing only to find out that it’s actually been under contract for weeks…… or already sold?? This is very common as Zillow doesn’t guarantee accuracy of its information. That means they don’t have to update the status of a home in real time when it goes under contract, comes back on the market, or sells. After all, why would it? Their job is to connect potential buyers and sellers to agents…. agents that PAY top dollar to get leads from their website. As an agent that’s used Zillow for lead generation, I can tell you I’m always smiling and happy to tell a new potential client the house they are interested isn’t available because that gets my foot in the door to help find them a home, and possibly sell their current home.

A person’s hands are shown writing on a notepad with the bold question 'What’s your home worth?' highlighted in orange, with a pen, a coffee cup, and a 'TODAY?' placard on a wooden desk.

Properly Assessing the Value of Your Home

When it comes to selling homes without a realtor, you have to decide what you want to list the home for. So where do you go? Again, the go to for most For Sale By Owner homes is Zillow followed by OpenDoor. You can put in your address and instantly get the infamous Zestimate! Zestimates are running joke in the real estate community. Real Estate Agents share memes about how off they are, and shutter at listing appointments when a seller tells them Zillow told them how much their house is worth. This goes back to accuracy of information on Zillow. It’s not that Zillow makes up a value of any given home; from what I understand they have an amazing algorithm that does as best as it can to figure out a home value. The problem is, there are a lot of factors that go into determining market value of a home. Real Estate Agents are trained to do this by factoring comparable neighborhood sales, home upgrades, current market conditions and a handful of other things down to the cross street or school district. This is why listing appointments are done at the seller’s home, so the real estate agent can tour the home, see its current condition and come up with the most accurate opinion of the value of the home. Getting the list price right is a key factor in selling the home. List it too high and it will sit on the market. List it too low and you feel like you undercut the value. Once it’s on the market price reductions (or increases) are tricky, so having a professional list your home will help guide you to the best price for exposure.

A colorful word cloud featuring a variety of terms associated with real estate, such as 'Mortgage', 'Equity', 'Closing', 'Broker', and 'Foreclosure', arranged in a dynamic, abstract pattern.

The Language of Real Estate: Navigating the Market

Speaking of exposure, marketing is often a challenge without a real estate professional. Even if you have the home listed right, if you can’t get it in front of the masses, the right buyer may never see it and once again, it may sit on the market. Hiring a Real Estate agent opens up the marketing flood gates. The underlying system that real estate agents use to input data is call the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Once hired, the listing agent can upload all the data about the property and then the fun begins. Agents with buyer clients can instantly see the listing in the MLS and schedule a showing. The information is also fed through all the well-known Real Estate websites such as Trulia & Zillow for all to see. Additionally, a good realtor will blast the new listing via email to other real estate agents, market on social media, host open houses and sometimes even magazines depending on what they believe is the best avenue for getting the home sold.

There are a lot of disadvantages to selling a house without a realtor, but it can be successful and save you commission if done well. However most that attempt to sell their home this way will tell you it’s not worth it. Real Estate brokerages normally charge 4-6% of the sale prices for their service. Keep in mind that commission is split with the buyer’s agent who brings the buyer. The expertise that a real estate agent brings is beyond monetary value. Having in depth market knowledge, access to the MLS, understanding of paperwork & contracts, vast marketing & negotiating skills and guidance throughout the transaction process should be enough to want to have a realtor on your side. And don’t forget about time. Doing all this is very time consuming. Usually even more-so for a seller with no background in Real Estate….but if all that isn’t enough, give selling your home yourself a shot.
If you are considering selling and you’d like to talk to a real estate agent about your options then reach out. You can have your home valued with no obligation. Just click below to make an appointment.



Azrow Moore

Arrow Mac Team Lead

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