Hiring a Real Estate Agent vs For Sale by Owner: Which Is Better?

Should you hire a real estate agent or sell your home yourself? Check out this guide to learn about hiring a real estate agent vs for sale by owner.

Are you planning on putting your home up on the market soon?

If so, you’ll have two options. You can either go through the process of hiring a real estate agent to help you sell your home—or attempt to sell your home yourself.

The majority of people choose to work with a real estate agent when selling a house. About 90% decide to bring a realtor onboard prior to listing their home.

But before you go that route, carefully consider both of your options to see which one works best for you. Here are some of the considerations you’ll need to make while you’re working towards a final decision.

Preparing Your Home to Hit the Open Market

Preparing Your Home to Hit the Open Market

Prior to listing your home for sale, either through a real estate agent or on your own, you’ll need to make the proper preparations. You’ll need to do things like:

  • Tackle home improvement projects that could increase the value of your home
  • Stage your home so that it looks its best when potential buyers start coming to see it
  • Schedule a home inspection for your house to pinpoint any unforeseen issues with it

If you take the time to learn how to sell your house yourself, you can take care of these things on your own. You can find the right home improvement projects to take on and set your house up so that it looks great when people begin walking through it.

If, however, you don’t have the time to do these things, you might be better off working with a real estate agent. They can show you the specific home improvement projects that offer the most bang for your buck and ensure your home is all ready to go before it hits the market.

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Listing Your Home for Sale

How much are you going to sell your home for? That’s obviously a very important question that you’ll need to answer before you put a “For Sale” sign in the front yard.

The price that you choose for your home shouldn’t be a price that you grab out of thin air. It should be based on everything from the condition of your home to the prices put on comparable properties in your area.

Hiring a real estate agent can make it easy to come up with a fair price for your home. You can sit back and allow a realtor to do all the heavy lifting as far as finding the right price for your property.

But you can also do this on your own if you want. You can do the necessary research on the home prices in your area to generate a price for your home.

It all depends on how much time you have to devote to studying up on the local real estate market. Either way, your goal will be to list your home at the best price possible at the end of the process.

Marketing Your Home

Marketing Your Home

If your home is located in a great neighborhood and priced to move, you won’t have too much trouble finding sellers for it fast. But on average, it usually takes people more than two months to sell their homes.

And it can take a lot longer than that if you don’t market your home the right way!

A real estate agent will do everything in their power to market your home to those in your community. They’ll list it in local newspapers, put it up on their website, and hold open houses to drum up interest in your property.

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You’ll be responsible for doing these things on your own if you don’t hire a realtor to help. Selling a home is not always as easy as sticking a “For Sale” sign in the front yard and waiting.

If you’re up for the challenge of marketing your home on your own, you’re welcome to give it a whirl. But many people prefer to allow their real estate agents to take care of it for them.

Negotiating the Sale Price for Your Home

In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to worry about negotiating the sale price for your home. You would list it, get a full price offer from a buyer, accept the offer, and be done with it!

But of course, that’s not always how the home-selling process plays out. More often than not, sellers are hit with low ball offers from buyers and have to negotiate with them to bring the price up.

Many Americans don’t feel comfortable negotiating. Studies have shown that about 40% of people consider themselves to be bad negotiators.

If you fall into this category, you’ll appreciate having a realtor by your side to handle the negotiations for your home. They’ll work with the buyer’s realtor to come to an agreement on the final price for your home.

If you feel comfortable negotiating, though, you might want to take a crack at doing it yourself. You can sell your home on your own and get what you want for it without relying on a realtor for help.

Closing on Your Home

House and Keys in Female Hands
Female presenting keys and small house.

Closing on a home is arguably the most stressful part of selling a house. There are so many different people who are involved in it, including home inspectors, appraisers, attorneys, escrow officers, title insurance agents, and more.

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If the thought of closing on a home on your own makes your head spin, you’re going to want to hire a real estate agent. They’ll orchestrate your closing and make sure it goes off without a hitch.

Just remember that it will come at a cost. Once your closing is complete, your real estate agent will charge you a commission fee of about 6% of the property value of your home.

If you don’t want to pay that commission fee, selling your home on your own might be the best move for you as long as you’re ready to take on everything that comes along with it.

Is Hiring a Real Estate Agent the Right Move for You?

Is Hiring a Real Estate Agent the Right Move for You

Selling a home is one of the most stressful things you’ll ever do. If hiring a real estate agent makes it even slightly less stressful, it might be well worth paying a commission fee to a realtor.

But you also have the option of selling your house on your own if you’d like. It might be more stressful on you and your family, but it could also be more lucrative if you play your cards right. It all comes down to what makes you feel the most comfortable at the end of the day.

Read our blog to get more tips on successfully selling a home.