Sliding House Image
Toledo Skyline Image

Sell Your Home Without a REALTOR®? 5 Reasons that’s a Bad Idea.

The time has come and you’re ready to sell your home. You’ve done all the research, made numerous improvements and even put your home on multiple listing sites.  You’re feeling confident since you consider yourself to be a pretty savvy DIY’er.  You know that you can save money by filing your own taxes and remodeling your bathroom without a contractor.  But how far can you go with doing it yourself?  Some situations call for a professional.  You wouldn’t perform surgery on yourself, would you? I would hope not!  We believe that the role of a listing agent is best left to the professionals and here’s why.

5 Reasons you shouldn’t sell your home yourself

1. You Risk Reduced Exposure to Potential Buyers

Even though you list your home on multiple real estate websites, you won’t be getting the same exposure as you would with a REALTOR®.  This is because many real estate agents will not want to show your property to their clients. In a for-sale-by-owner listing, the buyer’s agent knows there won’t be a professional on the other end of the transaction, which can mean numerous headaches. But what if a potential buyer insists on seeing your home? The agent might discourage their clients from making an offer by pointing out the hassles and risks of trying to close the deal without a professional representing the seller.

Agents also have a larger network between all the multiple listing sites and their network of both personal and professional contacts who are willing to spread the word for them. Sure, you might have lots of friends and contacts, but are they really interested in helping you sell your house?

2. You’re Emotionally Tied to the Property

Selling a home is typically an emotional process. Having an agent keeps you one step removed and makes you less likely to make poor judgments such as overpricing your home, refusing to counter a low offer because you’re offended or giving in too easily when you have a deadline for selling your home.

A REALTOR® can follow-up with the potential buyer without communicating a sense of eagerness or desperation.  And let’s not forget about comments made by buyers and oftentimes their agents. Just because you love the flowers in the front yard, doesn’t mean a potential buyer will. As a homeowner it can be quiet upsetting to hear negative comments, so let your selling agent deal directly with buyers and their agents. An agent can take the sting out of the rejection and put a positive spin on any negative feedback.

3. Selling Real Estate Is Not Your Full-Time Job

You probably already have a full time job between work, family, and everything else you handle throughout the week. At the end of a long day of work, do you have the time or energy to jump on every opportunity to sell your home? Are you able to rush to meet every potential buyer who would like to see your home? Or can you excuse yourself from an important meeting to answer all the phone calls from potential buyers?

Your answer to all of these questions is probably “no.” An agent’s answer to all of these questions is “yes!”  In addition, by going through an agent, you’ll get a lockbox for your front door that allows agents to show your home even when you aren’t available.  Selling your home yourself is a lot of work and a major interruption every time you have to put your life on hold to work with a potential buyer.

REALTORS® 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, and they can move a qualified and motivated person to the point of purchase.

4. You Are Not an Expert Negotiator

An experienced agent may have negotiated hundreds of home purchases. REALTORS® know the strength of the market and what’s driving demand, which gives them an advantage by knowing what terms are worth negotiating, and which are worth letting the other party win. A REALTOR® can also detect the warning signs of a nervous or disingenuous buyer.

Besides the attention to detail, the basis for a successful negotiation is knowledge.  Don’t guess or make assumptions.  REALTORS® provide the basic information you should have at hand before you start negotiating on a property such as: MLS printout, Neighborhood sales and listings, statistical market data, mortgages and liens and public records information just to name a few.

5. You Run the Risk of Being Sued

A lot of legal paperwork is involved in a home sale, and it needs to be completed correctly by an expert. One of the most important items is the seller’s disclosures. A selling agent has an affirmative duty to disclose any fact that materially affects the value or desirability of the property. If a seller doesn’t disclose properly, they can held liable for fraud, negligence, or even breach of contract.

If you fail to disclose a hazard, nuisance or defect and the buyer comes back to you after they’ve moved in and found a problem, they could sue you. Agents can make mistakes, too, but they have professional errors-and-omissions insurance to protect themselves and to give the buyer recourse so the buyer may not need to pursue the seller for damages.

The Bottom Line When Listing Your Home without a REALTOR®

Selling your home will likely be one of the biggest transactions of your life. You can try to do it alone to save money, but hiring an agent has many advantages. Agents can get broader exposure for your property, help you negotiate a better deal, dedicate more time to your sale and help keep your emotions from sabotaging the sale. An agent brings expertise, which few home sellers have, to a complex transaction with many financial and legal pitfalls.