Wading into the murky waters of pricing, marketing, screening, scheduling, showing and paperwork, with the goal of saving some money is an experience you may find less than rewarding. As for saving money, most homeowners are unaware that the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS has shown that your home will probably sell for 16 percent more on average when sold through a REALTOR than when you try to sell it yourself. A REALTOR® is likely to return much more than the commission he/she earns.
This is why the number of for sale by owner transactions has fallen steeply since reaching a high of nearly 20% in 1987 to just 11% in 2006 as reported by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS. It's further enlightening to know that nearly 40% of the homes sold by "For Sale By Owner" in 2006 were to friends or relatives of the seller. If you look at just open market transactions in 2006, the transaction made by "For Sale By Owners" are reduced to only 7%. As the legal and technological difficulties of selling a home have increased, the number of sellers willing to go it alone have decreased.
The first thing a REALTOR® will do is prepare an in depth Comparable Market Analysis to help you price your home correctly to the market using actual sales of comparable homes to document his/her figures. He/she will then point out all the things you should do to get your home in tip top shape explaining why staging your home is important, especially in buyers' market, to make that great first impression. Your REALTOR also will market your home on the internet, in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), and to other REALTORS and their clients - to make sure your home is seen by as many buyers as possible.
A REALTOR® will set all appointments to see your home, and pre-qualify prospects, so only buyers that are financially capable and serious about buying a home will see yours. He/she or another MLS REALTOR will also be with them as they tour your home, protecting your home as well as your interests. When offers are made he/she will help you evaluate and compare each offer and, if necessary, help you to make a reasonable counter-offer without prejudicing your negotiating position. In the case of multiple offers a REALTOR's assistance can be invaluable in negotiating with the buyers to out bid each other so, often, you'll get a final offer even higher than your asking price.
Finally the REALTOR will oversee all the legal details of escrow to make sure your interests are protected. Your free to concentrate on your own move.
Should you go it alone? Two thirds of those who have, say that next time, they'll hire a REALTOR.