For Sale: By Agent or By Owner? | Your Questions Answered

    This week marks the sixth week of our Your Questions Answered blog series. Through this series, (which we affectionately like to think of as our own twist on ‘Dear Abby’) we hope to debunk some of the most perplexing questions about the real estate process.

    Today, our agent Jess will be giving her list on both the pros and cons of selling a house with an agent or by owner. Have you thought about selling your house by owner? Before you do, see the list below to make sure you’re prepared to take on such a hefty endeavor. Read on…


    “Why should I use an agent to sell my home when I could just do it myself?”

    PROS of Selling Yourself:

    • Pro: Save money! You can potentially save yourself money by not having to pay the realtor’s commission.  (However… we do feel obliged to explain that statistics show that most people who decide to work with a realtor end up getting more for their home in the long run.)
    • Pro: Cash in on a hot market! Depending on how your home shows, where you live and what the market is like in those areas, you could visit planet “perfect world” for a day or two and sell your house quickly for close to asking price!  There are certain real estate markets that are experiencing a “sellers market” currently and you may be able to reap the benefits of that if you are willing to take the risk.

    CONS of Selling Yourself:

    • Con: Less Exposure. Your listing will only be seen by buyers who search public social media sites like Craigslist and fsbo.com, buyers who drive by and see a sign in your yard, and buyers who still read newspaper ads.
    • ConLegal ramifications might bite you. A lot of sellers know just enough about the real estate market to be dangerous, but going it alone could cause you to make mistakes in pricing your home, negotiating with potential buyers, and making sure you are completing the right paperwork in order to protect yourself as the seller from legal issues down the road.
    • Con: It’s a full-time job. You aren’t just on the front line, you are the front line!  Selling your home could easily become a full time job.: screening potential buyers; scheduling showings; keeping your property show ready…. Be willing to take numerous phone calls daily, answer a lot of emails and be flexible for showings.
    • Con: Incorrectly formed contracts may hurt you. Are you experienced enough to write a contract in a way that protects you as a buyer in the long run?  Are you experienced enough to handle problems from contract to close as they arise? Things like inspections, codes, lender issues, legal issues, etc…

    PROS of Utilizing a Realtor:

    • Pro: More exposure/advertising. Your home will get a lot of exposure.  Agents will not only place ads/listings on social media sites, they will also place a sign in your yard and list it with the Tennessee MLS system (Multiple Listing Service), which is a system that gets your listing in front of thousands of buyers and agents state-wide.
    • Pro: Professional (and paid for) marketing. Your agent will coordinate and pay for the advertising and marketing of your home. Read: more money staying in your pocket.
    • Pro: Protection from sneaky buyers/legal loopholes. Your agent will be your front line.  He or she will provide you with a Comparable Market Analysis and assist you in pricing your home, along with screening buyers, negotiating the contract and handling all of the necessary documents needed throughout the entire transaction.
    • Pro: Efficiency and timeliness. If you are hiring the right agent, then you are hiring a professional who has expertise in your local real estate market and who will be able to help you walk away with the best deal in a timely and efficient manner.
    • Pro: Professional representation. You are represented by a professional that handles the contract to protect you and save you the most money possible.  The agent will also handle the entire process of contract to close and all that comes along with it.

    CONS of Utilizing a Realtor:

    • Con: Less money in your pocket. You as the seller will be responsible for paying your agent’s commission, which is usually around 3% of the purchase price, which equates to less money staying in your pocket.   However, if you get more exposure (which you will with an agent) you may very well get more money for your house in the form of a higher offer (or multiple offers!) with your house spending less time on the market.

    Do we suggest using an agent? Well, of course we do, we are agents after all! However, we aren’t trying to scare you away from selling it yourself. Selling your home yourself can be done successfully, it just takes a bit more time, effort and detail than it does when you call on the help of a professional. Contact us today and let us walk you through the process and speak in to your particular situation. We’ll be happy to advise you on selling your house either way you want to do it – and promise to make the process go as smoothly as possible if you do choose us to represent you!


    Thanks for tuning in to our “Your (Real Estate) Questions Answered“ blog series! | Last week: Taking Advantage of Your Home Warranty | Want to stay connected? Like us on Facebook +  follow us on Twitter and Instagram. And, as always, check out our current homes for sale in the Nashville area.

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    Our agents write often to give you the latest insights on owning a home or property in the local area.