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Can You Sell Your Home Without a Realtor?

Sherri MonteithThe short answer to this question is: of course! The long answer is a bit more challenging. Do you really want to? Are you really well equipped to? Here are some things to consider when choosing the best course for selling your home.

First of all, do you truly know the value of your home in the present market? Websites such a Zillow and Trulia offer (at best) a guess of what your home should be worth. These numbers often vary greatly from the reality. The absolute best way to know the value of your home is by a competitive market analysis, or CMA. These numbers most often come from the local Multiple Listing Service, or MLS. The MLS is a system that realtors have access to that allows not only showcasing listings, but comps when a listing is closed. The MLS will go back quite a ways, but when using comps for listings that have closed the realtor will likely only go back about three to six months. This allows for the most up-to-date, realistic number possible. The average home seller will not have access to this system, therefore, will not have the ability to have an accurate number of the house value.

Second, are you able to market and promote your home the way a realtor would? Many think that realtors simply input a listing into the MLS and that is all there is to it. Not the case. Many times, buyers are coming from out the area, whether they are simply relocating from Phoenix or making a move across the country. If you are relying on a For Sale by Owner sign in your front yard, how will these buyers ever know of your home’s existence? Professional photography is something that a realtor will likely do in order to promote your home. Having exquisite photos allows for your home to be fed through the local MLS to other multiple websites including, but not limited to, Realtor.com and newspapers. Exposure is key when listing a home for sale. Again, many sellers lack the ability to feature their home on certain sites, limiting the exposure of their home.

Third, will you understand the timelines of the home-buying process well enough to protect your own interests? How much earnest money should be put down? How long should the buyer have for inspections of the home?

Another point to consider: Are you prepared to work with a licensed realtor that could bring you a buyer? Many times, one agent works for the seller and another agent works for the buyer. Would you be willing to cooperate with an agent if they are willing to bring you a buyer? The agent representing the buyer will, rightfully so, have their best interests at heart. Realtors are trained in the art of negotiation and do it daily.

How will you deal with potential buyers? Will you screen them? How will you make certain they are qualified to actually purchase your home?

Like a lot of things in life, yes, certainly you could choose to do this yourself, but should you? Consulting with a realtor is free of charge. Please consider that option when it’s time to see your home. After meeting with a professional, if you feel you are able to go at it alone, you certainly have that option, but likely when meeting with a licensed realtor, his or her true value will be obvious.


By Sherri Monteith

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One Response to Can You Sell Your Home Without a Realtor?

  1. Mont Sky Real Estate March 7, 2016 at 10:14 AM #

    Absolutely agree on this article. It’s important to have a licensed professional co-broke on your behalf in your local MLS (or RLS here in NYC). Otherwise, the 80% of buyers represented by agents will ignore you listings. And why is that? Because why would someone introduce their client to a FSBO who has made clear that he doesn’t want to involve brokers?

    Make sure you do an agent managed listing if you’re looking to sell in NYC. Mont Sky Real Estate would be happy to help any buyers or sellers based in New York City.

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