Once the decision has been made to sell your house, the next question is stemming around the most prominent way to do so. Do you sell the house yourself to avoid paying real estate commissions or is it profitable to list the house with an experienced Realtor? The answer to this question can be found by examining the two different options and determining which direction would maximize the overall gain in the transaction.

Many people initially try to sell their property themselves rather than listing it right away with a Realtor. If you are familiar with the real estate industry and common practices, this may prove to be a good way to approach the sale of your home. Even if you have experience and especially those who are unfamiliarhave never been involved in the sale of a property, the task can be daunting and many people who attempt to sell their property themselves often list the home with a seasoned Realtor after some time. The reasoning behind the change in strategy are that the home owner wishes to streamline the sales process to increase the profit gain as well as shorten the timeline of the transaction.

An experienced real estate agent will be equipped with many tools and tactics to sell your home for top dollar as they are able to utilize advanced photography to showcase the home in such a way that maximizes the value of the property. Along with this, they will be knowledgeable on the best way to stage your home. A good real estate broker will also know that the purchase of a new home is an emotional experience for a lot of people and will be able to capitalize on this aspect to build excitement about the lifestyle the house brings.

The Realtor will also have access to list the home on the MLS, which is a centralized computer system that registered agents and the public can view the most current listings available. The real estate broker will be able to utilize the MLS system in conjunction with other tools to determine the best listing price for your home without you having to obtain an appraisal to do so. If you decide to sell the property without the assistance of a licensed agent, you may need to purchase an appraisal on your property to determine market pricing. Once the pricing has been set on a property, the Realtor will have negotiation power utilizing market data in the area your house is located. As potential buyers begin to pour into your home, the real estate agent can manage the phone calls and daily showings as well as qualify interested parties.

It can be difficult to sort out the serious buyers from the not-so-serious ones. There really is no good way to determine credit worthiness of a buyer when selling a house as for sale by owner. An advantage that a licensed agent would have is the ability to qualify potential buyers which will ultimately save time in the process. There is a difference between a “pre-qualification” and a “pre-approval” letter and it is important to understand the difference when dealing with buyers.

In the case of a “pre-qualification”, the buyer has engaged in a conversation with a lender regarding their current income level, monthly debts and amount they are planning to put down on the new home. With this basic information, the lender will draft a “pre-qualification” letter stating that they would qualify for a loan given the initial parameters discussed. In contrast, when an “pre-approval” letter is drafted, all documentation of information disclosed above in addition to credit reporting is processed through underwriting to determine an actual loan approval including amount. Having this information in hand will prevent surprises down the road causing a breakdown at the contract stage of the deal. An experienced Realtor, will have access to lenders with whom they have built solid relationships with to provide not only the highest level of service but quick turn-around times and individual care for a seamless closing experience. This advantage awards less opportunity for deals to fall through due to financing.

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This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.