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Should you hire a real estate broker, or try to sell your home on your own? For first-time sellers, this might be a question on your mind. There are many factors to consider before making the decision to use an agent or to put up your own yard sign. Here are a few of them:
1. Are you in a rush?
If you need to sell your home in a hurry, working with a broker is a good move. With the property listed on your local MLS it will gain far more exposure amongst buyers and other brokers, increasing your chances of receiving a quick offer. If time is of no importance you might consider trying to sell the home yourself, but be prepared for a slower cycle. Along with the minimal exposure, take into consideration the delays that might occur when you tackle the paperwork and negotiation process without professional guidance.
2. How is your property priced?
In many cases, the value of your home and your pricing strategy will determine whether you can try selling on your own, or whether you should list with a broker. At a higher price-point; anywhere above $350,000, you’re better off listing with a broker. Buyers with a high budget are more likely to be working with agents themselves, and are more likely to be directed towards options on MLS.
If your home is priced to sell (below market value or below the municipal evaluation) you could try selling on your own. However, if your property is priced at market value or above, a broker will come in handy when it comes to justifying your asking price to buyers and handling the negotiation process.
3. Have you considered the extra costs involved with FSBO?
The primary motivation behind selling a home on your own is usually to cut on commission. When doing your financial comparison, don’t forget to factor in the marketing costs involved in selling on your own. These are costs that a broker would take on themselves when selling your home:
- The “For Sale” sign and other printed material such as flyers and brochures.
- The cost of advertising your home online, whether through Facebook ads or by listing your home on various FSBO websites.
- Listing photography – bright, HD photos are key to selling a home, no matter which strategy you choose.
- Costs associated to credit runs and screening of potential buyers
- Potential legal fees associated with understanding the transaction contracts and your liabilities as a seller (for example, hidden defects!)
- Costs for an independent appraiser to determine your home’s market value
4. Do you have the time?
Many people do not realize the amount of time it takes to schedule showings and open houses, communicate with potential buyers, and complete the paperwork associated with an act of sale. The average seller should be prepared to dedicate at least 10+ hours per week to marketing their home, staging, organizing visits, negotiating, inspections, and drafting legal documents. If you have a full time job and are unable to commit to that time at a minimum, selling on your own may not be the best choice for you.
5. Are you a good negotiator?
One of the main advantage of working with a real estate broker is that they will be able to get you a higher price through strong negotiation, leveraging local knowledge and marketing tools. If you choose to sell on your own, be sure that you are comfortable taking on the various points of negotiation with buyer. Along with the price, you’ll also have to negotiate when it comes to repairs, move-in dates and other conditions on the offer to purchase.