People make a lot of interesting decisions when it comes to money, goods and services. Some folks like to keep chickens and cultivate organic gardens to lessen the cost of shopping at supermarkets. Others are quick to place a Craigslist ad to get a little money back for things like old bicycles and unused personal items.

But next to no one considers making deals that run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars without having a lawyer look over a contract. Selling your own home runs along the same lines. It’s a major transaction and these are some of the reasons why it may be best to enlist the help of a professional.


Financial Benefits are a Myth

Some homeowners consider selling their own home to recoup the approximate 6-percent commission real estate agents generally get for their time and efforts. On the surface, that seems like a good idea. Of course, only real estate professionals really know the facts about selling homes.

A real estate professional understands market trends, prices and what drives prices up or down. For example, a 7-room home sounds like it could fetch a good price based on the number of rooms. To the homeowner scanning the listings, that makes sense.

But an experienced agent may be better informed about what people moving into your area want. They may value larger rooms instead of more, or open floor plans. A home-selling professional may recommend taking down a non-load bearing wall to increase value. That may drive your potential sales price far above the 6 percent you were looking to save.

Simply put, an industry professional can help you pocket more money than you might have gotten without their experience.


Professionals are Better at Marketing Homes

The growth in online listings has led some owners to believe that uploading a few pics and specs is all the marketing a home requires. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Many agencies engage in in-house information sharing. That means that agents try to match buyers with sellers by utilizing their internal networks. This has resulted in faster sales for homeowners that work with professionals.

Anyone who has driven by a few “For Sale by Owner” signs recognizes that these properties do not move quickly, or at all. Selling your own home puts you outside the largest marketing network for your product, real estate agents.


Finding a Qualified Buyer can be Impossible

One of the biggest nightmares homeowners that try to sell their properties face is finding a buyer that can get a mortgage.

Once you put that sign in the ground, expect multiple calls from buyers offering rock-bottom prices. Some of these will be home flippers and they can be persistent.

The other major problem will be the ongoing offers from people that simply don’t qualify for a mortgage. Expect solid offers and repeated disappointment.

Real estate agents press perspective buyers to get prequalified and then match their purchase power to your asking price. This will include having a reasonable down payment on hand and a bank willing to write up the deal. That’s professionalism.


Contact an Experienced Real Estate Professional

These are just some of the many problem areas that cause property owners frustration, disappointment and financial setbacks when trying to make a major transaction without professional help. Despite the overwhelming reasons why “For Sale by Owner” is an inherently bad idea, upwards of 8 percent of homeowners make this sometimes-catastrophic mistake. Don’t join their ranks.

If you are considering selling your home, contact an experienced real estate professional.


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