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Do I Need an Agent to Sell My House?

Selling your house without an agent is appealing because you save money on commission fees. For some, this cost is detrimental to their overall...

Selling your house without an agent is appealing because you save money on commission fees. For some, this cost is detrimental to their overall financial situation. If you are facing a similar situation, it is possible to sell your house without the assistance of an agent. You are not legally required to work with an agent to sell your home.

Residents of all 50 states are legally permitted to create a “For Sale By Owner” listing if they strictly adhere to the real estate laws present in their state. Though it is entirely possible for you to sell your house on your own, unique challenges arise in the process. Pros and cons exist for selling with and without an agent, so it is important to consider both options closely before making your final decision.

Sell Your House Like a Pro

When you decide to sell your house without an agent you are effectively assuming that role yourself. This means independently completing all tasks related to the listing and sale of your home. From hiring a professional photographer to take photos for your listing, to fielding calls from prospective buyers, and organizing open houses, you are going to devote a part of your day every day to this process. Selling your house on your own is a dedicated commitment and one that cannot be taken lightly if you ultimately want to facilitate a sale.

To ensure you are handling the situation like a pro, you must follow a few crucial steps. First, you need to understand and abide by the real estate laws in your state. This is essential as you may unknowingly go against local disclosure laws which then halts the sale of your home. Be sure to thoroughly study local real estate before completing the process of listing your home by yourself.

Once you are familiar with the laws, the next step is to familiarize yourself with the current housing market. Sometimes it is a seller’s market and other times it is a buyer’s market, so learning the difference helps you pick the opportune time to list your home for sale.

Finally, you must determine the right price for your listing. The best way to do this is to browse through listings of similarly sized homes in your area. Look to see what other people are listing their homes for and what they are ultimately making from the sale to find the best listing price for your house.

Benefits of Working with an Agent

Working with an agent provides you with specific benefits that are important to consider before you tackle the job yourself. An agent handles the daily tasks associated with the sale for you, and this is preferable for people who do not have the time or effort to devote to the selling process. On average, homes take anywhere between 65 and 93 days to sell from the point when the listing is created to the closing sale paperwork. When you work with an agent, you gain the assurance that a professional is handling each step of the sale and can handle any complications that arise.

Even though you are not legally required to work with an agent, some states like Massachusetts, New York, and Florida, require you to hire a real estate attorney to handle the paperwork associated with the closing sale. This is an added expense, in addition to the added cost of paying the buyer’s agent.

If your main reason for selling your house on your own is to save on costs, you may end up spending more by choosing this option. Working with an agent typically results in a faster sale, and it effectively eliminates any hidden costs and fees.

House in historic village Shirakawa-go
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Hometown: Galway, Ireland

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