Does It Take A Realtor To Sell A House?

Posted by Joe Manausa on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 at 11:32am.

You want to "sell house" and move on with the rest of your life, so here are some thoughts to consider if you are mulling through a "sell house" scenario.

I was searching the term "sell house" on several real estate message boards to see if any good ideas were posted that could provide guidance for a troubled home seller. I found one that I think is very interesting due to the current nature of the housing market, where roughly 60% of homeowners who try to sell their home end up failing. The reader inquired about the need for a REALTOR® when selling a home. He wrote:

I need to sell house in Florida, should I get a Realtor? I am selling a home for what I owe the bank. So, my property is beeing sold for less than other homes in the same community. If I get a Realtor, I would have to raise the price to the same price that everyone is selling. So, I can cover the realtor expense. But it will give me more exposure. Should I get a realtor?

I think this is a fair and valid question, and as you might expect, I will certainly recommend that the seller do some homework before making a decision on how he will "sell house." Whether or not he decides to hire a real estate company for the job of selling a home, he would be foolish not to interview a local real estate expert to hear what they have to say. At a minimum, he could learn something useful that he would use selling it as a "For Sale By Owner".

Homeowner Wants To Sell House

Sell HouseThe question posed above is based upon good, sound, common sense. When he considers his options for selling a home though, he is making some common mistakes that need to be avoided. Here are some thoughts to consider if you are mulling through a "sell house" scenario:

  • Make an informed decision - It does not cost anything to interview an agent (or better yet, an entire company) for the job of selling a home, so go ahead and do so. The insight that you will gain from the interviews will make you better qualified to determine whether a REALTOR is needed.
  • Value - The question states "I am selling a home for what I owe the bank" implies that the home owner is the one that gets to determine the value of the property. With all the distressed properties for sale, I suspect the homeowner is not completely prepared for what he will find when he has to compete in the market. He can set any asking price he wants ... but buyers set the value and might never even find his property.
  • REALTOR Fee - "If I get a REALTOR, I would have to raise the price..." Most buyers bring a real estate agent and the agent gets paid (even when the property is sold "without a REALTOR"). So the true "discount" is 1/2 of the real estate fee. However, everybody knows when a seller is not paying that fee, and that amount is almost ALWAYS discounted out of the value of the home. Ultimately, the few sellers that succeed in selling their home without a REALTOR pass the discount off to the buyer.
  • Exposure - Today's market requires much more than just exposure. Think about this. 60% of homeowners who try to sell their home end up failing. This means that they hired a real estate company and failed! All of these real estate companies put the listings in the MLS, REALTOR.com, Trulia, Zillow, etc. So it is not about exposure. It is about TARGETED EXPOSURE! Home sellers need to know the difference!

To Sell House - Be Informed

If a homeowner has to sell a house, there are so many free sources of information (like what you are reading now) available. Study local housing market conditions and determine the best Progressive Marketing Plan that will create targeted exposure and sell the home fast!

Joe Manausa, MBA is a 26 year veteran of real estate brokerage in Tallahassee, Florida and has owned and managed his own company since 1992. He is a daily blogger with content that focuses on real estate analytics and providing his clients with a tactical advantage in today's challenging market.

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