14 No-Brainer Reasons Why You Should Use a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your House

by Caitlin White

efore she signed with a listing agent, Todd Jones’ neighbor tried to sell her home herself. Jones is a real estate broker, ranked in the top 4% of Los Angeles sellers’ agents, so he knows firsthand the hard work that goes into selling a home. After he spotted the For Sale by Owner sign across the street from his children’s school, Jones knocked on the door to check in.

“She was so exhausted, she was so sick of the showings, she was frustrated because people would make appointments and then not show up, she didn’t like to hear them say bad things about the house because she had an emotional attachment,” Jones says. “By the time I got to her she was so over it, she was ready to list and have a professional take over.”

At first, it might seem heartbreaking. Fork over 6% of my home’s sale proceeds to a total stranger? Why use a real estate agent at all?

Well, once you read through the real benefits of hiring an agent (especially when they’re the top real estate agents) you’ll see they’re worth every single penny.

1. Getting into the MLS Is a Goldmine for Sellers

The multiple listing service is the holy grail of home listings. Once in the MLS, a home is sent out to dozens upon dozens of online sites and into buyer agents’ hands, so your home always has a steady influx of foot traffic in showings and open houses.

You must be a licensed realtor in the state to list a home in the MLS. So, when you list as for sale by owner, or FSBO, you’ll have to shell out a flat fee or commission to a broker to have access. The fee already cuts into your cash flow from not using a realtor. This probably explains why, according to the 2015 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, only 10% of the MLS website is made up of FSBO homes.

2. High Roller Buyers Don’t Look at FSBO Listings

Top real estate agents Jones, Janice Overbeck, and Bonnie Fleishman all agree:  The No. 1 reason people choose to sell their home themselves is to save money on commission. There’s a problem though: Statistics say you won’t.

The typical FSBO home sold for $210,000, compared to $249,000 for agent-assisted home sales, according to the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

Overbeck explains one huge reason why:

“Those ‘A’ buyers are in town for the weekend for a few days to buy a house, or they’re under contract to sell their home and they’ve got to find one,” Overbeck adds. “They’re never going to buy for sale by owner, and those are the highest paying buyers.”

Jones agrees.

“One of my past clients is trying to do a for sale by owner,” Jones says. “And the main reason they said is they’re trying to save a few bucks, which is ironic because the people who want to buy for sale by owners are usually pretty cheap.”

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