[COLUMN] Can I sell my home without hiring a realtor?

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YES, you can sell your home without a realtor. Property owners who sell their property without hiring a licensed real estate agent, are considered as a “for sale by owner” or “off market sale.”  This is commonly done by owners hoping to potentially save the fees in hiring an agent.

What are the disadvantages of selling on your own? The biggest disadvantage in not hiring a real estate agent is you won’t be able to take advantage of the expertise and knowledge that an experienced agent will bring to the table. There are so many pieces to the puzzle of selling a home. The major risk in selling your home on your own is–  “you don’t know what you don’t know”. You can be held legally and financially liable for any issues that arise during and post transaction. Second, if the Buyer has an experienced agent to represent them, the Buyer will also be at an advantage during the negotiation and transaction. Third, the marketing of the property will be limited to your means, and you won’t be able to take advantage of the large marketing network in listing it with an agent.

What are the advantages of hiring a realtor? The biggest advantage in hiring an experienced agent is the best use of your time and money. As for myself, prior to listing a property on the market, I need to complete the following tasks and documentation: 1) market valuation 2) home inspection, preparation, and repairs 3) escrow 4) title company 5) marketing, and 6) disclosures and contracts. Although I can complete these tasks in a timely manner because of my experience, they still require me to dedicate hours, days, and sometimes weeks to ensure they’re fully done properly.  Again, if you’re the average homeowner who seldomly sells a property, you will unknowingly run into the pitfalls of a transaction.

The additional advantage in hiring an agent is their access to the multi-listing service (MLS) network, their list of buyers ready to purchase immediately, and their network of finance lenders for buyers.  Finding the right agent can provide a seller with one-stop-shop convenience.

What are realtor’s fees? An agent’s fees differ per transaction. An agent can set a flat fee, or a percentage ranging from 2% to 7% of the actual closed sales price of the property. This is dependent on the brokerage. Note that commission fees are negotiable between the seller and the agent. However, also keep in mind that hiring an agent at the lowest fee might not provide you with the best agent in the area. It may also affect how much effort that agent is able to market the property. The buyer’s agent is also paid by the seller’s agent, based on the total commission fee.  Hiring the right agent can help you save money on fees, as well as helping you sell your property at the best offer.

The bottom line for sellers. Yes, you can sell your home on your own. However, although it may seem like you’re saving money on fees from not hiring an agent, you can also lose more money in the long term without hiring one in the first place. You also run the risk of potential legal or financial liabilities that may result with the buyer, during the transaction and after closing.

In my professional opinion, whether it’s a property valued at $100,000 or over $1 million, then it needs to be treated in the most professional manner when it comes to selling it. This is the largest purchase a person or family will make during their lifetime.  The amount you believe you can potentially save in selling on your own, is a drop in the bucket of how much you will gain in hiring an experienced realtor.

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Contact me directly 213-608-5837 (call or sms) for a complimentary initial consultation, property value assessment, or other questions you may have in Selling, Buying, or Investing in real estate.  Connect with me @jasonarealtor on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.  

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Jason Agcaoili is a realtor with HomeSmart Realty Group, serving the Los Angeles Metropolitan area, South Bay and Long Beach.  He is a member of the California Association of Realtors and the South Bay Association of Realtors. CA DRE #01947185. For more information, please visit JASONAREALTOR.com.

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Jason Agcaoili

Jason Agcaoili is a realtor with HomeSmart Realty Group, serving the Los Angeles Metropolitan area, South Bay and Long Beach.  He is a member of the California Association of Realtors and the South Bay Association of Realtors. CA DRE #01947185. For more information, please visit JASONAREALTOR.com.

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