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There is no answer of whether listing with a real estate agent fits every home seller. There are some questions to ask yourself before making the decision. It’s a project, and the financial impact is significant, so it is worth the time to go through this exercise.

Investing Your Time

Do You Have the Time to Do it Right?

There are a number of tasks to get your home properly represented on a real estate listing site, including:

  1. a thorough home cleaning and lawn manicure
  2. taking and editing of photos to make the home look its best
  3. doing a video to walk a prospective buyer through an online walkthrough
  4. developing a strong text presentation that sells
  5. listing on the various sites
  6. taking email and phone requests for information and answering questions
  7. showing your home
  8. dealing with offers and counteroffers
  9. coordinating the sale transaction with a title company
  10. dealing with home inspectors and other inspection scheduling
You may be able to hire some of this out instead of using a real estate professional and paying their commission, but you’ll do some or much of this yourself.

Proper Knowledge Level

Do you have the knowledge and skills to do those tasks?

If you aren’t sure or know that you fall short in some areas, add in the time to learn what to do.

Also, are you willing to accept the consequences of a mistake?

You can get some help for some of this from the title company, but there are some important actions that must be handled legally and appropriately.

Ability to Estimate

Can you properly determine the value of your home for the listing price?

Do you understand your market area and the consequences of under or overpricing your home in the current market? When you hear someone bragging about selling their home for full price in a few days, what does this mean? Sure, it must mean that it’s a healthy sellers’ market, but it also can mean that they had it underpriced for the current market and left money on the table.

You may hear someone else complaining that their home has been sitting unsold for a long period of time. This can mean that it’s overpriced.

This can just be sentimental overvaluation, or it can be an unrealistic idea of the features of the home and what buyers want. The longer a home stays on the market (DOM, Days On Market), the lower the first offer is likely to be.

Buyers look at the time on the market and they adjust their offers accordingly.

Negotiating Successfully

Can you show it well and negotiate without “giving away the farm?”

Think about what you do when you want to sell an old lawn mower or some other personal property item.

Do you haggle a little or do you just take the first offer that gets it out of your hair?

Sure, a home is different, but think about your personal attitude about negotiating and be honest with yourself.

Sales Force Benefits

Is there any value in a sales force of hundreds or thousands?

This is about the MLS, Multiple Listing Service, that real estate brokers use to market their listings.

Recent surveys report that more than 80% of all homes are sold through a real estate brokerage and the MLS, and this number has held steady for years.

The MLS is a cooperative marketing platform that allows all of the member brokerages to show and bring buyers for homes listed by other brokerage members. Brokers even attend “caravans” that go around to new listings so agents can see them soon after they’re listed and see if they are right for buyers they are working with.

By listing, you take on a salesforce of all of the agents of all of the member brokerages.

It’s your home and your decision. There are successful “sold it myself” situations out there. You can’t be sure that an experienced real estate professional will get you more money for your home or sell it faster, but at least now you have the answers to the questions to help you in making your decision.

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