The True Cost of Selling Your Home

There are many expenses to consider when it comes to selling your home. These expenses may include: capital gains tax, home preparation, various fees – including commission – mortgage payoff, etc. Many of the fees are negotiable. Some sellers would like to skip certain costs, like commission, altogether. Be careful though. Homeowners who go the FSBO (For Sale by Owner) route often struggle with tasks like preparing the home, pricing it accurately, and managing paperwork. One may believe they are saving by not owing commission, but real estate agents provide invaluable support in various ways:

  1. Managing Liability and Legal Considerations: Selling a house involves numerous mandatory disclosures and regulations. Handling all the paperwork and legal aspects without professional guidance exposes home sellers to potential liability risks and legal complications. Real estate agents are well-versed in the contracts, disclosures, and regulations necessary during a sale. Their expertise minimizes the risk of errors or omissions that could lead to costly legal disputes or expensive delays.
  2. Market Knowledge: Real estate agents possess comprehensive knowledge of pricing and the housing market. Determining the appropriate asking price for your property requires understanding local real estate market conditions, recent sales data, neighborhood trends, and current demand. Agents have access to comprehensive market data and the expertise to analyze it accurately. Selling your house without this information puts you at risk of overpricing or underpricing, leading to an extended time on the market or leaving significant money on the table.
  3. Marketing and Exposure: Effective marketing plays a vital role in attracting qualified buyers to your property. Real estate agents have access to various marketing tools and platforms, such as MLS listings, professional photography, virtual tours, and extensive professional networks. They can create compelling listings that showcase your home’s best features and reach a wider audience. Selling on your own may limit your exposure and ultimately result in fewer potential buyers, less opportunity to negotiate, and a lower sales price. My own marketing typically brings a home 6-8% over the list price.
  4. Negotiations and Contracts: Negotiating the terms of a home sale can be challenging, particularly when emotions are involved. Without an agent, you assume the responsibility of negotiating with the buyer, the buyer’s agent, the home inspection company, and the home appraiser. Rather than managing these interactions alone, real estate agents act as intermediaries, skillfully negotiating on your behalf and ensuring your best interests are protected. Their experience in handling tough negotiations, counteroffers, and contingencies is invaluable. After receiving offers, I typically negotiate another 2-4% higher (which my clients love).

In conclusion, while selling a home on your own may initially seem appealing, the challenges that arise can quickly become overwhelming. The expertise that a real estate agent brings to the table is crucial for a successful sale. Instead of embarking on this journey alone, it is advisable to have an expert on your side. With the right agent, you will likely make much more money, avoid hassles, and keep yourself out of legal jeopardy.

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This post was written by Rumana Jabeen

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