October 14

Do I Need an Agent to Sell My House?: A Buyer’s Guide


Selling your home is a tough choice. But what makes it even tougher is looking for potential buyers for your home.

Although you don’t need to be a real estate agent to sell your property, hiring one can help you in many ways.

But if you’re not sold on having a real estate agent sell your home, we’ll give you plenty of reasons why you should hire one.

Below, we’ll list some important details about why hiring a real estate agent to sell your home is important. Come check it out!

What’s the Importance of a Real Estate Agent?

Almost 90% of homeowners want to sell their home works with a real estate agent. Why? Simply because they make life easier.

An agent does everything you can think of to sell your property quickly. From looking for potential home buyers, market your home to attract buyers, and do all the logistics for you.

In addition, a good real estate agent can offer you the best price for your home as they can attract multiple offers from different home buyers.

According to the National Association of Realtors, a homeowner who works with an agent sells their home at a higher sale price than homeowners who chose the FSBO route.

Importantly, agents are well-versed in all aspects of marketing and disclosure laws.

5 Reasons Why to Sell Your Home With a Real Estate Agent

If you’re still not sold on having a real estate agent sell your house, we’ll explain why you need one, especially if you want to “sell my house.”

1) Strategic Pricing

One of the obvious reasons you need a real estate agent is that they can help you price your home properly.

It would be easy to price based on your knowledge as an owner. However, these agents know the local market for houses.

The selling price of your property can make or break your sale; that is why hiring a seller’s agent can help you give the best possible value to your home.

Therefore, your price should be reasonable and attractive for the kind of home you sell. But, there’s a lot that goes through than pricing alone.

Most agents will compare your home to comparable properties in the area and local market conditions to get the best idea of the overall value of your own home.

Having a seller’s agent can help you with pricing strategies that have the potential to interest buyers and demand your property.

2) You Don’t Have Time

Most sellers hire a real estate agent to sell their homes because they don’t have the luxury of time to deal with everything.

Selling your home is a full-time job, which means you have to post your home to various local listings, answer calls from interested buyers, and advertise your home.

You’re already busy, and you don’t have the time to put up with all the paperwork needed. It is why hiring an agent can help you in doing the selling.

Many agents can work hard for you until the deal is closed. They can host an open house, market your home, and do everything that comes to sell your home.

They have all the time in the world to market your home. You have to sit back, relax, and wait for them to give you the best deal.

Selling your home is quite stressful, let alone finding a potential buyer. Please leave it to the agents.

3) They Have More Experience In the Selling Process

Experience is a big factor when selling; that’s why agents are your go-to option if you want to make your life easier.

Agents know how to navigate the local market whether it’s right for you to sell your property this time or not.

They even advise you not to sell your house if the local market isn’t highly profitable.

In addition, they would also suggest home improvements to help speed up the selling process. An agent’s goal is the same as yours; they only do it faster.

4) Tap Into Their Network of Buyers

Additionally, another reason to hire an agent to sell your property is you get to tap their already-existing potential network of buyers.

Instead of spending money on home improvements, and advertising, you can hire an agent and have him call up some of his clients who are also looking for a new home to buy.

This option can greatly speed up the process and sell your property for more money.

But if you do the For Sale By Owner route, you will be tasked to contact your family, friends, relatives, and colleagues to gather interest in your home.

These random calls and contacting potential buyers can be time-consuming and offer few results. Why not use the services of an agent who already has a network of buyers?

5) Negotiations and Closing

Once offers are already piling up, the next thing to do is negotiate, and this is the part where an agent becomes of big help.

One of the best things about hiring an agent is they seek the best possible price for your home, meaning you get more money in return.

Some buyers will often hire a buyer’s agent to deal with you or your agent to bargain and get a lower price. Why not hire someone that can represent you as well?

A real estate agent is looking for the best scenario for you. They are also tasked with discussing the terms, conditions, closing costs, and everything about selling your property.

Drawbacks of Working With Real Estate Agents

If hiring an agent has its advantages, there are also drawbacks when choosing to work with one when you want to “sell my house.”

High Commission Fees

One of the most obvious disadvantages when working with a listing agent is paying high commission fees.

When successfully selling your property, you must pay around a percentage of your home’s total price.

Most real estate agents in America offer an average commission fee of around 5% to 7%.

However, it would be best if you didn’t hesitate to negotiate these fees with your agent to sell since there’s no rule saying otherwise.

Meet with other agents to have a better idea about their rates and to compare which one suits your budget.

Signing a Contract

When you choose to work with a listing agent, there is always paperwork involved.

Be sure to know what’s written on these contracts to ensure everything is beneficial for you, not to them.

Remember that there are two types of contracts: non-exclusive brokerage, which means you can work with various agents, whereas an exclusive brokerage only allows working with one.

This contract can cause problems if your relationship with your agent goes awry. So, always read everything and think about it before signing.

Lastly, ask the advice of a real estate attorney before signing the papers!

How Do You Sell Your Home Without Real Estate Agents?

FSBO or for sale by owner has key advantages over choosing a traditional real estate agent.

The biggest one would be having as much money at your disposal as you won’t be entitled to pay these real estate agents as you become your own seller’s agent.

The second advantage most FSBO sellers have is controlling the pricing and outcome of your home sale.

Here are the steps to sell your property without a real estate agent.

Step 1: Analyze the Total Value of Your Property

Selling FSBO is convenient for you as you determine your home’s price.

You can use tools online to compare recent home sales in your neighborhood and apply that to your home.

While this can only give you a good idea, features such as whether you have newly renovated your home, conditions on the market, and more will greatly impact the final price of your home.

A lack of knowledge about pricing and the real estate industry are often the culprits why homes sold via selling FSBO homes often sell for less.

Step 2: Prepare Your Home for Sale

It may be a good idea to prepare your home before selling. This will give you a good idea of whether renovation is needed or not.

Typically, inspecting your home is done by buyers. However, you can do this beforehand to give your buyers a good impression of your home’s current state and condition.

Step 3: Market Your Home

Having professionals take photos of your home is one of the most effective ways to speed up selling your house.

Browsing online listings has become a popular and convenient trend in recent years, and having the best photos of your house is crucial to a successful sale.

In addition, interested buyers would want a clear view of the interior, exterior, lawn, and every detail of your house in amazing quality.

If you’re taking the FSBO route, we suggest hiring a professional photographer to do this for you.

We strongly recommend marketing your home on the multiple listing service with a flat-fee MLS service. The MLS is the main directory most buyers agents use to find a property currently for sale on the market.

Step 4: Negotiation Starts

Once offers start to come, you can begin negotiations. This part can be extremely difficult for FSBO sellers as they will most likely deal with a buyer’s agent already seasoned at bargaining.

Price negotiations can dictate how much interest prospective buyers have in your home.

If these prospective buyers have few offers, you can use this as leverage on the bargaining table.

But if you only have quite a few offerings and some are low-balling, the prospective buyer will almost certainly have the power over the negotiations.

Of course, you have the power to accept or decline any offer being made. But if you’re desperate to sell your property because you need the cash, you may sell your house at a lower price.

Step 5: Gather the FSBO Paperwork and Finalize the Sale

After you’ve made your negotiations and come up with a buyer, the next thing to do is gather all the paperwork.

If you don’t know what documents are needed, below is a checklist you will most likely need before selling your property.

In addition, research your local state laws and regulations, as requirements may differ. You can also hire a real estate attorney to do the paperwork for you.

  • Property survey
  • Sales contract
  • Mortgage documents
  • Title report
  • Comparative market analysis
  • Certificate of compliance with local property laws
  • Tax records and final tax statement

Ensure every document is gathered and submitted correctly; otherwise, it may compromise you with legal risks from the buyer in the future.

Note: If you want to sell FSBO, you should always seek the advice of a real estate attorney to ensure everything is done correctly.

What Are Good Alternatives to a Real Estate Agent?

If you want to save money when selling your house, FSBO isn’t the only viable option you have.

There are also several ways to avoid paying high commissions to agents while still benefiting from working with a listing agent.

Here are some selling options you might want to try:

1. Choose Discount Brokerage

A discount broker offers you would typically find in a real estate agent but at a more affordable cost.

Discount brokers provide a great balance between service and savings. They can also give advice to help you make the right personal finance decisions.

By becoming your own agent, you get to save thousands of dollars and not face the limited services you would normally deal with.

However, research each discount broker since their services and offerings vary.

Some discount brokerage sends their team instead of their agent, while others assign only one agent.

There are advantages when choosing a discount broker over a full-service agent.

But it would be best to do background checks first to avoid dealing with a complex real estate transaction.

2. Work With Flat-Fee MLS Company

Working with a flat-fee MLS company allows you to choose a wide variety of services they offer.

Many of their services are priced depending on the tier, which allows you to choose the service you are only looking for.

Services offered by most flat-fee MLS companies can range from $100 to over $1000. Flat-fee MLS companies are best for home sellers with little knowledge about real estate transactions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have further questions about selling your property and whether you need a real estate agent to sell your property, you might find them below.

1. How Do Home Sellers Cut Costs in Real Estate?

If your choose to work with a listing agent but wants to cut the cost, there are areas where you can save money:

1) Don’t Spend Too Much on Home Renovations

Most home sellers fall into the trap of overspending on home renovations to make their property increase its value.

While this can be a sound investment, most home sellers tend to splurge on areas where it doesn’t increase the value of their property.

It would be wise to ask a real estate agent’s advice on which parts of your own home can be improved and which would potentially increase its value.

2) Negotiate Your Agent’s Commission

Before finalizing your deal with your agent, you must first negotiate your agent’s commission.

Fortunately, many sellers and agents can agree to terms lower than the listed rate, saving a home seller about 1 to 2 percent of the entire property sale.

In other scenarios, a real estate agent can also offer reduced commissions if no buyer’s agent is involved in the transaction.

3) Close the Deal as Soon as Possible

If you can move quickly and close the deal as soon as possible, you may save on closing costs.

Expediting the sale of your property can reduce homeowners insurance, real estate taxes, and mortgage interest charges that will accumulate until closing.

2. What Is the Relationship Between Real Estate Agents and FSBO Sellers?

Real estate agents can handle as much of the selling and paperwork as you require.

For example, if you already have a background in marketing, you may only need an agent to review offers and negotiations. At the same time, other sellers only want their limited services, such as listing their property in MLS.

According to the National Association of Realtors, almost 83% of sellers wanted a realtor that could provide a broad spectrum of how to sell their property.

On the other hand, FSBO sellers don’t need a real estate license to transact their FSBO sale. They can sell their property without a listing agent too.

But a real estate agent is also an experienced seller, which means they know what it takes to sell your property fast and with an increased value.

According to NAR, homes sold by agents are said to increase their value compared to sellers who took the FSBO route.

In America, FSBO homes are sold at around $40,000 to $60,000 less than homes sold with an agent.


A commission fee can easily cut into the potential money you make by selling your house. Still, selling your own home without relying on an agent’s expertise is also completely possible.

It would help if you decide whether you have the right amount of knowledge and time and effectively negotiate with buyers to become an FSBO seller or not.

Understandably, some of you might think it would be best to avoid an agent to avoid paying a high commission and choose other selling options.

However, a real estate agent can speed up selling your property while increasing your home’s value in return. In the end, you will be the one to decide which route you are going to take when you decide to “sell my house.”


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