According to the National Association of Realtors, 10% of homes sold in 2021 were for sale by owner, or FSBO. The average FSBO home sold for $225,000. Compare that to the average closing price of a brokerage-assisted home sale during the same year – $330,000 – and the primary benefit to hiring an agent becomes clear as crystal.

Most of the advantages to listing with a real estate brokerage contribute directly to that 46% increase in average closing price. But an agent doesn’t just help you walk away with a thicker wallet. They accelerate the home selling process (which itself is a way of saving you money on utilities and property taxes). A brokerage will also make your life easier. There’s a reason why selling houses is a full-time job: To do it well, you’re probably going to need more than a couple of yard signs and a Facebook post.

An Agent Takes Care of Home Staging

When you stage a home, you’re making it visually appealing and easy to navigate for potential buyers. It is unquestionably worth the effort, as staged homes sell 30 times faster than competing non-staged ones. Better yet, staged home sale prices are up to 20% higher on average.

Staging a home so it will attract the most attention is a time-intensive process. You will more than make back any money you invest into it, but doing it well requires planning and labor. If you would rather avoid those chores, delegate them to an agent!

An Agent Takes Care of Marketing

If you do decide to go the FSBO route, don’t neglect your marketing. You want to put your home in front of the widest available audience, and also directly target people who you know are in the market for a home just like yours. Both increase your probability of selling sooner rather than later. Generally, homes that remain for sale over extended periods of time undergo multiple price reductions.

Don’t feel like marketing your home? Let an agent handle it. In addition to The Multiple Listing Service, they will list your home on several popular home buying websites. They will broadcast your listing across their network, which should be extensive if they work alongside several other career agents in their brokerage. Perhaps best of all, your agent will take care of showings, which are most effective when they are frequent.

An Agent Takes Care of Legal Formalities

At this point we must point out a massive disadvantage to choosing FSBO: Most if not all of the buyer’s agents in your area will refuse to show your home to their clients. It’s nothing personal. They would simply rather avoid potential legal issues, and are similarly averse to scams.

An agent is a stickler for the rules out of necessity – their real estate license and membership to their brokerage both depend on it. Whether they’re representing a buyer or a seller, they take care that the whole deal is done by the book. Doing so spares every party involved from having to navigate complicated (and expensive) legal issues later on down the road.

An Agent Takes Care of Negotiations

Have you ever heard someone describe negotiation as an art form? They weren’t exaggerating. Engaging in discussion with the intent of reaching an agreement is invaluable to many goals you could have in life. Selling a home for its highest possible price is no exception.

If you aren’t already a savvy negotiator, then you will not become one the instant you decide to FSBO. You will find negotiation even more difficult while selling your own home, as it is extremely difficult to remain impartial while you have so much at stake.

A listing agent has much at stake in a sale, too: their client’s good faith and their commission fee chief among them. But because they have spent their entire career honing their negotiation skills, a listing agent can quickly broker an agreement that will fully satisfy both their client and the buyer.

An Agent Knows Their Market

Agents also excel at negotiation because they are intimately familiar with the markets they specialize in. That knowledge clues them in whenever a buyer makes unrealistic demands – they will know if such buyers have leverage or not.

Market expertise benefits a listing agent’s client in more ways than one. Sixteen percent of FSBO sellers report that figuring out the right price for their house was the most difficult part of the entire process. An agent will zero in on the optimal price within a matter of minutes, thanks in no small part to their access to recent comparable sales.

We don’t want to appear too partial, so let us share the primary advantage to selling your own home: You will not pay an agent’s listing fees. Just bear in mind that this is often a penny wise, dollar foolish move. The amount of money you spend on an agent is typically less than what an agent would make for you.

Are you selling a house, commercial property, hunting land or farmland in the greater Detroit Lakes, MN area? Contact Action Realty of Detroit Lakes today to engage a brokerage that will sell your property quickly, painlessly, and for a greater closing price than you could have achieved on your own!