Real Estate Agents: Are They Necessary?

Real Estate Agents: Are They Necessary?

When it comes to selling your home, you may wonder if you can do it without the aid of a real estate agent. While legally, yes, you can make the sale yourself, there are several benefits to hiring a real estate agent as well. In order to make an informed decision, we’ll go over the pros and cons of both options.

Do You Legally Need a Real Estate Agent?

The answer to this is a soft no, though an agent might be required to handle the paperwork involved in closing the sale. Pay attention to local laws.

Selling Your House on Your Own

Selling your home by yourself is known as “For Sale by Owner.” It can be an excellent way to receive the full sales price of your home without paying out a commission, but you’ll quickly understand why real estate agents are paid as much as they are. Be prepared to put in more effort, time, and energy than you thought possible.
You should also check out the market in your area before deciding to sell by yourself. If it’s a buyer’s market, you may have trouble unloading your home. Unlike a real estate agent who makes a living off of selling houses, you’ll be trying to balance the sale with life and work, meaning less time to put into the sale. If you do decide to sell your own house, it would be best to do so in a seller’s market.

Laws Governing Home Sales

To sell your house on your own, you’ll need a thorough understanding of the laws that govern real estate transfers in your area. You’ll need to know what paperwork you must legally prepare for the sale and who needs to sign it, what to do if your home has any encumbrances, and what physical characteristics you must disclose to potential buyers. Head spinning yet? It might be a good idea to use a real estate agent.

Hiring a Real Estate Agent

While laws may not require a real estate agent, using one can give you a great advantage and keep your stress level low. Agents understand the ins and outs of selling a home, from showing to closing and everything in between. They’re aware of local laws and regulations and know the best ways to market your home.

If you don’t want to sell using an agent, you can still hire one to help you with certain tasks. For example:

  • Determining the home market
  • Coming up with a fair market price
  • Assisting with paperwork and complex transactions

Using a real estate agent to help with the smaller tasks related to your home sale costs less than hiring them for the entire sale, so the compensation might be more to your liking. Try offering an hourly fee for time spent working on your home or offer a smaller commission.

Although using a real estate agent to govern the entire sale can be costly, it also saves you time and effort. They know how to set your home up to be attractive to buyers and how to list your home in the right places. However, if you don’t mind a slow sale, you can try selling on your own before deciding to use an agent.