Updated: May 24
If you're selling or thinking of selling your Hudson Valley home, I'm sure the thought has crossed your mind "why would I need to hire a Realtor in this crazy strong market?" You may think that you can sell your house alone without the help of a real estate agent and well...you'd be right.
You can sell your home without a Realtor in this, or any market really. Does that mean you should? That's a completely different question. You absolutely use a Realtor to sell your home because the benefits of using a good Realtor far outweigh the financial benefits of selling on your own. Let's go through some of them:
You may be saying "well if I sell my home by owner, I'll save 6% on commission," and while yes, that is correct, what about the amount that you actually sell for? The National Association of Realtors releases data every few years on sales across the country. In 2020 - FSBOs (For Sale By Owners) accounted for roughly 7% of all US home sales. On average, those FSBOs sold for around 20% less than what agent-assisted homes sold for. (Source) So, while you may save 6% on the commission - you are probably at a net loss for not having a trusted Realtor represent you to get you the most money possible. An experienced Realtor who is good at their job will know marketing and negotiation techniques to help you sell your home for the most it possibly can in this market.
Let's face it - we Realtors have access to certain marketing tools that the general public doesn't. Now, some people may argue that putting it on the MLS or Zillow is enough marketing in this seller's market. Those people would be very wrong. Is it "enough?" If just enough is how you want your largest investment handled, then sure! If you want to sell for the least amount you possibly could.
If you want to net the most money possible when selling your home, you need to get as much exposure, and good exposure at that. You can throw out blanket ads and hope to catch some good buyers, or you could use precise, targeted ads that are specifically geared towards the likely buyer of your home. Lots of agents underutilize marketing techniques in this market. First impressions are everything even when it comes to home searching and it's our job to get the most people in your door to get as much interest as possible - and a great Realtor can do that.
Selling your home is stressful - no doubt about it. Moving is literally one of the top 3 most stressful things a person can do in their lives. Selling on your own will not only likely net you less money than if you sold with a Realtor but it will also come with buckets of stress if you aren't familiar with the process or aren't good working under pressure and deadlines. As the point of contact for the transaction you need to be in constant contact with the buyer, their agent, attorneys, lenders, title searchers, appraisers, underwriters, the building department at your town hall, home inspectors, septic inspectors, and more people who all have their own requests and deadlines they expect to be met.
While stress isn't a financial reason to hire a Realtor - your mental health deserves to be treated right too.
When I say that there are a million things that can go wrong every day in real estate - I am understating. From your septic tank that's leaking to the central AC system that never had a permit that you didn't know about, you need to know what problems can arise and how to handle them with your buyer, and every buyer is different.
Having a Realtor who knows the ins and outs of the entire process and can help baby proof the entire transaction will save you an immense amount of time and headaches. What's the best way to handle an appraisal that comes back low? What happens when the house is slapped with a lead paint health hazard violation? Should you refinish your hardwood floors or update the bathroom with the budget you have before listing? These are examples of things that can directly affect how much you pocket at the closing table. You need to know what the best answer to all of these and any other potential issues that can come up.
So, when does it make sense to sell to your house by owner? There are actually a select few cases - and they mainly include when you're planning on selling your home to someone you know very well or a family member. In these cases, you know that you're going to get lower than you could if you went on the market, and you're really more looking to help a friend or family member out by selling directly to them. Should you still use a Realtor in that case? Yes! But if you don't, it won't be the end of the world. However if you are looking to sell for the most money possible, with the least amount of headaches and in the quickest time you can - hire a Realtor.
Thanks for listening,