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Selling real estate without real estate help: unknown territory
Part of a series
by Roger McCaffrey
2012-09-12

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With the depressed real estate market we are now facing, some sellers are questioning the need for the services of a real estate agent. Dropping sales' prices and high mortgage payoffs leave home sellers wondering where they can cut expenses to make the sale happen.

Discount internet brokers and for sale by owner companies are promoting their services to an eager and willing market. And legitimate realtors faced with this strong competition and declining sales are struggling to pay office expenses and advertising budgets. Its bad for everyone, except buyers who are willing to jump into unknown territory.

For over thirty years I have always believed the expense of a sales commission was justified by the benefit a realtor provided to the seller even though the cost may have seemed high at the time. I still believe that, but I would never argue that a house seller should pay a 6% percent sales commission.

The day is gone of sellers putting an advertisement in the Sunday real estate section of the local paper, staying home on weekends and acting as tour guide and salesperson and making a quick sale. Now properties can sit and sit with realtors wondering how they can make their advertising expenses in newsprint.

Using the services of a real estate agent can offer some real advantages:

-Overpricing Many sellers overestimate the value of their homes resulting in a very hard time for the owner in selling the house. Real estate agents can offer guidance in setting the selling price of the property based on market value from sales of similar properties in the area. Remember your house is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

-Screening When a seller places an ad in the paper to sell their property the ad attracts not only genuine prospective buyers but also browsers and curious neighbors looking for a free tour. A real estate agent will be able to distinguish between the looker and the serious buyer.

-Helpful advice Real estate agents can suggest ways to make the dwelling more saleable painting a room, removing debris, cleaning an offensive odor not noticeable to a seller etc. Agents can suggest how to best describe the features, details and highlights of a house. And they can suggest staging, well worth the expense.


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