“Fire My Agent?!”
Why should you take control of selling your own home? There are seven good reasons why you might fire your agent and go solo that are within every homeowner’s ability … without schooling, without any extra knowledge of the real estate industry, and without spending money on expensive manuals, reports, software or tools. YOU are what it takes to sell your home quickly and for the price you want. You just don’t know it yet.
1. Homes that sell without an agent sell for more money. Two independent studies conducted by Northwestern University and Stanford Universities show that you’re better off selling your home yourself if you want to come away with more money. The studies concluded that homes sold without an agent sold for an average of 4 to 7% higher price.
2. You save money. Commissions can eat up more of the sales price than most sellers think. A standard 6% commission is deceiving. Take that 6% into consideration when you figure in the equity you have in your home, which for the typical homeowner is about 40% – and it’s less than that if you’ve owned your home for less than 8 to 10 years, on average. So a 6% commission on a $400,000 home with a 40% equity ($160,000) sold at full value is $24,000. You’re walking away with $136,000 instead of $160,000. So that 6% commission was really a 15% commission. Why give away that much of your equity?
3. Lack of agent expertise. If you think that paying the agent’s fee is worth the price because of their expertise, you’re fooling yourself. The 2015 National Association of Realtor’s Danger Report revealed major agent shortcomings as a growing concern: lack of training, competency, and ethics. The report showed agents were not sufficiently making use of new technology, that self-branding was taking precedence over the sale of homes, and that real estate agents had low entry requirements. (Licensing requirements for cosmetologists were 372 hours compared to 70 hours for agents.) No one knows your home better than you and what makes it special. Why pay someone who won’t do near as good a job as you?
4. Sellers have smarter tools to make smarter decisions. DIY websites like LegalZoom and DocuSign make handling legal issues simple; likewise for home listings through web portals like Zillow, which is the #1 site for home searches. Zillow lets sellers research home sales, determine their home’s value, and post their listings in a huge self-service, growing marketplace that gives your home the most exposure. And now ListingDoor gives the home seller an easy-to-follow process and everything they need to price, market, and sell their own home.
5. Better, self-directed listing services. Multiple Listing Service was once the only way you could get your home listed on the marketplace, and it was controlled by real estate agencies. Not anymore. If your reason to list with an agent is because of MLS, you now don’t have to; you have other options. Zillow offers a much larger database of sellers, rich research data, current and expansive home sales information, and other helpful listing and research features – all for free. MLS is dependent on data from local brokerages and agents scattered across the country. Its listings and tools are outdated.
6. Home sellers can build their own effective marketing campaigns with easy, user-friendly tools and apps that help them create high-quality signage, marketing materials, beautiful photography, and sophisticated advertising campaigns with customized tools, their own websites, and social media.
7. Selling direct brings serious buyers. Because you’re not dependent on a real estate agent’s opinion, you– the seller– get your own unbiased sense of what your house is worth. Buyers are able to get the whole picture and interpret the data themselves. And that picture is more personalized. That deep motivation makes the selling process more satisfying, more human. People marketing their own homes have a singular vested interest in that ownership. As a direct seller, you’re satisfying the craving for authentic connections. Those kinds of connections bring buyers.