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The Pros and Cons of Selling Your Home Yourself

By Malcolm Rivers

Pros

Real estate professionals handle a variety of deals throughout their career, but perhaps no one will be more motivated than you to get the best price possible for your home. While most agents are ethical and knowledgeable professionals, you may unfortunately find yourself working with a listing agent that pushes for a quick sale instead of waiting for the best price, all in an effort to receive their commission more quickly.

The huge uptick in the use of the internet for all sorts of tasks and transactions can be to your benefit. There are now a variety of websites designed to assist in the process like homebyowner.com and a variety of online resources, like this site, which can assist in your decision making process and your execution. Advertising, even quality advertising, can be done by home sellers themselves now as well due to the creation and development of the variety of DIY tools on the internet.

Saving the money that you would pay an agent is probably the most obvious way in which selling your home yourself can be beneficial. Agents charge commissions, 6% on average, which can be costly and, given the aforementioned concerns about the sources of their motivation, there may be better ways to use that money. That money could be better spent, especially when factoring in the possibility of getting a lower price for your home because of an agent's interest in a faster commission.

Cons

Paperwork can be extremely challenging. Handling inspections, contracts, offers and the like are most effectively handled by trained professionals and agents have experience in all of the above, making them less likely to make costly mistakes.

Agents do what they do for a living. They have more time, energy and experience to bring to bear when making deals. As a private citizen, potentially with your own job and responsibilities to consider, you may not have the time to go through all of the motions and procedures involved in the process of selling your home on your own.

Highly motivated amateurs are capable of putting together solid marketing but on average they will not be nearly as effective as a trained professional. Agents have the infrastructure, the experience, the time and the tools to create attractive, professional marketing which is more than can be said for many people whose lives are filled with other concerns and areas of expertise.

Agents know real estate markets much better than most home sellers and may be able to set listing prices more effectively given the market, the neighborhood and other factors. Agents are more likely to be experienced at the process of making decisions that will positively affect the ultimate payout of the sale of a home, especially because their commissions depend upon it.

Keep in mind that making this type of decision depends on the home, the neighborhood, the market, the agent, the amount of time, energy and money you're willing to dedicate and a number of other factors. Be sure to do as much research as possible, meet with agents and weigh your options carefully before making a decision to sell your home independently or through an agent. Best of luck and happy selling.

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