1. MLS provides exposure to literally thousands of people through agents, while a FSBO has only his own personal contacts.
2. Real estate offices have secretarial assistance during peak hours and message answering and paging services during the off-peak hours. A salesperson is always available to handle inquiries. Any time a private seller is away from home, their home is off the market.
3. By use of a comparative market analysis, a salesperson can help a vendor choose the right price to ask. While some vendors ask too little, others ask far too much. Once a house sits unsold for too long it becomes stale. Often a vendor if forced to reduce the price and may have to accept less money for their home than they would have received had they started at the right price originally.
4. Real estate agents are able to offer suggestions about how to improve a home’s “showability” and hence increase market value.
5. A good real estate salesperson can select the best route to a showing and point out comparable properties that will put the property to be shown in the best possible light.
6. Much of a real estate company’s business comes from corporate or personal referrals. This market is unavailable to private sellers.
7. Out-of-town buyers seldom have the time or knowledge to deal directly with owners, but they do contact agents through relocation systems.
8. Other homeowners who have already listed their homes usually purchase through the company with which their own home is listed.
9. A property depreciates the longer it is on the market. The first two to three weeks is a crucial period. Many owners fail to take advantage of this excitement by limiting the market to their own contacts and advertising.
10. Good salespeople are capable of qualifying prospects so that only those who qualify to buy the home are introduced to it. This eliminates most “lookers” and non-serious purchasers.
11. The owner can generally be assured of advance notice for showings. Private showings eliminate the possibility of a personality conflict between vendor and purchaser.
12. Agents screen all prospects and accompany all potential buyers through the property. There is less chance that strangers who may have activities in mind other than buying a house will come.
13. Demonstrating property is an art. Not everyone enjoys poking through other people’s closets. It’s an agent’s job to demonstrate the home and its features.
14. Virtually every purchaser has objections, which agents are trained to handle. A private seller often gets indignant if the purchaser doesn’t like something about the home.
15. Not all purchasers will come out and say what is bothering them, particularly in front of the vendor. A real estate agent is trained to smoke these out and handle them professionally.
16. In real estate the offers are in writing and are irrevocable. Private buyers often give verbal offers and then revoke them.
17. Agents are trained to negotiate better than a vendor can on his own behalf.
18. A good real estate salesperson is aware of many different ways to finance a purchase, while a private seller doesn’t even normally assist in finding suitable financing.
19. A good real estate salesperson can help eliminate red tape and keep legal costs to a minimum. When an agent does work, the lawyer charges for checking. When there’s no agent, the lawyer does the work and then charges accordingly.
20. Agents stay involved with the deal until the transaction is closed.
21. Although a vendor may leave town, a purchaser is secure in the thought that, should a problem arise after closing, the agent will be there to help out.
22. A prospect is more likely to believe a licensed real estate representative than an owner, who will not likely be around after the sale.
23. A licensed real estate salesperson must adhere to a rigorous code of ethics. A direct buyer or vendor is not so constrained. Purchasers want the protection an agent can offer.
24. A vendor selling privately can expect to put a minimum of 80 hours “work” into the project. This does not account for other out-of-pocket expenditures such as advertising, lawn sign. Selling a home can be extremely stressful.
25. Real estate professionals are trained to follow-up all leads, inquiries and showings. Such follow-up is normally expected and does not have a detrimental effect on a vendors bargaining position, while a private seller doing a follow-up is deemed to be desperate.
26. Private sales attract bargain hunters. Any time a buyer doesn’t buy from a store or through a salesperson he expects to save the commissions or profits that would normally go to the salesperson or store owner. Why should someone do all the work an agent would normally do and still pay full price? Since the vendor is trying to save about six per cent commission and the purchaser is trying to save six percent, now they are twelve per cent apart.
27. The best prospects work with agents. People who have been transferred from out of town: people who have their home for sale; or people who have sold their home all work with sales representatives.
28. Let’s be honest; selling your own property is a hassle for which most people are ill-prepared and most real estate commissions are cheaper than most law suits.