Selling a House Without an Agent: Pros and Cons

May 6, 2022
selling a house without an agent

If you’re wondering if selling a house without an agent is a good idea, you’re not alone. Many sellers rethink this crucial step to avoid the extra costs.

Selling your home is a big deal, both emotionally and financially. Not everyone is equipped to handle it on their own.

Depending on your situation, the decision to use or not use a real estate agent comes down to you. This article explores the benefits and shortcomings of selling your home without an agent.

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What are the pros of selling without an agent?

It is normal and within your rights to sell your house without involving an agent. The decision comes with its share of benefits, as highlighted below;

You are in control

There is no middle-man between you and the potential buyer. You will have control over critical elements of your negotiations. Where an agent will not bargain downward even for a cent, as the owner, you may consider a small cut to close the deal as quickly as possible. 

Agents take a cut from the sale value. Thus, they may hold out for a higher sale value to get a higher commission.

You save on the agent’s commission

Selling a house without an agent means you can save on the realtor’s fee. Currently, the average commission for an agent is around 5 to 6 percent of the sale value. That is not a small amount, especially if the value of your house is at the top end. For instance, a house valued at $300,000 would fetch $15,000 to $18,000 in commission fee.

Simple arithmetic can help you see what you will save to make an informed decision. The only spin with this benefit is that you can lose more money than the realtor’s commission in your asking price. 

An agent knows the value of different properties based on changing market dynamics. Their skills and expertise can help you fetch the right amount for the house.

Value addition

selling your house without an agent

It is within your rights to set the price for your house. That can be advantageous, especially if you have spent money on renovations or other additions. An agent might be unable to attach a monetary value to such renovations.

Such amounts may not be captured in the initial valuation of your home by a third-party professional. As the owner, you can recover the money in your asking price. But, you must shelf your emotions to avoid setting the price too high and chasing away potential buyers.

You can make reasonable adjustments

Selling the house allows an opportunity to deal first-hand with potential buyers. They can share their expectations and needs; and vice-versa. That offers a unique opportunity to take positive criticism without feeling offended or undermined. The feedback can help you make vital adjustments and fetch a reasonable amount for your house.

If all the clients complain about the price, you will know the house is overvalued and can adjust the price downwards. You can also make a few improvements based on views collected from third parties. That may even allow you to fetch more money for the property.

Cons of selling your home without an agent

By selling your home without an agent, you miss out on the wealth of expertise, network, skills, and experience they bring to the table. That is especially so if you have a daytime job or do not like tedious legal processes and documentation.

Here are some of the setbacks;

You don’t have their industry knowledge

Going alone means you can only depend on your know-how and skills. You might lack the skills in marketing or advertisement. You are likely not to achieve the value you would with an experienced realtor helping you out. 

In unprecedented circumstances, you may end up not getting the best amount for your house and it may cost you even more than hiring an agent. 

Sellers can be emotional

selling your house without an agent

Selling a house without an agent may trigger unwarranted emotions due to attachments or sentimental value. That may lead to bad negotiations making the process longer and more daunting than it already is.

Setting the value too high means you may not find a buyer, and even if you do, it will take a very long time. Some sellers tend to feel offended by low offers, and rather than negotiate for a better deal, let the buyers walk.

Realtors have a way of following up on potential buyers without necessarily sounding desperate or eager. Sounding desperate on follow-up shows an inclination to accept a lower offer. A no-agent business sale also means you have to absorb every rejection that comes your way from uninterested clients.

Lack of access to buyers’ networks

There is a lot to miss if you are inclined to sell without agents. Realtors have deep connections and a good network within the industry. That creates a large pool of potential buyers for your home.

The likelihood of selling your home in a short period and for the right amount increases tremendously under these circumstances. They also bring on-board experience and expertise in cutting the best deal for you. Selling a house without an agent means you will miss out on this rich network and its benefits.

Time factor

If you do not have any potential buyers waiting in the wings, selling a house without an agent is not easy. If you have a busy schedule, it may even be more daunting for you because of the amount of time you need to invest in the process. You need to be available whenever a potential buyer wants a peek into the house.

If you are a busy person, it may not be possible to take a dash home every time a potential client comes by. There is a lot of focus and energy needed to market your home to potential buyers. A real estate agent can differentiate serious buyers from imposters saving valuable time. A skill set you may not have in your artillery.

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