Years ago, if you wanted to sell your home you did one of two things. Either you contracted with a Realtor and agreed to pay a six percent commission to that person if they sold your home, or you put a sign in front of your property that said, “For Sale by Owner,” and you made it a DIY project.
If you went the DIY route, you had to market your property yourself because it wasn’t easy to get it listed on the coveted Multiple Listing Service (MLS) platform without a Realtor or an agent. Some people even think it’s a terrible idea.
Things are different today, however, and following are six reasons you do not need a Realtor to sell your home:
There’s a Difference Between Realtors and Agents
The National Association of Realtors created the designation of Realtor, and they get pretty finicky about what it means, as you can tell from this language found on their website:
“REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.”
This doesn’t mean that real estate agents that are not members of the National Association of Realtors are not qualified to sell your home. A real estate agent still needs to have some certifications, and/or work under someone that does.
Therefore, you don’t have to seek out a Realtor to sell your home, even if they have all of the bells, whistles, infographics and other marketing collateral.
You Can Get on MLS Without a Realtor
While the Internet has made MLS less of a behemoth, it’s still a good idea to have your home listed there. You can find other ways to get this done, though, as some brokers will list your home on the MLS for a fee.
According to listwithdenver.com, “A flat-fee MLS service does exactly what it sounds like: An agent lists your home for sale on the multiple listing service, or MLS, in exchange for a flat fee.” If you have a $600,000 home, paying even a few thousand dollars for an MLS listing can be significantly cheaper than a $36,000 commission.
You Don’t Need to Pay Six Percent
Look, when an average home sold for $50,000 the six percent commission of $3000 was a nice commission but certainly not a windfall. Today, on a $2,000,000 property, the six percent commission would be a whopping $120,000! The work the agent did to sell the $50,000 home was probably more involved than the work today’s digital agent has to perform to engineer a sale. You can negotiate commission fees, and the more valuable your property, the more room you have to bargain.
You Can Use the Internet
Find a way to get your home on MLS and in addition to that, put it on Craigslist. That’s usually a free listing and many buyers have connected with sellers on Craigslist. One caveat—scams abound on Craigslist and all buyers have to be carefully vetted. Cashiers’ checks are not to be trusted so make sure you have a trusted banker and a good attorney on your side before you sign anything or take deposits of any kind.
You Can Use a Discount Broker
We have already established that you don’t need a Realtor to sell your home, but you can still use a real estate agent, and if you look you might find one that will agree to a much smaller commission structure in the two to three percent range. And if you’re finding a rental after your sale, you can often use the same person or company to help out. For example, if you’re selling your place in the Chicago suburbs, you might need to find a place for the right rent price in the city, so just make sure you work with people you trust.
One Percent Deals
Some national platforms only charge a one to one and a half percent commission fee to sell your home. Remember, however, that if a buyer’s agent brings you a buyer, you will owe them a commission also.
It’s almost 2020, the digital revolution has changed many things, and you can more easily sell your home by yourself or with a discounted commission. Make sure you diligently check out your options before signing any real estate agent or Realtor contracts.
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