Do You Have To Use A Real Estate Agent To Sell Your Home

When you decide to put your home up for sale you have two choices. You can either call a real estate agent or you can handle the sale yourself. If you're like most people, your first thought may be "Why should I pay an agent several thousand dollars when I can do the job myself for free? Of course it's not quite that simple and you need to weigh up the pros and cons before deciding which way to go.

Let's start with the pros - the advantages of handling the sale yourself. The biggest factor is, of course, the cost. Find a buyer yourself and you will have no commission to pay.

Next is the question of control; when you are running the show you know that all your marketing and advertising is directed at selling your home. An agent, on the other hand, who has many properties on his books, will not be giving your house as much personal attention.

And thirdly, you as the homeowner will naturally know more about your home than any agent ever can. You will have all the information at your fingertips and be able to reply to all enquiries on the spot, whereas an agent would have to refer back to his client.

Turning now to the cons - the disadvantages of taking on the responsibility yourself. First is the question of setting the asking price; make it too low and you will be losing out, too high and you will waste time waiting for buyers who never come. A good agent with local knowledge will be able to pitch the price at the optimum level and this alone can justify his fee.

Although the prospect of saving the agent's commission is appealing, don't forget that you have to foot all the marketing and advertising costs if you are handling the sale yourself.