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Do You Really Need a Realtor?
As real estate investors, we've sold homes both with an agent and without as for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) and I can't tell you how much easier and faster it is to sell with an agent vs FSBO.
Selling FSBO will take longer to sell, sometimes months longer or not at all. By the time you finally decide to try an agent, you've already lost money because of your marketing costs. Then there's the stress of waiting for the phone to ring and the hassle of doing all of the marketing yourself.
When we did FSBO's, we used flat fee listings, where you get your property on the MLS but no agent is marketing it for you. That helped a little but not much.
On the flip side, when we listed with a really great agent who goes all out to market the property and get showings and even brought in a killer photographer to make the house look amazing, we sold everything almost immediately with 5 showings a day instead of 5 showing a week or a month.
And if you offer the agent a full commission, they will be much more aggressive and sell faster, which costs less money, time and stress in the end.
With the right agent, the selling process can be easy, fast and enjoyable rather than stressful.
The whole trick is finding the right agent. Do your homework there. Ask, ask, ask other homeowners in your area who they've used and what their experience was.
Try various agents out by getting property comps from them just to see how well they communicate, how professional they are and how aggressive they are. If they're promoting their services to you in a consistent and convincing way, that's a good sign that they'll be that thorough with marketing your property.
Interview agents. Make a list of questions to ask them about all of the things they will do to market your property that other agents won't do. Where exactly will they market your property? Will they be aggressive about getting showings? Will they do open houses, provide a great property photographer and create a virtual tour? Will they help with staging and curb appeal?
Ask them to show you their past sales portfolio so you can see if they generally sell their listings fast and for top dollar.
As you interview agents, make a list of all the things these agents say they will do to market your property. Then ask your favorite agent if they will incorporate any other ideas from your list that they are not already doing.
Once you find that agent who will move your properties fast, you'll never want to go back to dragging things out, losing time and money by going it alone.