As you think about selling your home, it may have crossed your mind that you should just sell it yourself. In 2015, approximately 89% of home sellers hired a REALTOR®. What do they know that you don't?
To sell your home yourself, you'll be competing against experts who have more tools and connections than you do. In addition to multiple listing services, broker Websites, real estate Websites, personal Websites, and professional-grade videos and photos, real estate professionals network with each other to sell many homes before they are introduced to the marketplace.
You'll have to perform all the jobs a professional would do for you, along with adopting a professionalism you haven't been trained for, all while holding down your own job. When will you have time to study the market, create a marketing plan, buy advertising, show your home, and negotiate with buyers?
It's no problem for a Realtor when a buyer wants to see your home at any time, but will your boss let you take off in the middle of the day to show your home? Will she allow you to use the company's graphics and editorial team to whip out a top quality listing presentation for you? Will you have the long-term price trends to defend your price to buyers?
You won't know whom you're allowing to see your home. Even if you could arrange a time to show your home to buyers, how do you know they aren't coming into your home to steal your prescriptions or worse?
Serious buyers are vetted through their real estate agents and bankers so only buyers who are qualified to buy your home can be allowed to see it. Do you know how to put a buyer through instant credit checks so you'll know whether or not they're suitable before you let them in your home?
Real estate transactions are rife with opportunities to make legal mistakes. Do you know what you have to disclose to the buyer to be compliant with state laws? If you did add-ons yourself and didn't get a building permit, you might be in violation of city codes that could come back to bite the buyer and you.
Closing in a garage doesn't mean you can add square footage to your home without subtracting market value for no longer having a garage. Your local taxing authority should reassess your home so that the size and amenities match the marketing materials and disclosures you've provided about your home.
Once you have a contract, you have to get to closing and many contracts don't make it that far. The buyer can decline to buy for a number of reasons, including FHA or VA requirements that your home might not meet. An agent can help negotiate problems and make sure every entity in the pipeline is doing their jobs in a timely fashion so there are no bad surprises.
Those are only a few of the many reasons sellers hire real estate professionals.