The Value of a Realtor in a Seller's Market or "FSBO or No?"


The real estate market in Greater Fort Wayne, like in much of the Midwest, is very strong.  In some cases, sellers are being offered list price or higher from multiple prospective buyers.  This kind of market tempo inevitably leads to questions like " If the market is so hot, why should I hire a realtor and give them a 5%-7% cut, when I can sell it myself?"  or "what could a realtor do for me that I couldn't do for myself"?

Well, just like you would take some caution in performing surgery on yourself or being your own lawyer, you should also be cautious about the whole "For Sale by Owner" or FSBO temptation. Yes, you will hear of FSBO homes being sold in days or weeks at asking price, but do these "rare-air" stories represent the typical experience?  

Absolutely not. Study after study shows that FSBO homes sell for 91-93% of list price while the average agent sells the home in the 95% - 96% range.  Furthermore, the majority of FSBOs eventually find their way to a competent agent after losing precious weeks languishing on the market. 

Where does the agent get this advantage? Some areas to consider are:

 - Knowledge and real time access to trending market data which takes guessing and emotion out selecting a list price that provides maximum overall value. 

- Experience in negotiating both sides of the transactions to maximize client value.

- Command of the selling and buying process which prevents road blocks or surprises that can frustrate or kill a deal. 

- Network of buyers, sellers, other agents, and affiliated professionals that increase the odds of closing a deal fast. 

Selling or thinking of selling a home alone in this strong market is not necessarily a bad choice for everyone or every home, but hiring a good agent is certainly the safest bet for a faster sell at the highest price.  

Vince Brown

Vince Brown

Associate Broker Century 21 Affiliated. President, Select Property Management Pros
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