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There are many opinions on what the best route for selling your home is. You will find that using a real estate agent has certain upsides and selling privately also has certain upsides.
What is right for your personal situation depends on many different things:
-Are you in a situation where you need to sell fast?
-Are you in a market that is saturated with other homes?
-Are you in a situation where it’s difficult to tell the true price of homes?
-Are you willing to risk a poor showing of your home because you don’t have the experience showing a home like an agent does?
An advantage to agents is that they have a huge volume of buyers who are looking for homes. Not only that. They also have a network of other agents who have buyers who are looking for homes. There is a lot of value in the stable clientele agents and their contacts have. It can be absolutely invaluable if you are in a tough market where homes are sitting and hard to sell.
Real estate agents are going to cost you about 5%-6% more to sell your home than if you were to sell it privately. Remember though if you cannot properly figure out where to value your home, you are potentially going to throw that same money away if you undervalue the home and give part of that (or all of that) difference you saved in money away because you priced too low. Or the other thing that tends to happen with private sales is that you actually overvalue the home and are sitting on the home paying your monthly mortgage while you end up having to lower the price to sell it in the long run anyways.
Homes that have sat on the market for a long time also tend to carry with them a “what’s wrong with it” vibe, and attract low ball offers.
I would never advise against going with an agent. But like with any major transaction you need to do your homework and feel out some different agents before making up your mind on who to go with. It’s very rare for people to actually save money by choosing not to go with a real estate agent.