Real estate agents / brokers / realtors use the same internet / technology available to all of us except they charge 3 – 6% commission for it.
Lets discuss some things that one should think about when deciding whether to use a realtor; what can a Realtor do that I can’t do myself?
Open Houses – of course you can hold your own open house. After all it’s your house, but the better question is why would you want to? Most just attract noisy neighbors, Brokers / Realtors trying to get your business, and people with bad intentions. It is a commonly known fact that Realtors hold open houses not to attract buyers for that property but rather as a means to attract buyers for other properties or just to keep the property owner content knowing that open houses really aren’t how houses get sold in today’s residential real estate market.
There are much better ways to attract buyers than opening your doors to complete strangers. The most effective is by posting your property on your local MLS and Realtor.com which we’ll touch on here shortly. The problem with open houses besides self-promoting agents and noisy neighbors is there is no way of pre-screening the people entering your house. At least with showings you can request a pre-approval letter giving you the ability to screen the person. Of course you could always ask people to show ID before entering but that would make for a rather awkward situation.
Advertisement – before answering this question you have to ask yourself, where am I going to get my greatest Rate of Return on Investment (ROI)? Without a doubt the answer is by placing your property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and Realtor.com, however there is a caveat- only licensed Agents, Brokers / Realtors can list properties on local MLS and only properties that appear on the MLS will appear on Realtor.com.
Next question you have to ask yourself is; how can I get my property listed on MLS without the outrageously high fees charged by agents looking for their slice of the pie aka your hard earned equity?
In 2011 Realcomp a Detroit Area based MLS fought tooth and nail spending over two million dollars trying to keep flat fee brokers like ourselves off the MLS. Unfortunately for them and fortunately for consumers they lost the battle when the United States Supreme Court refused to hear the case. So what does that mean for For Sale by Owners (FSBO’s); it means you can now list your property on the MLS as if it were listed with Remax, Century 21, Keller Williams or any other traditional brokerage without having to pay a listing commission or any commission at all if there isn’t a buyer’s agent involved in the transaction. Why pay someone three to six percent of your hard earned equity to simply enter information into a data base when you can do the exact same thing from your PC, tablet or smart phone!
Property Values – There is a wealth of information online when it pertains to sold properties. Everything from public records to Realtor.com. Avoid using Zillow’s Zestimates as a means to obtain your property’s value. They are notorious for being wildly inaccurate. Another option is to get an appraisal done or hire an agent to do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for a flat fee.
Title and Closing Services – Anybody including the homeowner can order title. The only difference between a real estate agent ordering title and the homeowner may be pricing in the form of additional fee(s) due to the fact most title companies consider FSBO’s “more work”. If you’re in need of title and closing services and are working with us, please let us know and we’ll put you in contact with a local reliable title company that will not charge you an additional fee when ordered through us.