Selling your home on, without an agent, is supposed to be a great way to save thousands of dollars in commission. If your agent is charging 6% of the sales price – that’s $15,000 on a $250,000 home, so there could be some truth to that. Acting as your own seller’s agent will surely be worth the savings, right

A great agent will work hard for you and work hard for their commission.  In the end they want to walk away with a happy client who had a wonderful transaction and will refer them to their friends. Here are five reasons why you might want to use an Owner Advocate agent instead of selling your home on Zillow by yourself:

  1. Buyers’ agents may not show your property to their clients.

When an Owner Advocate agent sees someone selling their home on Zillow, they know there isn’t a professional on the other side of the transaction, which can mean confusion and headaches along the way. Some for sale by owner (FSBO) sellers can be viewed as unrealistic, unreasonable and often difficult to work with, listing their house way overmarket and not being flexible with viewings.  

In today’s market, to get the highest and best price on your listing, your goal should be to increase the exposure to real estate agents who work with homebuyers. Nearly 90% of active homebuyers are working with an agent, so you cannot leave them out. The question you should really be asking yourself is if the increased exposure on listing with an agent will outweigh the percentage of commission charged.

Remember, you will probably be paying a buyer’s agent commission anyway, so really what you’re saving when selling your home on Zillow by owner is around less than 3% of the sales price.  Let’s break that down.  Let’s say you are able to sell your home for $250,000.  If you pay out 2.5% to a buyer’s agent that is $6,250 but you do not pay out 2.5% to a listing agent then by selling by on Zillow, you could save. $6,250

Now ask yourself – if you listed your property with a real estate marketing company, could they increase your gross sales price by providing that extra exposure?

  1. Selling real estate is a full time job.

  2. Phone calls, emails, text messages, scheduling showings – there’s a lot that goes into selling your home by yourself, and it’s not a simple 9 to 5.  Some agents may want to call first thing in the morning to be able to get into the property before anyone else, and others may have questions into the evening.  If you are not responsive in a timely manner you could lose the sale.  An Owner Advocate will take on all of those tasks, and any others that pop up to make sure your home has maximum exposure on the market

    1. It’s much harder to keep your emotions out of the transaction.

    If you had to list the most stressful times in your life, buying and selling a home will most likely appear in the list. Using an Owner Advocate agent to sell your home can help insulate you from some of the emotional highs and lows throughout the transaction. Repeated rejections, overzealous follow-up, lack of interest from potential buyers can have an ill effect on your mental health. Having an Owner Advocate who is used to handling these situations can make the transition much easier. They can answer any questions you have along the way and they can shelter you from the day to day stress of listing your home, scheduling showings and following up after viewings.  This is a business decision and you need to keep your focus on the numbers to sell your home, and a great Owner Advocate agent will help you keep your head on straight. 

    1. Agents should have a much more in-depth marketing plan than you would is the top real estate website, averaging more than 30 million unique visits per month. Knowing that, any good marketing plan needs to include that site, but, what other tactics are there? Well, listing your home on Zillow is not the same as listing on the MLS, so your house may not be seen by all your potential buyers.  In order to utilize, Redfin, or Yahoo! Real Estate, you will need to use an agent, as these sites pull information directly from the MLS.  Agents also have exclusive access to premier marketing packages, which aren’t available to the public.

    1. Negotiations Suck.

    Even if you have a sales background, you probably don’t have real estate sales background – and it’s a totally different animal. Remember those emotions? Here’s where they really come into play. When you do get an offer, on average it will be $40k less and in 19 more days than listing with an agent.  On top of that you know have to deal with:

    • A buyer who wants the best deal possible
    • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
    • The buyer’s attorney
    • The home inspectors who work for the buyer and will always find multiple things wrong with the house
    • The appraiser if there is a question of value
    • Making sure the closing date works for in the purchase of your next home so you aren’t living out of your car for 2 weeks

    Don’t get me wrong – people can be and are successful at selling their own home on Zillow without an agent. If it works out it can be quite a rewarding, as well as a cost saving, experience. However, there are many pitfalls you need to avoid and if you flounder at the beginning you may have to deal with an avalanche of problems.  

    Learn more about what an Owner Advocate agent is.