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  • Writer's pictureAlex Aceves

The Pros & Cons Of Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Updated: Oct 23, 2019

Selling your house in Los Angeles using a real estate agent sounds like the reasonable thing to do but is it worth it? The majority of homeowners in California will hire a real estate agent just because is the traditional way to sell their houses without putting a single thought on whether is beneficial to them.

The biggest misconception about hiring a real estate agent is that if you don’t your house will most likely not sell or stay too long on the market which will affect the value of the house. However, data shows that the real estate market has slowed down significantly and houses are staying on the market an average of 60 days. This an increase of 26% compared to last year. And, this is the type of information that should make you consider, “should I hire a real estate agent to sell my house?”

The problem with real estate agents is that they are expensive and are not 100% committed to selling one house. They sell houses for a living so is natural that they will focus the majority of their efforts in the inventory that will sell at a higher price and that will give them the biggest commission. This means that if you are an average Joe you will not be on the top of their list.

How much does is cost to sell your house through a Real Estate Agent? In the state of California the commission for a licensed real estate agent is typically 6% in addition to other costs, such as advertising. He will also ask you to fix up your house before putting it on the market to increase the possibilities of a sell. These repairs can reach in the thousands of dollars depending on the severity. For example, changing or repairing a family home central air conditioner/AC unit can go from $3,500 up to $8,900. Does spending all of this money on fixing your house guarantees that it will sell faster? No, it’s not certain that it will sell at all. You may also end up losing money if your house ends up selling for less than what you expected.

Should I sell my house without Hiring a Real Estate Agent?

The alternative is to sell your house without hiring a real estate agent. This is commonly known as “For Sale By Owner (FSBO). This sounds tempting because this means more money for you. But, is this the best move for you and your family?

Taking on the task of selling your house on your own does not equal more money. With so many websites offering to skip the listing agent and promising to make the process simple is easy to fall into the false conclusion that it’s the best course of action.

If you decide to be an FSBO seller, you should be prepared to do a lot of work to manage the sale process without the guarantee that you are even going to make a sale. Not to mention, that you still have to pay for marketing services (e.g. FSBO signs, internet listings, newspaper ads, open houses, etc.), and you will still have to make repairs to your house to make it marketable.

Things you should consider before deciding to take the venture into selling your own home are:

  • Are you ready to hear complete strangers criticize your house?

  • Can you objectively and fairly value your home before putting it on the market?

  • Are you willing to screen potential buyers?

  • Can you properly and efficiently market your house?

This means taking professional pictures of you property, listing the property on classified advertising and real estate websites, and writing effective descriptions.

Are you willing to deal with other real estate agents?

For Sale By Owner or FSBO is not for the faint of heart. A lot of newly licensed real estate agents will go through months under the tutelage of a broker or experienced agent before flying on their own.

Finally, a good comparison of what it will take to sell your house is having a part time job on top of your already full schedule. You will be responsible for a lot of things before and after the sale of your property. For instance, ordering a title search, scheduling the appraisal for your house and preparing the disclosure documents. All this is on top of the hours you will have to spend on research. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), up to 80 percent of FSBO sellers will end up hiring an agent and a lot of them would not try to sell their house on their own. .

Selling your Home to an Investor

Now, that you know about the pros and cons of selling your house using an agent or For Sale By Owner, let me tell you about a third option that is becoming more popular and that is selling your house to an investor. This option just like the rest have their pros and cons. It really depends on your situation.

The Cons Of Selling Your House to an Investor Are:

  • You will have to sell below true market value. This is the investors bread and butter. They buy distressed properties at a discount price, fix them, and sell them for a profit. Therefore, it only makes senses to sell your property to an investor if you are in dire need of cash, or the repair expenses needed to get the home ready for sale are way to many.

  • You don’t know always know who really is buying your house. An investor is not bound by the same legal statutes as a Broker or Real Estate Agent so they are not required to disclose who or what is purchasing your home.

  • The potential of selling your house to a scam artist posing as an investor is very real. You should have your listing agent do some research on your behalf but if don’t have one there are simple steps you can take like getting the name of the investor and checking his social media accounts, does he have a business website and if so, what does the Better Business Bureau say about their business?

The Pros of Selling your House to An Investor Are:

  • Cash offers are one of the big benefits of selling your home to an investor. These investors have funds ready to buy your house which come in handy in certain situations like you are relocating and need the money to close on your new home, or you are behind on your payments and the bank is about to begin the for

  • Flexible Payment Options is another benefit that comes when selling to an investor. They may offer cash, certified funds, and cash pre-schedule payments. A lot of them might be willing to take over your mortgage. With so many available options, sellers will often find a solution that suits their need than the traditional way.

  • "Selling As Is" is probably the most appealing reason to sell to an investor. You don't have to fix the house, or hire a listing agent or pay any closing cost. The investor will buy your house in the condition it is as long as the numbers work for him.

In conclusion, using a Real Estate Agent to sell your house is not always the best solution nor it will guaranteed that you will profit from the transaction. For instance, can you really afford to wait for a listing agent to sell your house if the bank is going to take away your house? Every sale has it's own set of circumstances and should be dealt with appropriately.

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