Selling - Don't Do It Yourself

By, Chris Sicks, Washington Times (06/23/00)

The fastest and easiest way to sell a house is through a professional agent. A Realtor will not only take care of the technicalities involved with selling home, but he or she will also coach the seller on how to best prepare the property for buyers. Perhaps even more important is Realtors' access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), where almost every agent in the area will see the home. The MLS will give the property the exposure it needs to attract a buyer in a reasonable amount of time at a favorable price.

"How can a sign in your yard and some ads in the newspaper compare with thousands of Realtors seeing your listing in that database?" asks Realtor David Rathgeber of McLean, Va. "Expecting buyers to find your house by driving around looking at signs is simply unrealistic, especially in today's market."

Even so, the strength of the real estate sector has convinced some owners that they can sell their own home without much trouble. Some are successful, but they will never know if they got top dollar for their house because it was never listed and never exposed to the widest number of potential buyers.

Other shortcomings of do-it-yourself home selling include mucking up the fine print and idiosyncrasies that are involved with sale contracts. Also, there are buyer’s agents who will steer their clients away from FSBO (for sale by owner) properties because the agent knows that he or she will have to do more work because of the seller's inexperience. For these reasons and more, an agent is a seller's best ally.