By Jeremy DeLay, Tulsa Home + Design Realty
If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, you may have considered foregoing a Realtor and doing it all alone. There are a number of reasons someone may consider not using a Realtor, and the purpose of this article is to show 4 good reasons you should. We will look at ethical considerations, time and money, the power a Realtor has in their ability to search for homes and their professional networks, and how using a Realtor can help take your own emotional hang ups out of the picture. Let’s dive right in.
- Ethics and Duty
First, did you know that Realtors are bound by a Code of Ethics (Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of REALTORS®) that requires that they disclose certain pieces of information? That’s right, Realtors are required to tell the truth! Under their licenses, Realtors have a fiduciary duty to act in their clients’ best interests. Articles 1-9 of the National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics and Standards deal exclusively with a Realtor’s duties to their clients and their customers. One thing this means for you is that if a Realtor does make a mistake or mislead you in some way, you have many avenues for pursuing justice or compensation. If you’re dealing with a private party that isn’t bound by the same licensing requirements and code of ethics, you have fewer options for recourse. “If you fail to disclose a hazard, nuisance, or defect—and the buyer comes back to you after having moved in and found a problem—the buyer could sue you. Agents can make mistakes, too, but they have professional errors and omissions insurance to protect themselves and give the buyer recourse, so the buyer may not need to pursue the seller for damages.” – Investopedia.com
2. Saving Time and Money
Perhaps the number one reason people say that they’d rather not use a Realtor is to save money. This seems to make sense on the face of it, since you wouldn’t be paying out any commission owed. However, According to the National Association of Realtors, the average “For Sale By Owner” property sells for 11% less than agent-assisted sales. To put that into real dollars, the median list price for a single-family home in Tulsa, OK is $229,900, according to the most recent report from Realtor.com (as of Nov. 2020). Based on these numbers, if you listed your home For Sale By Owner in Tulsa, you could expect it to sell for an average of $25,000 less than the median list price (11% of $229,900). This is just an illustration using averages, but if this scenario holds even a little bit true in the real world, you would definitely be saving more in the long run using a Realtor. Working with a Realtor can also save you a lot of time that you’d otherwise be spending setting up showings, negotiating with other buyers, sellers, or Realtors, organizing open houses and dealing with loads of paperwork. All these activities are part of a Realtor’s full-time job and take up a considerable amount of time and resources.
3. Search Power and Network Reach
Besides all of this, Realtors have access to the MLS system. This allows them to not only list homes that can’t be listed by private owners, but also to see certain homes that the general public may not have access to. Additionally, Realtors are connected via a large, local network of professionals who are all aware of the current housing market and have invaluable insight into what’s available. They can share listings with each other and get the word out in a much more targeted way than a regular individual can via putting a sign-out, running a newspaper ad, or posting to their social media accounts. Again, this is what a Realtor does for a living, so their ability to either find a home or get the word out about a home for sale naturally exceeds that of an individual.
4. Eliminating emotions
Lastly, but certainly not least important, using a Realtor to buy or sell a home helps protect you from your own emotions and allows you to make better choices. When talking about your home, the place you have built your life in and designed and decorated to your tastes, the place where your family lives and does life together, it’s hard not to feel intricately connected to the space. When you’re trying to sell your home, you have to remove so much of what makes it personal so that it can appeal to the widest audience possible. This can be a hard process for many people, and a Realtor can help you make the tough choices about décor and paint color that will give your home a broader appeal. Likewise, potential buyers will be walking through every part of your house, critiquing it, and trying to envision themselves living in the space and making it their own. This will come with a number of potentially uncomfortable and uninvited opinions about the home you’ve built. A Realtor is a perfect intermediary to take in those critiques and weed through what is most helpful to actually sell your home. This is also the case in negotiating. There are times when emotions cause sellers to want to price their homes too high. When someone comes in with a lower offer, it’s hard not to take it personally. Your Realtor can help you set appropriate expectations for price and, again, sift through offers without the added layer of emotional connectedness the homeowner feels. From the very real, legal, and technical aspects, to the simply practical, there are many reasons you should consider working with a Realtor when you are buying or selling a home. The 4 reasons listed here are a good jumping-off point if you’re on the fence. The sources listed below give some additional reasons and add some color to the ones mentioned above, and hopefully, after a bit of research, it is clear that a good Realtor is well-worth any costs associated with their services.
*At Tulsa Home + Design we work with clients at every step of their home-buying and owning journey to help them find and create spaces to live and grow. Call us today. www.tulsahomeanddesign.com