buying your first home - what you should know

Selling Your House by Yourself Versus Selling with a Real-Estate Agent: Pros, Cons, and Facts

Selling your house comes with a lot of options. Do you sell it yourself, or do you hire a real-estate agent to do so? What are some facts and statistics for selling a house by yourself versus selling it with the help of a real-estate agent? What are the pros and cons to "sale by owner" versus real-estate sale? Here is the information you need to help you make a good decision.

Houses Sold by Real-Estate Agents 

Houses sold by real-estate agents sell six months sooner than houses sold by their owners. This is a direct result of motivated agents who rely on high-volume sales to make a paycheck and commission sales. Real-estate agents also have several free routes available to them for posting, promoting, and selling your house.

Houses Sold by Owner

Selling your own house is a lot tougher than you think. You can place an ad in the paper, put a sign in the yard, post your home on a free real-estate listing site, and so forth, but you cannot do half the things that a real-estate agent can do to sell your house. Most owner-sellers are really uncomfortable about doing their own open house event. They frequently do not have the resources or media channels to promote an open house even if they are comfortable with doing an open house on their own. If you insist on selling your house on your own, be prepared to wait more than a year or two before someone finally does give you an offer. That is how long it takes for most homeowners to sell their houses on their own. If you are in a hurry to move, trying to sell your house on your own is definitely not the way to go.

Facts about Selling a House

Houses on or close to a busy street are noticed by buyers sooner but may be purchased later because buyers generally do not like to live on a high-traffic road (especially if they have children). Houses close to a school or hospital sell faster because their location give the buyers access to emergency healthcare within seconds and allows the buyers' children to walk to school. Odd features in a house, such as a toilet inside a closet that leads to the basement or really low-sloping roofs in the upstairs bedrooms, are hard sells to buyers. A real-estate agent knows how to put these odd features in a positive light, and this can cause buyers to be more interested in your home.