A qualified real estate agent may help you sell your home faster and for more money than you could on your own – but most agents charge a commission based on the sale price of the home, which can eat into your sale earnings.

Do I need a real estate agent to sell my house?

The hiring of a real estate agent, broker, or Realtor is not needed by law for home sellers (a member of the National Association of Realtors, or NAR). The services that these specialists provide can, in certain cases, be performed by a knowledgeable and resourceful seller.

If you don’t have the time, know-how, or confidence to manage a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) transaction, hiring an agent — a professional who knows the ins and outs of effectively listing and selling property — is a good idea.

Why you need an agent

According to the National Association of Realtors, 89% of home sellers use a real estate agent, and it’s simple to understand why. According to NAR statistics, the average property sold in 2020 with the aid of a real estate agent went for $295,000, while homes without an agent went for $217,900.

Agents are also well-versed in all of the disclosures that sellers must provide throughout a real estate transaction. The law necessitates these disclosures.

Agents also have access to the multiple listing service (MLS), which is a database that makes available listings in a certain region to other real estate professionals and internet portals such as Zillow. An agent may assist you distinguish between genuine purchasers and those who are “just browsing” or not serious about making an offer, in addition to advertising your property through the MLS.

Agents may also help you arrange your property for sale, either as a pro or through a referral to a professional stager, ensuring that your home looks its best to attract more purchasers. Keep in mind, however, that hiring a professional stager will cost you additional money in order to make your home more presentable.

Your agent will also coordinate with all other vendors involved in the selling process, such as the appraiser, home inspector, title agent, and notary, and will conduct open houses and private showings. He or she is also ready to immediately answer your questions and concerns, as well as walk you through the mountains of paperwork required to sell your house.