Why Most Use Agents

Reader Sheree Butts said she did not need a realtor (Letters, Feb. 25). As many as 5% of all FSBOs (for sale by owners) manage to successfully sell their own homes directly without an agent representing either party. The remaining 95% complete their sale with the aid of one or more real estate agents.

There are many good reasons for this. One of the reasons is that experience shows that parties in a major sale such as a home are far more likely to encounter roadblocks, which they often erect themselves, that block the sale.

Secondly, the sale is more complex than the average person contemplates, and that can scuttle the deal. Finally, the subject of buyer's and/or seller's remorse can and often comes up, which requires the objective and professional assistance of a third party to overcome.

Since we agents all work on contingency (that is we get paid only when the deal closes), our success is hinged to the success of the sale.

Regarding another matter of listing and sales time, I show prospective sellers the latest monthly data from the real estate board on the time required to sell properties in every price range. If, for example, it took 120 days to sell homes in the $500,000- to $599,000-range, and their home is worth about $550,000, I tell them they can expect a sales period of about 120 days on average to market that home.

If they price the home at the lower end of the market evaluation I provided, then the sales time would likely be shorter. However, most owners prefer to price their home at the upper end of the market evaluation and usually have to wait it out.

On the other hand, in 1988-1989 I sold half my listings within the first week on the market. That's because they listed their homes at the average or lower end of the market evaluation. Most buyers (with agents) know the market of the homes they are seeking and will offer bids accordingly. If a new listing is priced just a shade below the market for a neighborhood, in most cases, it will sell the day it hits the market.


Sherman Oaks

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