Selling Your Home Without a Realtor: It's Totally Possible!
For hundreds of years, there’s been a standard way to sell a home; just about every option always went through a realtor. Pre-internet, realtors were a necessary piece of the equation as they had all the information on buyers and sellers around different geographical locations. But with the rise of the internet, the information has shifted hands from the realtors to the people—as has happened in a few key industries.
Here are a few reasons that selling a home without a realtor could not just be an option, but it could be the better option.
Lower commission fees
Traditionally, real estate agents have pulled 6% from each transaction to keep as income for themselves. This has made total sense in the past, as they had all the information, and that information is worth the 6%. But over the last few years, as mentioned in our intro, different services have shifted into the hands of the consumer. This doesn’t necessarily translate into a “sale by owner” situation, but it does mean there are more options available—like online platforms.
Setting a valuation for a home used to be a complicated process, but it has been streamlined through the use of technology. One of the key tasks that real estate agents perform is to help set your home’s valuation, so you know that you’re listing it for the right price. This is one of the many tasks that platforms like Homeworthy are automating, taking it out of the real estate brokers’ hands.
None of this was possible a decade ago, so why are real estate agents getting similar percentages that they got a decade ago? No idea, but online platforms are bringing commissions down to the value being provided, not the value that’s been static for decades. Commissions like 1%-2% are becoming commonplace, and rightfully so.
If a tree falls in the forest when no one is around, does it make a sound? You could ask yourself the same question when it comes to listing a home. If you list a home but no one knows, does it even matter? Probably not. This is why platforms in 2019 help you get the word out for your listing using modern channels like Facebook and Instagram ads.
What’s changed in the last decade or two is that attention has shifted from offline to online, and there are companies very well-suited to get your listing seen by more people in less time. The internet increases the reach of your listing hugely, and opens it up geographically to those searching from different locations with no barriers to access. This might be one of the reasons users of Homeworthy see their house sell in less than the time it takes to work with a dealer, on average.
Additionally, 37% of millennials between 25 and 34 owned a home in 2015. Millennials grew up with the internet, and likely prefer to interact with a dashboard when selling their home. Generation Z are digital natives and it’s easy to imagine that they will align even more with the software approach because they know the power of the internet better than anyone.
Agents don’t scale, software does
With a real estate agent, you’re one of many clients that they are working with. Unlike software, an agent doesn’t scale. If they have three clients at a given time and one of them is taking up a big chunk of their day, that's time that they aren’t working on your listing. Even the best agent is only human!
The benefit of using software is that it’s always working, for all of its users, and it never takes a break. This also creates a predictable process too, versus using one agent for one home and another for another home. The process can vary widely across listings and homes depending on the type of agent you get.
Another important benefit of using a platform is its use of data to help you get the best deal on the market. One of the trickiest parts of selling a home—listing it for the right price—is now powered by big data. And data very rarely lies.
Platforms like Homeworthy that assist with selling your home use technology to help determine your valuation, tapping into huge amounts of data. Real estate agents don’t necessarily have access to the same data set. This makes going through an agent a liability, even if they were only charging 1% of the market rate.
So, is it possible to sell your home without a realtor?
I would argue this is it isn’t the right question. For years now, it's been possible to sell your home without a realtor. The question to be asking is, “which is the better option?”
Although going with a realtor is the proven path, we would venture to say that companies like Homeworthy are pioneering a new way for consumers to buy and sell homes, without paying an outdated commission fee.
If you’re interested in what it would be like to sell your home without a realtor, check out Homeworthy. We may be biased, but we think this is the best way to buy and sell a home in the 21st century. Punting the 6% commission fee is the way of the future, made possible by advancing tech, big data and innovative companies who know the ins and outs of the real estate game.