You have a couple of major decisions to make when you want to sell your home. First, decide if you want to sell your house by yourself or with the help of a real estate agent. If you know you want an agent's help, you'll have to decide if you want to use a discount agent or a full-service real estate agency. Here's how the two compare.
A Discount Real Estate Agent
As the name suggests, a discount agent charges less to sell your home. However, you have to realize they do this because they offer fewer services. The agent may charge a flat fee or a percent of the sale at a lower percentage than a traditional real estate commission. You may also have the option to pay for additional services you may want such as an MLS listing, video tour, and photos. If homes sell fast in your neighborhood and your house is in excellent shape and has a good chance at a quick sale, you may be comfortable with using a discount agent.
It helps if you have some experience at buying and selling houses so you can do things like hold open houses, set the selling price, negotiate with buyers, and go through the legal steps and paperwork without hand-holding. Using a discount agent is a lot like selling your home on your own, except your home is listed with an agent, which can be appealing to potential buyers.
A Full-Service Real Estate Agency
If you don't have much experience with selling a home, you may feel more secure with an agent that offers a full range of services. You'll know exactly what you have to pay upfront since the agent takes the standard commission based on how much your house sells for. Since the agent stands to earn a large sum when your house sells, they are motivated to market your home and get it sold fast. The agent helps you choose the right selling price and they can also help you decide on the right upgrades and improvements that will help your home sell at a good price and in a shorter amount of time.
One important job of a full-service real estate agent is to handle all the legal documents of the sale for you so you always know what's going on and understand what you're signing. The agent is involved with you closely until your house closes and is no longer yours. This can entail negotiating prices with buyers, arranging an escrow, scheduling an inspection, and assisting with any other steps you have to take before you can close on the house. You'll pay more for a full-service agent, but the help and guidance you get during the sale makes the extra cost worthwhile, especially when you're unsure how to handle such a large financial transaction on your own.
Contact a local real estate agency to learn more.