1. The number one reason, of course, is that the Multiple Listing Service provides exposure to literally thousands of people through realtors; the efforts of a For Sale By Owner just cannot compare with the exposure the listing will have on MLS.
2. The internet! The Canadian Real Estate Association's web site, www.mls.ca, has been a major player in marketing MLS properties since day one and its presence is growing by leaps and bounds. Also, I have my own personal website, www.adamwahed.com, that I actively market, where I post all of my listings' info and dozens of photos per listing. RE/MAX has two of its own sites as well, www.remax.ca where all RE/MAX listings are posted.
3. Real estate offices have secretarial assistance during peak hours and message answering and paging services during off peak hours, which means that at all times you will have professionals available to handle inquiries, set up showings, set a variety of marketing strategies into action, and the list goes on. Any time a private seller is away from home, his home is off the market.
4. A seller selling privately can expect to put in a minimum of 80 hours "work" into the project. This does not account for other out of pocket expenditures such as marketing and a lawn sign. Selling a home can be extremely stressful.
5. A realtor must adhere to a rigorous code of ethics. A direct buyer or seller is not so constrained. Purchasers want the protection a realtor can offer.
6. By use of a comparative market analysis, a salesperson can help a seller choose the right price to ask. While some sellers ask too little, others ask for too much. Once a house sits unsold for too long, it becomes stale. Often a seller is forced to reduce the price and may have to accept less money for his home than he would have received had he started at the right price originally.
7. A property depreciates the longer it is on the market. The first two or three weeks are a crucial period. Many owners fail to take advantage of this excitement by limiting the market to their own contacts and advertising.
8. Market value is influenced by perceived value just as much as by the concrete statistics. Realtors are able to offer suggestions about how to improve a home's "showability" and hence increase that value.
9. Much of a real estate company's business comes from corporate or personal referrals. This market is unavailable to private sellers.
10. Out of town buyers seldom have the time or knowledge to deal directly with owners, but they do contact sales representatives through relocation systems.
11. The best buyers work with realtors. People who have been transferred from out of town, people who have their home for sale, or people who have sold their home all work with sales representatives.
12. Other homeowners who have already listed their homes usually purchase through the company with which their own home is listed.
13. Realtors are capable of qualifying prospects so that only those who qualify to buy the home are introduced to it. This eliminates most "lookers" and non-serious purchasers and saves you a lot of time and falsely "getting your hopes up."
14. Realtors screen all prospects and accompany all potential buyers through the property. There is less chance that strangers who may have activities in mind other that of buying a house will come, and it makes opening your home to the public safer in general.
15. Showing your home becomes much less of a headache: you get advanced notice of appointments, and you are not required to be home.
16. Private showings eliminate the possibility of a personality conflict between seller and purchaser.
17. Demonstrating property is an art. Not everyone enjoys poking through other people's closets. It's the salesperson's job to demonstrate the home's strong points and its features.
18. A realtor can select the best route to a showing and point out comparable properties that will assure that the property is shown in the best light possible.
19. Virtually every buyer has objections, which sales representatives are trained to handle. A private seller is more emotionally involved, and may be less equipped to quell these concerns.
20. Private sales attract bargain hunters. Any time a buyer doesn't buy from a store or through a salesperson he expects to pay less. In effect, he expects to save the commissions or profits that would normally go to the sales-person or store owner. Why should someone do all the work a sales representative would normally do and still pay the full price? For example, if the seller is trying to save about six percent commission and the buyer is trying to save six percent, now they are 12 percent apart.
21. Not all buyers will come out and say what is bothering them, particularly in front of the seller. A real estate professional is trained to smoke these out and handle them professionally.
22. Real estate professionals are trained to follow-up all leads, inquiries and showings. Such follow-up is normally expected and does not have a detrimental effect on a seller's bargaining position, while a private seller doing follow-up can seem desperate.
23. In real estate, the offers are in writing and irrevocable. Private buyers often give verbal offers and then revoke them.
24. Realtors are trained to negotiate better than a seller can on his own behalf.
25. A realtor is aware of many different ways to finance a purchase and often have reliable financing contacts, while a private seller doesn't normally assist in finding suitable financing.
26. A realtor can help eliminate red tape and keep legal costs to a minimum. If you are not using a realtor to draw up your contracts and collect other legal documents, a lawyer will have to do it for you, and they will charge you accordingly.
27. Realtors stay involved with the deal until the transaction is closed.
28. A buyer can remain secure in the thought that although a seller may leave town, the agent will be there to help out should a problem arise after closing.
29. From a buyer's perspective, a licensed real estate representative is more credible than an owner, who will not likely be around after the sale.
30. Something to consider - selling your own property is a hassle for which most people are ill-prepared. Most real estate commissions are cheaper than most law suits.