Kathy Henne: Quid pro quo

Sure, it’s a legitimate question: Can you sell your home without the representation of a professional real estate agent? The legitimate answer is, of course you can — but that begs the next question of whether it makes sense for you to do so.

One assumes sellers want to obtain the highest price possible. Otherwise, the home could simply be auctioned, or sold to the first buyer who presents an offer. Getting the best price depends upon exposure to the widest, most qualified segment of potential buyers.

An ad and a yard sign are not enough to create that exposure. While agents spend untold dollars on advertising and signs, those only attract about 20 percent of actual buyers, so just one ad and one yard sign will yield even less.

So where does the lion’s share of motivated buyers come from? In a real estate firm, they come from co-operating brokers and agents. It’s logical, since serious buyers seek the assistance of agents who save them time and money by matching their needs against large inventories. Agents with motivated, qualified buyers will keep those buyers informed each time a new listing hits the market that meets their buyer’s wants and needs. They’ll make sure their buyer is the first one to view the property.

The only buyers attracted to properties “For Sale By Owner” are ones who want to save the same commission that the sellers do! It’s impossible for them to both save that money. You can choose to represent yourself in this competitive industry, but it may cost you. Remember that a bargain is not measured by what you pay, but by what you get.