Modern new Construction White Siding Cottage House for Sale in Suburbs with Turquoise Door

Why Pay a Realtor to List my home?

April 26, 2021

Our Topic today is For Sale By Owner. This topic can apply to any type of community, but for our specific segment, the 55+ Community market, we have a very niche market with a much smaller buyer pool. 

So, you think you want to “For Sale By Owner” and save the real estate commission? Why not? In this market, you can probably place a sign in your yard and have at least one offer the next day. 

While this sounds great, it can present several problems and risk factors throughout the process. Here are just a FEW of the reasons that the “for sale by owner” option isn’t always the best option. 


A primary concern for any seller is safety. 

  • Do you know the identity of the people coming to look at your home? 
  • Do you know that the potential buyers actually have the purchasing power to support their offer? 
  • How do you know they are not coming into your home with ill intent? 

Your real estate agent can help you sift through listing appointments, validate potential buyers, and works to help protect you and your home throughout the process. 

The Price

Pricing can be tricky. Let’s say you’ve listed for sale by owner and received a full-price offer pretty quickly. How confident are you in your listing price? Do you know what your home is worth? Have you done the research to assess the value of your home? If your research included a “Zestimate” I encourage you to do additional research about the accuracy of those numbers compared to real-time market data from your local MLS (multiple listing service). 

In addition to the listing and sales price, you will also need to ensure that you can provide documentation to support the pricing for the appraisal if your buyers are getting financing and not paying cash for the home. Appraisers cannot accept pricing data from the public record (aka tax records) so it’s crucial that you have access to acceptable forms of real estate data, this is something your agent can provide for you. 

Pricing Your Home in an Active Adult Community

Did you know that home prices in active adult communities are impacted by more than just age, appearance, and features? In many active adult communities, the amenities can impact the price between 15% -20%. That’s a substantial difference. But, again, the pricing is supported by the information you provide to your appraiser, so if no summary of amenities is provided, they will likely not be considered when assessing the fair market value of your listing. 

The Contract

Who is responsible for writing the contract? If you’re listing for sale by owner, you will be responsible for managing and maintaining the contract documents on your side of the deal and ensuring that you have everything prepared for closing. Just a few things to consider, regarding contracts

  • If you are not writing the contract, who is? 
  • If you are outsourcing the contract to a third party, are they looking out for your best interest? 
  • Are you aware of the required disclosures and addendums for real estate sales in your area? 
  • Do you know what contingencies are? 

Understanding the Process

If you are managing the transaction it’s important for you to understand all the intricacies of a real estate closing. There is more to selling your home than listing and closing. For example, you will want to know and understand the due diligence period, due diligence funds and what they cover, earnest money, and who holds it based on financing requirements. You’ll also need to know all the key dates and deadlines for your contract and what the implications are when those deadlines are missed or moved. 
Each of these items is of major importance when navigating your transaction. It is not to your benefit to allow the buyer to write the contract for you, a real estate agent will advocate for your interests in the sale of your home. 

Navigating Home Inspections, Repairs and Negotiations

In the majority of home sales, the buyer will request a home inspection. Once the inspection is complete, most buyers will likely provide you with a repair request list, it’s important to have a plan for negotiating these repairs and understanding their true cost and how they will impact your bottom line at closing. Speaking of negotiations, a primary benefit of your agent is their ability to guide you and advocate for your best interest throughout the transaction. A greater agent will help you understand the requests, weigh your options for responding, and manage the negotiations with buyers and their agent. 

The Net Sheet

The net sheet is the key to understanding the financial implications of your home sale. This sheet reflects all the associated costs, negotiated fees, and more. Having an accurate net sheet will give you peace of mind in knowing your bottom line when you walk away from the closing table before the closing day ever arrives. A seasoned real estate professional can help you calculate these and advise you on how to navigate negotiations and repairs to help you meet your target net sum. 

The Closing Process

Did you know that the buyer chooses the attorney for closing? While most sellers do not bring their own attorney, you do have that option. In most cases, the seller allows the buyer’s attorney to prepare the closing documents for a nominal fee, this fee should also be taken into account when calculating your net total. 

Why list with a Real Estate Agent? 

Did you know that homes listed in the MLS traditionally sell for more than those homes listed for sale by owner? Your agent is not just sticking a sign in your yard and hoping for the best, the listing is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to navigating real estate transactions and the sale of your home. 

A knowledgeable and experienced agent will bring market insights, negotiation skills, connections, recommendations, advice, and more to help you navigate your home sale with ease. When it comes to listing in an active adult community, seek out a real estate professional with an SRES designation or an active adult specialist. Their niche knowledge helps you identify the features and amenities that matter most to buyers in your target space so that you can get top dollar for your home! 

If you’re thinking of listing your home in a 55+ community, I would love to connect with you to talk more about your options and help you go from “Just Listed” to “Just Sold!”. 


Get our Free Checklist for Finding the Perfect 55+ Community!

Stay in the loop

Subscribe to our blog for email updates on our latest articles, videos, resources and more or follow along on social media!

Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.