Dave Ramsey Says Home Sellers Shouldn't Sell Without a Real Estate Agent. Here's Why

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  • Selling a home on your own means saving yourself a real estate agent fee.
  • But working with an agent could benefit you in more ways than one.
  • Real estate agents can help with pricing, staging, and negotiating with a buyer.

Selling a home solo is a move you might regret.

Although homes aren't flying off the market at record speed these days like they were last summer and earlier this year, the demand for homes is still pretty strong. As such, if you're looking to sell your home, you may be wondering if it makes more sense to do so on your own, as opposed to with the help of a real estate agent.

There's really just one major downside to enlisting the help of a real estate agent -- the cost involved. Agents commonly charge a 5% or 6% commision for their services so that if you sell your home for $500,000, you could end up losing $25,000 to $30,000 of that to fees. And if you're trying to keep as much of your sale proceeds as possible to use as a down payment on your next mortgage, it's easy to see why you wouldn't want to just give up that money.

But while the idea of saving yourself a chunk of cash may be nice, financial expert Dave Ramsey insists that it's still a good idea to hire a real estate agent -- especially if you want your home to sell quickly. Here's why.

1. You'll get help pricing your home

You can do your own research to see what comparable homes in your area are selling for and use that data to come up with what you think is a reasonable sale price for your property. But you might still end up missing the mark.

It may be that your home has a feature that may allow you to command a higher sale price. Or maybe your home is missing a feature that other nearby homes have, which makes the case for a lower sale price.

Ramsey insists that one major benefit of working with a real estate agent is getting help pricing your home. Your agent can help you strike that ideal balance so you're not coming off as unreasonable but also aren't selling yourself short.

2. You may get help with home staging

Staging your home could be your ticket to finding a quick buyer. And many real estate agents are able to help clients stage their homes so you don't have to pay for a separate service for it.

Home staging might involve moving furniture around to make your home seem more open or to highlight its best features. It might also include putting away items that are personal to you so that prospective buyers can more easily see themselves living in your home.

3. You'll get help choosing the right offer

You may not get 27 different offers on your home within hours of listing it -- those days may finally be behind us. But that doesn't mean you won't get three or four offers. If you hire a real estate agent, they can help you compare those offers and choose the best one.

And if you're thinking, "Well, I'll just go with the highest offer I get," think again. It may work to your benefit to accept a slightly lower offer that's more of a sure thing -- such as if the buyer with that slightly lower offer has been pre-approved for a mortgage already.

4. You'll get help negotiating a better deal

Let's say you only get one offer on your home. If you hire a real estate agent, they can help you negotiate with your buyer to eke out the highest sale price possible. Even if you get multiple offers, there could end up being a fair amount of negotiating involved, and it'll work to your benefit to have someone who's done it before take charge of the process.

Tempting as it may be to forgo the help of a real estate agent, if you're looking to sell your home, Ramsey insists that hiring one is a smart bet. But don't just sign up to work with any old agent. Instead, take your time to find the right one, and ask for recommendations from friends and neighbors in town. If someone you know and trust had a good experience working with a specific real estate agent, there's a good chance you'll have a similar one.

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