You do not technically need a real estate agent to buy or sell a home. You could go it alone. However, the benefits of working with one are significant.

Sellers who sell their home with the help of the realtor generally sell faster and for more money. Buyers who purchase their home with an agent also typically score better prices. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. A qualified agent serves as an advisor in your corner, preparing you for every move in a competitive and often unpredictable real estate market.

Here are our top reasons why you should consider hiring a real estate agent when you’re selling or buying a home.

Why Hire a Real Estate Agent If You Are Selling


1. Help Price Your Home to Sell

Generally, as the seller, your primary goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible at the best price, so you can move on to your next place. But a significant factor in making a quick sale is ensuring that your house is priced appropriately for the market. As the homeowner, it is easy to overvalue your home since you likely did work to it, you loved it for a certain amount of time, but there is likely a bit of subjectivity that goes into your estimate. Real estate agents do not just guess the best price. They use data and market knowledge to set a competitive listing price for your home.

Your listing agent will use a comparative market analysis (CMA) to see what similar houses in your neighborhood have sold for recently. Your listing agent will also consider the unique features of your home when they do a comparative market analysis (renovations, upgrades, and so on) to account for other factors that may raise or lower the price.

2. Likely to Sell Higher

Some sellers believe they can get more money for their property by cutting out the standard agent commission and selling their homes For Sale By Owner (FSBO). However, if the buyer has an agent, the seller will still likely need to pay the buyer’s agent’s commission anyway.

FSBO sellers are walking away from home sales with less, according to a 2021 report by the National Association of Realtors®. When you do the math, homes sold by agents statistically bring in an average of $39,000 more even after accounting for the commission.

3. Likely to Sell Faster

Agents have experience with proven strategies that help sell properties quickly. An expert agent who knows your area will be well-acquainted with the current housing market, knowing what is motivating buyers in your area, and come prepared with a comparative market analysis from similar houses that have recently sold nearby. Some ways agents can help your home sell faster include:

  • Setting the right listing price
  • Knowledge of area trends
  • Suggesting a pre-listing inspection
  • Helping prioritize updates, and repairs
  • Effective marketing

4. Expert Negotiating Skills

A top real estate agent knows negotiation tactics to help you get the maximum price for your property. But adept negotiation takes knowledge of the current market, research, and expert skill.

“We know the area; we have studied their property, know all the details of the property that makes it go above and beyond for that offer,” explains Dovenbarger. “We can say, hey, this beautiful property has a beautiful yard, beautiful swimming pool, all that. It’s important to say to a buyer it would be to your advantage to pay for the survey and to pay for the closing costs.”

A few other expenses that can be negotiated down include home warranty premiums, repair costs, and cosmetic updates to the home, or the buyer can pay their own closing costs.

One of the trickiest, yet most important, aspects of the selling process is handling negotiations with potential buyers. A good real estate agent will tackle negotiations professionally and work hard to sell your home for the maximum price so you don’t have to give up any additional sale proceeds aside from agent commissions. Real estate agents handle negotiations day in and day out, so you can feel confident in their ability to look out for your best interests.

5. Local Buyer Knowledge

Local listing agents know from experience and research what home features are popular with buyers. This knowledge can end up saving you money when you are preparing your home for sale.

For instance, you might think you need to remodel your bathroom before you list your home. However, your realtor might point out that other houses in the neighborhood are selling quickly as is, so the extra expense might not be worth it.

Conversely, your agent might suggest you repaint some of the rooms in your home with a neutral color to make it more appealing to potential buyers.

If you are selling without an agent, you will not know which home prep projects are most important to local buyers, or you might make the mistake of putting up a for sale sign without preparing your house at all.

6. Access to the MLS

One of the biggest challenges of selling a home without a real estate agent is finding the best way to distribute your home listing to potential buyers. Only licensed real estate agents can list homes on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) — the online database where houses are listed for sale. Realtors regularly post listings on the MLS, so they will usually include great photographs of your house and a description that piques potential buyers’ interest.

It is vitally important to get your house on the MLS since 97% of all buyers use the internet to search for homes these days.

7. Better Marketing

Marketing your home does not begin and end with the listing. There is much more that goes into it. Successfully marketing a home to potential buyers takes a lot of time and effort. So much effort, in fact, that many people give up. Expert agents are proactive marketers with an arsenal of marketing and sales techniques in their toolbox in which to market properties.

Top agents know how to get more eyeballs on your home with marketing efforts like:

  • Advertising on social media
  • Hosting an open house
  • Hiring a professional photographer

A listing agent wants to make your home look as good as possible for as many people as possible so they can earn commission when it sells.

If you are selling FSBO, it is hard to know how or where to market your home so qualified buyers in your area can see it.

8. Manages the Paperwork

Home sales require dozens of important legal documents, and it can be difficult for inexperienced sellers to keep all of the paperwork straight. It is best (and safest) to have a real estate agent handle the paperwork for you since they know what they are doing and they have the support of a brokerage that can ensure your entire transaction is valid.

Sometimes the industry jargon in contracts and real estate documents can feel like a foreign language. There are financing industry terms, attorney legalese, title company lingo, and real estate vocabulary–– all that can be mind-boggling to sellers as well as buyers.

Real estate agents will take the time to explain the purpose of each document, answer questions you don’t understand, and clarify the terms you’re agreeing to and signing.

Why Hire a Real Estate Agent If You Are Buying

1. No Out-of-Pocket Cost

As a buyer, your real estate agent is paid by the seller using the proceeds of the sale. When you are making one of the largest purchases of your life, it is a huge advantage to be able to work with a professional without getting a bill for it.

2. Find the Right Home Faster

Popular real estate websites like Zillow and Redfin can help you find houses, but the information on these sites can be outdated and the latest listings may not appear on the map.

Your buyer’s agent can notify you of new listings as soon as they hit the market, and they can even tell you about off-market opportunities — houses owned by people who have not officially listed for sale, but who may be open to offers.

Even though you can browse listings online, agents have full MLS access — enabling them to find houses you cannot see with your own search.

3. Helps Create a Competitive Offer

In hot real estate markets, it can be hard to get an offer accepted without overpaying. Buyers sometimes get pressured into submitting offers well above the listing price because they want to outbid everyone else. While it is true that a home purchased with a mortgage loan will be evaluated by an appraiser before all is said and done, there is more to a fair price than a bank’s willingness to loan money.

Real estate pricing varies depending on whether market conditions have created a seller’s market or a buyer’s market. When you are trying to buy a home in a seller’s market, you can expect a limited inventory of available homes and a high likelihood of multiple-offer scenarios when you do find one you would like to purchase.

And this is when it is especially helpful to have a buyer’s agent in your corner — because an agent will have the market expertise to advise you on how to make a competitive offer.

4. Can Spot Red Flags

Unless you are a home improvement professional or an experienced agent, you might miss red flags when viewing a home on your own. Some expensive home repair issues your agent can spot include structural issues, furnace problems, roofing issues, plumbing leaks, mold, and insect infestations. While these issues would likely come up during a home inspection, spotting them early can save a lot of time if these are deal breakers for you.

Find the Right Agent

Windermere’s community of real estate professionals is our greatest asset. We have experts in all areas of real estate, from your typical starter home to condos, luxury properties, and new construction. While residential real estate is the mainstay of our business, Windermere also has offices and associates who specialize in property management, commercial real estate, and relocation services. To further facilitate the home buying process, Windermere has affiliated partners in certain regions to provide mortgage, title, and escrow services.

Call us today with any questions or concerns. Our professional Real Estate Agents will help you through this exciting process. (951) 369-8002