When you’re trying to sell your home, finding a buyer is more than half the battle, but it’s far from the final step. Many home sellers consider FSBO when they already have a buyer, but there are many reasons hiring a realtor can still save you time, money, and stress.

Is a realtor worth the commission?

The main deterrent to hiring a realtor is paying a high commission rate, which can feel unnecessary when you don’t need them to list the house or find a buyer. A realtor’s commission, however, covers much more than these tasks. The commission rate is based on a realtor’s overhead for marketing (both time and materials), fees for networking services, and expertise. Real estate commissions can vary quite a bit depending on location and individual agreements between agents and brokers. Even within a small area, commissions can vary based on the kinds of services an agent provides and the individual agent’s sales volume and experience. In light of this, you can shop for an agent who offers a commission rate that’s the right size for you and your individual needs. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate a lower commission rate or pay a flat fee.

A realtor does much more than market your home.

While marketing, networking, and membership fees for listing services make up a large portion of a realtor’s overhead, their commission also covers the time your realtor puts into ensuring that the closing process goes smoothly. When you have a buyer, you may save yourself the trouble of listing your home, but you can lose precious time and money if things go awry during the complicated process of closing. You will still need to complete inspections, negotiate a price, and complete all the necessary documentation. A realtor will not only have experience with the technical details of things like inspections, but they may also have working relationships with appraisers and brokers from past home sales in your area, enabling them to negotiate more efficiently.

They free up your time by handling all communications.

Selling your home can be a busy, stressful time as you prepare to move and settle into a new place. Having a buyer lined up is reassuring, but it doesn’t simplify the closing process. Working with a real estate professional allows you some mental distance from the process, so you only need to worry about responding directly to your realtor. They will act as a buffer between you and the onslaught of phone calls and emails regarding home inspections, closing costs, and contracts. They are also experts at synthesizing those conversations, allowing each party involved in the sale of your home to stay updated with the most accurate information and ensuring nothing slips through the cracks. If your buyer uses a realtor as well, your agents can work directly with one another, which means you can rest easy knowing professionals are taking care of the details.

They handle all the legal details and take on liability for errors.

Selling your home is a high stakes transaction. If something goes wrong, it can be extremely costly. Hiring a real estate agent means you don’t have to worry about knowing all the legalities and technical details of closing. When you take on a FSBO transaction, you also take on the liability if something goes wrong and your contract doesn’t adequately protect you. When you hire a real estate professional, they take on that financial and legal liability, and they are protected by insurance on the off chance that they miss something in the documentation. The current housing market is a hot one; homes are selling fast, and buyers are abundant. Many sellers are finding buyers before formally listing their homes and considering the FSBO process. But both sellers and buyers, however, should be sure they fully understand everything required to close a real estate deal before considering a real estate transaction without the help of a professional. It may be easier and more cost-effective to hire a realtor.