Oregon First
Oregon First
Nancy Hicks - GRI, CRS, Oregon FirstPhone: (503) 268-1141
Email: [email protected]

Selling Agent: Cost Breakdown and Benefits

by Nancy Hicks - GRI, CRS 08/08/2021

Photo by Arka38 via Shutterstock

At first glance, you may wonder what the point is of paying a real estate agent for work you may just as easily do yourself. The curse of the Internet is that many consumers have just enough knowledge to be dangerous. That means that while you could sell your home directly, you may lose out on some of the income you expect to save by making poor decisions during the process, or simply by not knowing ahead of time what costs you will incur.

The Hard Cost Breakdown

Imagine you are selling a $300,000 home. A standard agent commission in most areas is 6%, which translates to $18,000. That means in a best-case scenario, where you sell the home for the same price as the professional, you make an extra 18 grand. The question becomes, what extra expenses do you incur when going your own way?

First, think about staging the home. This is no longer optional in today’s market. Potential buyers have become used to homes that are furnished like magazines and home decorating shows, and you will have to compete with homes listed by agents with professional staging services. The average nationwide cost of home staging is about $1,800. This includes moving some of your personal items to storage, professional cleaning (or your time and supplies) and landscaping with an eye towards curb appeal. Before you start thinking that can’t possibly cost $1,800, remember that you have to keep it up throughout the entire time your home is on the market. That means you must discount $1,800 off the $18,000 right away, leaving you with $16,200.

Next, consider the cost of professional photos. Unless you are also a photographer (as well as a salesman while continuing your regular day job), you will need to hire a professional to take pictures of your home. When you shop for homes, do you scroll right past the ones that look like cell phone pictures? Studies show that potential buyers buy with their eyes first, which means your pictures need to tell your whole story in the best way possible. Professional photos often run $200-$300, which brings your net extra income down to $15,900.

You will also incur some variable fees for listing the property online and advertising costs, but since those will vary greatly from location to location, just keep some money aside for these and do your local research.

The Soft Costs

Soft costs are those that do not really cost against your net savings but will reduce your overall income regardless. First of these situations is setting the price of the home. On average, homes represented by professional real estate agents sell for 8-12% more than direct sales. A little bit of math with percentages will show you that even the best-case scenario, you still take home over 7% more when using an agent than without, even forgetting about all those hard costs. That number only increases as your home sale price goes up, and your agent is just as invested as you are since they make a percentage of the sale.

Before you try to sell your home without help, talk to a real estate agent and find out just how much you would be getting for that 6%. Some agents have even more perks such as timeline guarantees or price guarantees that improve your odds of getting the price you want in the timeline that you need with the least amount of work required from you. Visit real estate professionals in your area to find the one who offers the best benefits for you.

About the Author
Author

Nancy Hicks - GRI, CRS

NANCY HICKS has turned her love for the area into a successful career as one of the Portland area's leading real estate professionals.  "I feel a real connection to this place," she explains.  "I cant imagine any place else in the world that could capture the essence of Portland."

With experience in interior design and remodeling her own home as well as others, Nancy knows how to help her clients find the solutions that can substantially increase the selling price of their home.  She is able to envision the specific alterations to a home that can make it more appealing to potential qualified buyers, and help buyers "SEE" a home they are about to purchase with all its potential. 

Creating a bond with her clients, Nancy is better able to deliver the results that they seek---and deserve---from their real estate transaction.   By bringing her clients the information, knowledge and advice that can connect them to their success, she is ensuring that they go about their lives with as little disruption as possible.  Nancy is committed to helping her clients get the most from the area and their home sale or purchase. 

NANCY HICKS has a distinctive approach to your real estate needs.

She combines her 35+years of experience and knowledge of the area to help you make decisions that will lead you through a successful and rewarding transaction. Whether you are buying or selling, Nancy can show you the best way to reach your real estate goals.  She provides an outstanding level of service throughout the entire transaction and carefully LISTENS to the needs of every client in order to maximize their important investment. 

Call Nancy today for a no-obligation consultation and discover "Your Connection for Success". You'll be glad you did!