First, I totally get it. Realtor commissions seem ridiculously high and for what? Especially in a hot market, why would you need to pay someone to sell YOUR home!??
1. EDUCATION/KNOWLEDGE - Realtors actually spend a lot of time educating themselves constantly to ensure they are up to date of laws, rules, regulations, negotiating and so much more! Obviously there is a ton of info on the internet to be learned on your own, but Realtors invest a lot of time ensuring they are up to date of laws, regulations and market information to help their buyer's and seller's in the best way possible.
2. LIABILITY IS ON THE SELLER - Everyone makes mistakes. Realtors are covered my Errors and Omissions Insurance (E&O Insurance) for this reason. If Markus lists his home has "wood floors throughout" and the buyer find out it is wood veneer, there is a strong possibility that the buyer will hold Markus accountable for that. Realtors make mistakes too, but as the Seller you are protected by the insurance that we carry.
3. SCAMS HAPPEN - We hear about it all the time, it all sounds good until it doesn't! Realtors have checks and balances to ensure the identity of buyer's (and seller's) is verified up front, title searches are investigated and money is always held in trust until closing. Real estate professionals and brokerages are held to a very high standard to ensure that their clients are protected.
4. LIMITED MARKETING - The main obvious form of marketing is the Multiple Listing System (MLS) but Realtors also have contacts within their brokerage, past clients, referrals from clients and friends to tap into to find a buyer for your home. Part of a Realtors marketing involves actively looking for a buyer through various platforms and networks. For Sale By Owner's are often limited to a single sign on the property and a posting on kijiji or facebook, limiting the exposure to mainly people searching for a property in the area already by chance.
5. TIME - Between photos, marketing, showings, negotiating and all of the inbetween, these activities takes a lot of time. Most Seller's have their own career, families and other obligations that don't allow them to dedicate the time required to sell their home. On the other hand, this is all Realtor's often do - SELL HOMES! We can save time answering questions about the process, researching legal concerns and dealing with the many parties involved in a transaction.