Is a Real Estate Agent Essential When Selling in Seattle?


Home prices in our region have continued to increase at a record-breaking pace, as Seattle has now led the nation in home price growth for eighteen months in a row. Given our hot market, many would-be sellers are asking, “do I really need to hire an agent to sell my home in Seattle?” Earlier this spring, King 5 News tackled the issue, weighing the pros and cons of “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO) low commission versus working with a full-service real estate agent.

Real estate professionals understand how to prepare a home for the market and properly price it, tailor a marketing plan that reaches the right audience, negotiate through even the tensest situations, and have connections to various vendors and services when they are needed. And bottom line, numbers certainly talk, as an Upnest report reveals that sellers see an average net profit increase of 10 to 30 percent when they hire an agent to sell their home, a figure which clearly far outweighs a potential 1.5 to 3 percent “savings” on commission.

Earlier this year, Inman News published a feature on the concept of a “farm-to-table” agent in the real estate industry. The idea pushes back against the belief that a home sale can be reduced to algorithms and data, instead touting the cost-benefit analysis of working with a human who will advocate for you and who is a local expert serving a particular region.

Statistically speaking, those that do attempt to sell on their own have a tough go of it, as the 2017 Zillow Group Housing Trends Report showed that of those that chose FSBO, only 11 percent managed to sell without hiring professional representation. And when sellers were polled regarding the highest value they saw in their agent, advice about repairs and updates, and determining the correct pricing, were the two most important factors.

When it comes down to it, a home in Seattle may indeed “sell itself” right now, but those selling have to think about the education, advisement, and expertise that a professional broker brings to the table. Ask yourself: Are you comfortable handling the issues that may arise during negotiation and the transaction process? Do you have the time and money to invest in marketing and selling your property? How will you handle pricing? Do you know what renovations and repairs you’ll need to make to maximize your return on investment? A seller’s agent can help you address these concerns and others, because they are there to act as your advocate–and do the heavy lifting–every step of the way.