When you boil down what most people are looking for when it comes to choosing their Chicago agent, it’s usually an outcome that can be summed up by a simple 4-word phrase, “best price, least hassle.” It’s no different whether you’re buying or selling.
For Chicago home sellers, the best price, least hassle observation certainly holds—but it might not be the first thing that leaps to mind. That is probably, “get it sold!” The price/hassle factors may prevail after all is said and done, but at the outset, simply accomplishing the Big One (selling your home) is likely to overshadow everything else. Larry the Cable Guy’s famous, “Git ‘er done” is a lot more than just a throwaway laugh line.
These ideas seem to have been confirmed by interviews with actual American sellers and buyers. In the most recent National Association of Realtors®’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the number of “go it alone” sellers fell to an all-time low. For-Sale-by-Owner sales have now dropped to 7% of all successful sales. When that percentage was first measured in 1981, it was 15%, and it’s been dropping ever since. If you assume that sellers choose a licensed agent because they know that professional guidance is the surest path to a completed sale, the growing popularity of their choice isn’t surprising.
There’s little doubt that choosing a licensed Chicago real estate agent results in significantly less hassle—but since the primary motivation of For-Sale-by-Owner sellers is usually monetary, you’d think the added hassle would at least result in a superior “best price” bottom line. Not so: according to last year’s statistics, the typical FSBO home, if it sold at all, went for $200,000—$65,000 less than agent-assisted sales.
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