If you’re thinking about selling your home in Maryland, you might be wondering:
Should I hire a real estate agent or sell it myself?
It’s a big decision that can have a huge impact on your finances, your time, and your stress level.
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn:
- How an agent can help you sell your home
- What to expect when selling with an agent
- How to choose a good agent
- The pros and cons of selling with an agent
- Alternatives to listing with an agent
Ready? Let’s dive right in.
Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for educational purposes only. As every real estate transaction is unique, Creo Home Buyers recommends you consult with a trusted advisor regarding your specific situation.
Why Consider Hiring a Real Estate Agent in Maryland?
A real estate agent is a licensed professional who represents sellers in real estate transactions. They help sellers with pricing, marketing, staging, showing, negotiating, and closing the sale.
But why should you consider hiring one?
Here are some of the benefits of working with a full-service real estate agent when selling your home:
Potentially Higher Sale Price
One of the main reasons homeowners in MD hire a real estate agent is in hopes of getting a higher sale price for your home.
According to a report by Maryland Realtors for December 2020, the median sales price for homes sold by agents in Maryland was $350,000, while the median sales price for homes sold by owners was $320,000. That could mean that if your home is worth $350,000, you could potentially make an extra $30,000 by hiring an agent.
How do agents help you get a higher price?
They have expertise and experience in the local market. They know how to price your home competitively based on comparable sales, market trends, and demand.
They also have access to the multiple listing service (MLS) and other marketing tools that can expose your home to more potential buyers. Plus, they can advise you on how to prepare and stage your home to make it more appealing and attractive.
Faster Home Sale in MD?
Another benefit of hiring a real estate agent is that they can help you sell your home faster. According to Clever Real Estate, homes sold by owners take an average of 68 days longer than homes sold by agents in Maryland.
That means you could save several months of time by hiring an agent to list your home in MD compared to selling it alone.
How do agents help you sell faster?
Agents have access to more buyers who are pre-approved for financing and ready to make an offer. Most real estate agents won’t work with buyers who aren’t pre-approved for financing.
Local real estate agents also have the skills and experience to handle the communication, negotiation, paperwork, and legal aspects of selling property in Maryland.
Not to mention how easy it is for them to get feedback from buyers and their agents after showings. They can use this feedback to adjust your home’s marketing strategy accordingly to ensure a quicker home sale than you might selling on your own.
We all know that when it comes to selling a Maryland home the process can be stressful for home owners.
You have to deal with preparing your property, figuring out pricing, marketing, showing it, negotiating with buyers, and making sure the sale closes successfully. You also have to deal with potential issues such as repairs, inspections, appraisals, contingencies, and legal matters.
The home sale can fall through at one of these stages. Hiring a Realtor or agent in Maryland can reduce your stress level because they will take care of or assist you with most these tasks related to selling your home.
Agents are there to handle any problems or challenges that may arise along the way. They act as your advocate and guide you through the process to sell your property in MD successfully.
If you have decided to sell your house with an agent you’ll probably want to know how to find a good agent to market your home in Maryland. Read on to find out!
How to Choose a Good Agent to Sell Your MD Home
After you’ve decided to hire a professional to list your property, you’ll want to know how to choose a good one.
A good agent can make all the difference in your home selling experience and results.
But how do you find a good agent? Here are some tips to help you find a great agent to market your property:
Ask for referrals
One of the best ways to find a good agent is to ask for referrals from your friends, family, neighbors, or colleagues who have sold their homes recently. Ask them about their experience with their agent and whether they would recommend them or not.
Do your research
Another way to find a good agent is to do your own research online. You can use websites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, etc. to find agents who are active and successful in your area. You can also check their reviews, ratings, testimonials, and credentials on these websites or on their own websites.
Interview potential agents
Once you have a shortlist of potential agents, you may want to interview them before hiring them. You can ask them questions about their experience, their track record, their marketing plan, their communication style, their commission rate, etc. Potential agents should be able to provide references from their past buyer and seller clients and have a few you can contact to verify their claims.
Compare and contrast
After interviewing potential agents, you can compare and contrast them based on their qualifications, their personality, and their proposal. Choose an agent who has the skills and experience to sell your home effectively, who has a good rapport and chemistry with you, and who offers a fair and reasonable commission rate and contract terms for your selling situation.
What to Expect When Working with a Real Estate Agent?
If you decide to work with a real estate agent, you should know what to expect from the process.
Selling real estate with a Maryland agent involves several steps, such as:
Signing the Listing Agreement
Once you find an agent that you like and trust, you’ll sign a listing agreement or contract with them indicating that you have hired them to sell your house.
A listing agreement is a contract that outlines the terms and conditions of your relationship with your agent, such as:
- The duration of the agreement
- The commission rate and fees
- The marketing plan and budget
- The communication and reporting methods
- The duties and responsibilities of both parties
- The termination clauses and penalties
Make sure to read through and understand the entire listing agreement before signing it. Your agent should be able to answer any questions or concerns that you have about the agreement before signing.
Preparing and Pricing Your Home
The next step is to prepare and price your home to be sold in Maryland. Pricing your home will determine how much you can sell it for and how fast you can sell it.
Your agent will help you with this step by giving you suggestions on how to clean, declutter, repair, stage, and price your home for a quick sale for the highest price.
To help you price your home, your agent will perform a comparative market analysis (CMA). A CMA is a report that compares your home to similar homes that have sold recently in the same neighborhood.
A CMA takes into account factors such as a property’s location, size, condition, features, amenities, final sale price, etc. Your agent will use the CMA to suggest a listing price that is competitive and realistic.
It can be a good idea to listen to your agent’s advice on pricing, but ultimately, you have the final say on how much to list your home for.
Marketing and Showing Your Property
The next step is to market and show your home to as many buyers as possible. Your agent will handle this step by taking photos, videos, virtual tours, flyers, etc. of your home and listing it on various platforms, such as:
- Multiple listing services (MLS)
- Online real estate websites (Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, etc.)
- Social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
- Print media (newspapers, magazines, etc.)
- Direct mail (postcards, flyers, etc.)
- Yard signs and banners
Your agent will coordinate with you on when and how to show your home. They will schedule and host open houses and private showings for interested buyers.
An open house is a public event where anyone can come and see your home during a specific time frame. A private showing is a private appointment where only one buyer or their agent can see your home at a time.
During showings it’s usually advised that you leave the premises during showings to give buyers privacy and comfort. Your agent will obtain feedback from buyers and their agents after showings and share it with you.
Receiving and Reviewing Offers
The next step to selling your Maryland house with an agent is receiving and reviewing offers from buyers who would like to buy your home.
Your agent will help you with this step by presenting and explaining each offer to you. An offer is a written proposal that outlines the price, terms, contingencies, financing, etc. that a buyer is willing to pay and accept for your home.
You have three options when responding to an offer:
- Accept it: You agree to the offer as it is and sign a purchase contract with the buyer.
- Reject it: You decline the offer and move on to the next one.
- Counter it: You make a counteroffer with changes to the price, terms, contingencies, etc. that you would like the buyer to agree to.
Your agent will help you negotiate with buyers and their agents until you reach an agreement that works for both parties so you can get your house in Maryland sold fast.
Closing the Sale
The final step in getting money for your Maryland home is to close the sale and transfer the ownership of your home to the new buyer.
Your agent will help you with this step by coordinating with the buyer’s agent, the title company, the escrow company, the lender, the appraiser, the inspector, etc.
Closing a home sale involves several tasks, such as:
- Signing Purchase Agreement: A legal document that holds both parties to the conditions of the sale.
- Inspections: A home inspector checks for any defects or issues that need to be fixed before selling.
- Appraisals: An appraiser determines a fair market value of your home based on its condition and features.
- Contingencies: You and the buyer work through any conditions or requirements that need to be met before closing the sale, such as financing, inspection, appraisal, etc.
- Preparing for Closing: You and the buyer review and sign all the paperwork and documents related to the sale, such as title, deed, mortgage, etc.
- Transferring Funds: You and the buyer pay and receive any money that is due at closing, such as down payment, closing costs, commission fees, etc.
- Handing Over Keys: You give the buyer the keys to your home and vacate the property.
Your agent will guide you through each of these tasks and make sure everything goes smoothly and correctly with your Maryland home sale. They will also advise you on how to avoid any delays or problems that could jeopardize your house selling process.
Cons of Selling with an Agent in Maryland
As you can see, hiring a real estate agent can have many advantages. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t also some drawbacks that you should be aware of before you decide to sell a house with an agent.
Here are some of the pros and cons of selling with an agent vs. other methods of selling your house, such as selling it yourself without representation or even directly to a cash buyer:
|Higher sale price||Commission fees|
|Faster sale||Loss of control|
|More exposure||Potential conflicts|
|More buyers||No guarantee|
We’ll take a closer look at each of these negative points of hiring an agent to list your Maryland home:
One of the biggest drawbacks of selling with an agent is that you will have to pay them a fee for their services known as a commission. Commission fees are a major cost of selling that many home owners want to avoid.
Agents in Maryland typically charge 5% to 6% of the sale price as commission, which is split between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent.
That means if you sell your home for $300,000, you could end up paying $15,000 to $18,000 in commission fees alone. Paying commissions fees can reduce your net profit and affect your financial goals when looking to sell.
Of course, you could argue that the higher sale price that agents can help you achieve would offset the commission fees you’ll be charged. However, that’s not always the case.
Sometimes, you might be able to sell your property for a similar or even higher price by yourself or directly to a Maryland cash buyer, depending on the market conditions and your selling situation.
Loss of Control
Another drawback of selling with an agent is that you will ultimately have to give up some control over the home selling process.
You’ll be strongly encouraged to follow the agent’s advice and recommendations on pricing, staging, showing, etc. You’ll also have to rely on your agent to do the job of representing your best interests in negotiations.
After hiring an agent, you might find that you don’t agree with everything they say or do. Or you might even feel like they are not doing enough for you.
Your agent might also pressure you to accept an offer that you are not happy with or make concessions that you are not comfortable with so they can close the deal and earn a commission.
This is why it can be beneficial to thoroughly research your Maryland listing agent before you hire them.
Potential Conflicts with Realtors
Selling with a Realtor in Maryland can also lead to potential conflicts or misunderstandings between you and your agent.
You might have different expectations, communication styles, or personalities that clash when you want to sell fast. You could also have disagreements over the marketing strategy, the pricing strategy, or their negotiation strategy.
Additional issues you could run into might be that you feel your agent is not responsive enough, not transparent enough, or not loyal enough to you when you’re trying to sell your Maryland house.
It’s not usually as common, but you may even encounter ethical issues or legal disputes with your agent if they breach their fiduciary duty or the terms of your real estate contract.
These conflicts can cause frustration, stress, and distrust between you and your agent. Unfortunately, all of these potential conflicts can cause selling delays and cause your home to sit on the market longer and be less likely to sell.
If you run into issues with your agent, you can always hire another agent or try to sell your house yourself.
No Guarantee Your House Will Sell
Finally, working with agents and brokers in Maryland does not guarantee that you will sell your home within a certain time frame or for your desired price.
Even if you hire the best agent in all of Maryland, there are many factors that are beyond their control that can influence whether you can sell your property quickly. This includes buyer demand, number of houses available for sale, what your home appraises for, and even down to the inspection results.
You might end up waiting longer than you expected or settling for less than you hoped for. This can lead to paying more in carrying costs like more mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, and maintenance.
Can You Sell Your Home Without an Agent?
Yes! You can sell your house in Maryland without listing with an agent.
Selling property without an agent in Maryland means you’ll handle the entire process of selling your home by yourself or with the help of a real estate agent. This is also known as selling via FSBO or “For Sale by Owner.”
But when does it make sense to sell Maryland real estate without an agent? And what are the considerations and challenges of doing so?
Here are some of the answers:
When it Makes Sense to Sell Your Home Without an Agent
You have experience and knowledge in real estate transactions and you want to make your own decisions on how to sell your home. You’ll need to know how to price, market, show, negotiate, and close a property sale effectively with minimal delays.
You have enough time and resources to handle the process. You’ll likely need to dedicate several hours a week in order to get your home sold fast. Make sure to budget for any marketing materials, legal fees, or other costs involved in selling your real estate in MD.
You have a strong network of potential buyers and referrals in Maryland. You can reach out to your friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, or social media contacts who might be interested in buying your home or know someone who is.
You want to save on commission fees and have more control over the sale. When you sell a home yourself you won’t have to pay thousands of dollars in commission fees to a listing agent. However, do remember if your buyer is represented by an agent you will likely be asked to pay for the buyer agent’s commission in Maryland.
Alternatives to Traditional Selling
Hiring a professional real estate agent is not the only option when it comes to getting your home in Maryland sold. In fact, there are several alternatives to selling a house in Maryland that you might not be aware of.
Here are some of the alternatives that Maryland home sellers might consider:
Selling by Yourself (FSBO) in MD
Selling your house by yourself (also known as “For Sale By Owner” or “FSBO”) without representation. This means that you handle the entire process of selling your abode without assistance from a selling agent.
For this home selling option, you are responsible for all of the duties your agent would typically handle for you, such as pricing, marketing, staging, showing, negotiating, and closing the sale.
The main advantage of selling by yourself is that you can save money on commission fees. You can also have more control over the process and make your own decisions.
However, selling by yourself also has many disadvantages. Be prepared to invest a lot of time and effort into learning how to sell your MD home the way you need.
You’ll have to deal with all of the paperwork and legal aspects of your home sale. This can open you up to potential risks and liabilities if you make any mistakes or omissions during the sale.
Make sure you feel comfortable dealing directly with and screening potential buyers who might not be serious or even qualified to buy your house. Not to mention competing with other sellers who have dedicated agents working for them to get their house sold.
This option is not for the weary. You’ll likely receive interest from a lot of tire kickers or home buyers who aren’t serious and will just waste your time. Not to mention the low ball offers you’ll invite and the numerous calls you’ll receive from agents wanting to represent when you have a home for sale.
Selling to a Maryland Cash Buyer
Selling to a Maryland cash buyer means that you sell your home directly to an investor or homeowner who can pay cash for your home. With this selling option can avoid the hassle of listing your home on the market or dealing with multiple agents or nosey buyers.
The main advantage of selling to a cash buyer is that it is as close to a guaranteed sale as you can have. You’ll be able to sell your home fast and easy. Maryland cash buyers can typically close the sale within days or weeks instead of several months like a traditional buyer.
You can avoid the costs of preparing or staging your home or making any repairs or improvements. This is because cash buyers in Maryland don’t require traditional bank loans, and they can handle the repairs themselves.
Another reason many Maryland house sellers choose to sell directly to cash buyers in Maryland is to avoid paying any commission fees or closing costs. Selling directly for cash to a local investor or iBuyers can save you thousands in commission fees.
However, selling to a cash buyer does come with some disadvantages. You may have to settle for a much lower price than what your home would be worth on the open market. Not to mention that you may be more open to scams or buyers who aren’t serious about buying your house.
Make sure you are selling to a business or individual that can show evidence of buying history, available funds, or is registered with the state of Maryland. You can find out if a business is registered in Maryland by using the business search provided on the state’s official website.
You also have to be aware of the tax implications, proper disclosure laws, and legal consequences of selling your Maryland home for cash. You can hire an attorney to help you navigate Maryland’s real estate laws.
Avoid Home Listing Hassles and Sell For Cash in Maryland
Selling a home in Maryland can be a challenging and rewarding experience. It can also be a complex and serious transaction that involves many legal considerations.
That’s why most home sellers in Maryland consider hiring a real estate agent to help them sell their home.
A real estate agent can provide you with many benefits, such as a higher sale price, faster sale than sell FSBO, more exposure, more buyers, access to feedback, and potentially less stress.
However, hiring a real estate agent also has some drawbacks, such as costly fees and agent commissions, loss of control, potential conflicts with your agent, and there is no guarantee that your house will sell when or for the price you want or need.
If you decide to hire an agent, be sure to choose a good one who can work hard for you and get you the best deal. If you decide to sell your home without an agent, you should be aware of the alternatives and challenges that come with it. You can always decide to try selling your house yourself first and hire an agent at any point in the process to assist you if it becomes too overwhelming.
I hope this guide has helped you understand whether you should hire an agent to sell your home in Maryland.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. And if you’re ready to avoid the hassle of listing your house and simply want to get a cash offer for your property in Maryland, contact Creo Home Buyers today. We’ll provide you with a quick offer and can close fast!
Don’t wait. Sell your home quickly today to Creo Home Buyers in Maryland!