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do you have to use a realtor to sell your house


My wife and I are getting ready to put our home on the market, but we’re considering not using an agent. We actually have two different sets of friends who have expressed interest in buying our home so we think we can sell it ourselves. Finding a new home is a different story though. We’d love to hire an agent to help us as we believe they’ll add a great deal of value to our home search/buying experience. Is it weird or rude to hire an agent to help us buy a home, but not use them to list/sell our home? Thanks in advance for helping us avoid an awkward situation!

Grant & Molly, Grand Junction

Grant & Molly,

As long as you are upfront with the agent you choose, I think you will avoid any awkwardness at all.  It is not unusual to not use an agent if you already have potential buyers who are interested in your home.  When you approach an agent about working with you to find your new home, just let them know what your situation is and I am confident they will understand and be supportive in any way they can.  If your agent does not understand or makes it awkward at all, find another agent.  It really is pretty simple, and your situation is not that uncommon.  Over the past 20+ years, I have seen it dozens of times and it has never proven to be an issue.

If you are going to be selling without an agent, be prepared to hire an attorney to generate the contract and all the state disclosures for the sale.  If you are doing a for sale by owner, I do not believe the disclosures are technically “required”, but they certainly will help lessen any liability on you as the seller for any buyer issues post-closing.  I realize that you all might be friends now, but the goal would be to sell them the house and keep them as friends.  What you might find is that if neither of your friends actually turn out to be a real buyer (it’s one thing to say you’re interested and another to bring you an actual offer) you might need some help in getting your home marketed and sold after all.  Keeping this in mind, I would recommend you evaluate agents knowing that there is a chance you will need them to not only help you find a new home but potentially also help you facilitate the sale of your existing one…..if your current prospects happen to crash and burn. 

 I have always found if you are upfront and honest about your situation or what it is you need, you will most likely avoid most awkward situations and be rewarded with a long-lasting and reciprocal client/realtor relationship.  Things get awkward when people make assumptions and/or don’t communicate their needs.  In this case, you will be eliminating any assumptions, and being very up-front in communicating your needs is no doubt the best way to move forward.  Trust me, up-front and honest communication in today’s world is a lost art and is seen about as often as Bigfoot!  I for one value that communication style and am confident I am not alone.  Best of luck and hopefully your friends come through! 

Dave Kimbrough
The Kimbrough Team



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