This is a common problem with people who try to sell their homes by themselves. When they get calls from Realtors looking to list their homes for sale they say, well I am listed, I'm listed on Zillow! For Sale by Owner!
Zillow is actually an advertiser, not a "listing" company. What Zillow does is work on getting data - listings - to advertise to potential buyers - to sell those leads to Realtors.
You know why you can list your house for FREE on Zillow? Because Zillow is selling the advertising placement to other Realtors. When buyers are interested in your house, that lead, many times if not most of the time, that person is going to a Realtor. The Realtor, realistically, is thinking if I call this person, am I going to get paid? Is this going to be a difficult transaction because I'm dealing directly with the owner? Will it be easier to take this buyer to the house down the street and work with a professional, where I know I will be paid and the transaction will be smoother?
Don't get me wrong, there are some people who this does work for. According to the National Association of Realtors, approximately 8% of home sales are sold by their owners without using a Realtor! The average price of a home sold directly by the owner is $190,000 and the average price of a home sold by a Realtor is $249,000 or about 23.5% LESS than when using a Realtor. "Saving commission" is the most common reason people want to sell their houses themselves, but on average, they are NETTING about 17% LESS MONEY.
There are many things that make it difficult: Determining the sales price, understanding and obtaining the proper/required paperwork, selling within the planned amount of time, preparing/fixing up the home for sale, and having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale.
I just spoke with a woman this week who has been trying to sell her house for months by herself and it sounds like she may have talked a couple buyers out of buying it. A seller should not be dealing directly with the buyers and their agents. Realtors are SHARKS! I mean, we are professionals! It's very easy for sellers to inadvertently say something to either prevent an offer, derail the transaction, or get less money because of things they say.
If you've been trying to sell your house yourself unsuccessfully, you owe it to yourself to consult with a Realtor. In the Central Maryland area, we offer free consultations if you'd like a second opinion.
If you aren't experienced in Real Estate sales, you may want to use a professional and put that extra 17% in your pocket in the meantime!