With the real estate market in many areas seeing a strong seller's advantage, many sellers feel they do not need a full service real estate broker. Some may opt for a limited service, input only agents.
Here are a few reasons this can be a big mistake:
1. The limited service agent will simply put the property in the MLS: They will not be responsible for negotiation. This leaves the seller to negotiate against a professional buyer's agent. I promise you nothing pleases me more when I am representing a buyer. I LOVE when the seller opts for a limited service agent. With my 30+ years of negotiation experience, my buyer will likely love the final results.
2. No frills photos: The limited service agent may help set up photos, but they will likely not help stage the home, give advice on potential updates, walk the property looking for inspection red flags or give advice on decluttering.
3. No Open Houses: Limited service agents play a numbers game. If they list a bunch of homes, by process of elimination some will sell and they will get paid. I sell about 10% of my listings through open houses. Limited service agents do input, not sales.
4. Limited service equals limited advertising: You pretty much get a sign, a lockbox and entry into the MLS. Advertising upgrades like 3D Video tours are extra (if even offered at all). Here on the Space Coast many of our buyers are moving from high tax states. They may be up north right now on a computer. The video walk through is invaluable for these buyers.
5. Pricing mistakes: This I see a ton of! The limited service agent will usually send the seller a few comps, but will often list at whatever price the seller tells them (remember, this is a numbers game to them). The seller will put the home on the market. If the price is too high, the agent will ask them if they want to lower the price...if the price is too low, the buyer will get a deal they may not have deserved!
6. Inspection mistakes: Once the home sells, the buyers will do an inspection. The seller will be left to negotiate repairs with the buyer's agent. A seller will again be at a huge disadvantage, and may lose lots of dollars or worse yet, lose a solid deal because they refuse to do a needed repair. The seller could also open themselves up to a lawsuit or mediation if they say the wrong thing.
Remember, the seller is going up against professional real estate negotiators. Many know every trick in the book to lower the price. The only important result is the end result. If you save $8000 in commission, but lose $20,000 in price reductions and poor negotiation, you lost money!