Friday, November 29, 2019 / by Heather Schelling
Wondering if you need a Realtor? Can you sell a home on Zillow by yourself?
The short answer is yes, you can sell a home on Zillow. The question you should be asking yourself is why? Why would you want to sell your most valuable asset without a professional on your side? Over 90% of the time, a Realtor’s commission is covered by the increased price that we’re able to attract due to the added exposure, additional marketing, and valuable negotiating skills.
Buyers also tend to shy away from homes being represented by the Seller because sometimes Sellers are not honest about the condition of their home and may be trying to hide something. A Realtor has a keen sense of property conditions and knows how to spot potential issues.
Just this morning, while answering an incoming call to our main line, a gentleman asked why the Zillow Zestimate just dropped $30k on his property. His home is priced in the $650k’s so that’s almost a 5% decrease in value. While I certainly can’t speak for Zillow, my understanding is that because Zillow is using a property for their analysis that recently sold for much less than his home, that brought down the average value of his home and likely those next to him.
Zillow has an algorithm that calculates similar homes within a pre-determined area to the subject home. In the example above, prices range between $489k-$650k for homes with 2-5 beds, 2-4 bathrooms, 2160-5120 square feet, and located in three different zip codes. In my opinion, the algorithm yields too wide of a range. That $30k price drop that the gentleman called about is likely not accurate. If you rely on Zillow’s Zestimate alone, you may be overpricing your home, or worse yet, underpricing it and leaving money on the table.
If you list your home for sale on Zillow, you will receive several calls from Realtors asking if they could list your home instead. Realtors may also have a buyer for your home and will want their commission if they bring that buyer to you. You’ll save the listing side commission, but you’ll likely pay the buyer’s commission.
In the end, you must ask yourself how much stress you can handle. If you’re good with legal contracts, have solid negotiating skills, possess a lot of patience, and don’t mind endless phone calls, you may be able to successfully sell your home on Zillow. If the thought of this scenario gives you anxiety, hire a Realtor instead!