Can you sell your home without an agent?

  • A strong adviser: people often believe selling a house is easy, but can you really manage without an agent?

Dear Heather,

I am going to sell my property. I was thinking of selling it myself, it seems pretty easy. What do you think?


Dear Seller,

Last week I went over the first three layers of selling a home, and why it really is better to use an agent. This week I am going to cover the remaining four.

While the first three layers are more or less non-negotiable, and will most likely get you close to your asking price as quickly as possible, you may want to consider these extra layers.

Adding these into your mix will increase your chances of getting the highest and best offer possible, as quickly as possible, and ease your stress levels through the whole transaction.

1, Hiring an agent who knows and understands the market.

2, Hiring an agent who is a strong adviser.

3, Hiring an agent who can negotiate.

4, Hiring an agent who keeps things together.

An agent who knows and understands the market

It’s easy enough to hire a real estate agent; there’s plenty of them. But, you should really make sure to hire one who truly knows and understands your local real estate market.

You want one who can analyse the activity on your house, and the overall market, so that they can advise you

An agent who is a strong adviser

There’s a lot of talk about selling homes “as quickly as possible”. The key words there are “as possible”.

Sure, you and your agent want your home to sell, and sell quickly. But “quickly” depends on the market. You want an agent on your side who, after analysing the market and activity, can advise you on what to do and when.

For example, should you stay firm on your price and just be patient? Should you lower your price? If so, how much? Is there something you can change about your house that buyers are getting hung up on? If so, is it worth doing, or will the cost be too much for it to make sense? There’s more than that to list, but those are just a few examples of advice your agent should be relied upon for, and be able to provide to you.

An agent who can negotiate

This is another thing that gets a lot of lip service but an agent who negotiates well is a huge asset.

Sure, you want one that will negotiate a win-win enough to make a deal come together. But, you really want one that gets you the fatter end of the win. And that isn’t always just about price.

A good negotiator will get you the best price and terms but, more importantly, it’s important to have an agent who will keep the deal together

An agent who keeps things together

This is huge. There’s a lot of time, and a lot of things that can lead to a deal falling apart between signing the deal and closing. Things go wrong. People get cold feet. Buyers get greedy and ask for credits and repairs, or threaten to bail on the whole deal.

Appraisers, home inspectors, bankers and attorneys throw their opinion into the mix — again, just to name a few examples. But there are so many things that can make a deal fall apart.

Having a strong agent on your side, who can predict, advise and nip problems in the bud in a calm manner before things get emotionally charged and out of control, is a huge layer. Plus, if things do get dicey, you want an agent who knows how to handle people diplomatically and get everything back on track.

The bottom line: people often look at selling a house as pretty simple, however, as you can see, that is very far from the truth.

The truth is not whether you need an agent, but more can you really manage without one.

Heather Chilvers is among Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty’s leading sales representatives. She has been working in real estate for 27 years. If you have a question for Heather, please contact her at or 332-1793. All questions will be treated in confidence. Read this article on Facebook: Ask Heather Real Estate