Imagine for a moment being a plaintiff or defendant in a high-stakes lawsuit and trying to represent yourself in a courtroom solo, without the help of a lawyer. The results could be catastrophic.

The same can be said of trying to buy or sell a home yourself, without the expertise of a real estate professional.

Is “do it yourself” the right choice for what’s likely to be the largest financial transaction of your life?

The percentage of owners who do take the sale of their home into their own hands has held steady for the past five years at about 9 percent. And the bottom-line results aren’t fantastic.

FSBO homes brought a 13 percent lower median price compared to those sold with the assistance of a professional real estate agent, according to the National Association of Realtors. According to the group’s 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey, the median FSBO selling price was $208,700 compared to $235,000 for a home represented by an agent.

Advantage, real estate pro.

Work with a licensed real estate professional. Here’s why you win:

1. Money in your pocket: It pays to enlist the help of a licensed real estate agent, whether you’re a buyer or seller. An experienced professional can help you sell your home quicker and for a higher selling price. For buyers, an agent can aid you in finding and negotiating for the ideal home more efficiently.

2. Access to better data: A real estate agent has the latest and most accurate local market data and listings. This helps the agent properly price your home for a smoother, quicker sale or, if you’re home shopping, helps you narrow down your search in speedy fashion.

3. Negotiating savvy: An agent – not you – handles the sticky details of making and countering offers and fine-tuning the contract. You are relieved of the burden of haggling directly with the other party.

4. Convenient representation: An agent shows your home for you and responds to inquiries on your behalf. You’re free to have a life.

5. An eye for staging: An expert agent can suggest smart ways to improve your home for sale, de-cluttering rooms and enhancing curb appeal with an eye on minimizing days your house is on the market.

Shopping for and finding the right home can feel like an overwhelming process without the right help. Turn to the Inland Northwest’s most experienced real estate team: Coldwell Banker Tomlinson. CBT agents can help keep you focused on what’s important and guide you with smart strategies as you shop for and finance a new home.

As the largest real estate firm in the Quad Cities, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson completes one in three of all local real estate transactions. Our professionals know the market and can help guide you through the competitive sales process to get the best returns.

No one sells more homes in the Inland Northwest.

Contact your nearest Coldwell Banker Tomlinson office today: Coldwell Banker Tomlinson in Lewiston/Clarkston, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson in Moscow or Coldwell Banker Tomlinson in Pullman.

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