Is a real estate agent necessary in today’s hot market?

FSBO vs Real Estate Agent

FSBO vs Real Estate Agent


With metro Atlanta homes selling faster than Gladys Knight’s chicken and waffles, purchasers thinking of buying and more notably, owners thinking of selling, might be wondering if hiring a real estate agent is a necessity. Nowadays, home buyers can find homes on the internet, set up their own appointments to preview properties and submit pre-printed offers that can be obtained online or at the local office supply store. Likewise, sellers can get a for sale by owner sign, post their property on a number of FSBO marketing web sites and negotiate directly with interested parties. On the face of it, it seems that both parties may benefit by excluding third party interlopers from the deal. What I’m here to say is that neither arrangement generally works out best for a buyer or seller of metro Atlanta real estate, even in today’s hot market. This article focuses, primarily, on the benefits of utilizing a real estate agent when selling a home.


Here are ten reasons, in today’s hot market, to utilize a real estate agent to help sell your home:


1) Agents offer additional marketing exposure that a for sale by owner may not be privy to. In order to gain access to a multiple listing service, which is by the far the most effective home selling tool, a property must be listed with a real estate agent. Listing services are a way real estate agents market their properties to other real estate agents and to the world, in general. Nowadays, once a property is listed in MLS or FMLS (two of the main listing services available in Georgia) it may be syndicated to numerous ancillary real estate web sites including,, and which give you global exposure. The wider the exposure, the more interest your property will draw and in turn, the more it will sell for.

2) Correctly pricing your home in this market is critical. Real estate agents have access to more accurate information because they have professional tools at their disposal (FMLS and MLS, namely).  Individuals searching for home buying and selling information using Trulia or Zillow are often looking at information that is outdated or inaccurate. Through experience, agents are adept at gauging market trends and judging value, which is literally changing day by day. If your home is priced right, chances are you will generate multiple offers and may be able to get more than the list price for it. If it is priced too high, you won’t get as much exposure and you may ultimately end up with longer days on market and the home selling for less than you would have if you had priced it more competitively to begin with.

3) Knowing how to handle multiple offer situations is crucial. Improperly notifying all parties can lead to legal snafus or to a contract that nets you less than is possible. Agents who have been working with foreclosed bank assets in the past and with sellers in previous hot markets know how to handle a barrage of simultaneous offers.

4) Employing modern day tactics to ensure contract compliance is becoming more and more important. Just because an appraisal doesn’t come in for list price or more doesn’t mean the contract should be voidable. When multiple offers come in and prices get bid up, it’s important to know how to employ verbiage that locks the winning buyer into the contract, regardless of the appraised value. Most real estate agents know how to structure stipulations in contracts to protect their sellers.

5) There are numerous rapidly evolving issues to contend with in today’s real estate environment. Competition from foreclosures and short sales, financing, appraisals, inspections, mold, lead-based paint, defective siding/stucco, termites, insurance, clouds on title. The list goes on and on. Any one of these issues could stop a deal dead in its tracks. Many agents know how to navigate and predict road blocks like these.

6) If you are considering a short sale, a real estate agent is a must. As if the typical real estate transaction is not complicated enough, a deal that involves a short sale can be numbing. Booby traps lie around every corner and it is for this reason, most banks will not allow a short sale to be initiated unless the home has been listed with a real estate agent to market and guide the home seller. Lots of real estate agents won’t even attempt to handle a short  sale unless they are schooled and experienced in these complex transactions. For this reason, I recommend listing your short sale with a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) which is a real estate agent that has undergone extensive training for assisting with a short sale.

7) Many accomplished real estate agents employ powerful technology and have an already-developed online presence through highly trafficked web sites and social media campaigns. They can give your home instant exposure and are able to continuously blog about it to a vast following.

8) Working with un-qualified purchasers is a waste of time and can seriously affect your bottom line. If a deal falls through after several weeks or months because the purchaser was unable to secure financing, you will have to put the home back on the market. Your highest offers occur within days of initially listing your home. The longer it sits without the sold sign, the less enticing subsequent offers will be. Real estate agents work with proven lenders that know whether a buyer is qualified or not. Before a real estate agent puts a buyer in the car or recommends accepting an offer to a seller, they will have checked out the purchaser.

9) Selling a home can be a very emotional process. A real estate agent is there to offer an objective and reasonable point of view.

10) Buying or selling a home is one of the most important and stressful things that a person will do in their lifetime, right up there with getting married and having a baby. Subsequently, making a legal mistake or a decision blunder during the home buying/selling process could be the most costly mistake you ever make. You wouldn’t walk into court representing yourself or face an IRS audit without the assistance of a competent accountant. Real estate agents serve a  purpose when dealing with home buying or selling transactions. They are advisers, marketers, chauffeurs, negotiators, organizers, referrers, expediters, listeners and hard workers. I would like to think that we are worth our weight in gold but I might be a bit biased.


       Having been licensed since 1994, Craig Levine brings to your real estate deal a world of experience, cutting-edge technology, negotiating savvy, and exemplary service. With Century 21 in Atlanta, Craig was the #2 agent in the #1 office in Georgia in 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001! He repeatedly received Century 21′s highest honor, The Centurion Award, in each of these years. In 2002, Craig joined Re/Max Greater Atlanta, the Nation’s #1 RE/MAX office and has consistently been one of the top agents in the office. Additionally, Craig got licensed in Florida to bring his arsenal of skills and resources into the Emerald Coast’s 2nd Home and Investment market. He holds a Florida Broker’s Associate License which resides at Baywalk Real Estate in Beautiful Destin, Florida.

     Craig is an avid hiker, camper, boater, golfer, traveler, biker, and reader. He has written for numerous print magazines including The Seasonal, The Gazette, Cobb Living, Cobbonline, The Cobb Times, Atlanta Nation, Cherokee Nation, North Fulton Nation, Gwinnett Nation, The Southeast Business Journal, Lake Lanier Herald, Revue and News, John’s Creek Herald, Forsyth Herald, North Atlanta Business Post, as well as various online real estate related web sites. Craig is also frequently quoted in Georgia Realtor Magazine, Florida Realtor Magazine, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, and the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

-Realtor Serving Thousands of Clients Since 1994
-Associate Broker in Georgia and Florida
-Graduate of the Realtor Institute (GRI)
-Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS)
-Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE)
-Accredited REO Agent (AREO)
-Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Specialist (SFR)
-Real Estate Property Management Specialist (REPM)
-Top 1% of Realtors Nationally
-Non-Performing Asset Specialist
-Member REOMAC (wait list), FiveStar, Equator Gold Certified, AMP Professional Certified, REOConnection, REO Network

RE/MAX Greater Atlanta (Atlanta) – Associate Broker
Southern Disposition, LLC – Broker/Owner
Baywalk Real Estate (Destin/Panama City Beach, Florida) – Broker Associate

678-784-4493 (Office)
888-8-LEVINE (Toll Free)

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