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Selling a home? Better to use a real estate professional

Who needs a Realtor, you ask?

Well, you do. If you want more bang for your buck.

A lack of inventory has plagued the Lehigh Valley housing market the last several years.

In July, inventory levels for Lehigh and Northampton counties shrunk 35.7 percent to 1,601 units, leading to a supply of inventory of just 2.4 months (a severe lean in favor of sellers).

Most economists consider a balanced market to be a five- to six-month supply.

In today’s market, where, on average, homes are spending a mere 31 days on the market and sellers are receiving 98.5 percent of their asking price, sellers might be getting an extra dose of confidence and believe a Realtor isn’t needed when their home is such a hot commodity.



While a recent Angie’s List article titled “Who needs a real estate agent?” was is in favor of using a real estate professional, it ends by saying that those who are unconvinced can “still pay a flat fee to have your property appear on the Multiple Listing Service used by real estate agents.”

Statements like this again lead sellers to believe a qualified buyer is right around the corner, especially when their local housing market is experiencing a record-breaking run on home prices and housing demand continues to outpace what is available.


But. (There’s always a “but.”)

For starters, the Greater Lehigh Valley Multiple Listing Service does not have a flat fee that allows sellers to list their property.

If you’ve seen this Angie’s List article and are selling in the Lehigh Valley, disregard that entire sentence. To use the GLVR MLS, you must be attached to a Realtor.

And, possibly most importantly, homeowners who sell their homes on their own typically generate $60,000 less than homeowners who work with a Realtor, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

The report notes that the typical for-sale-by-owner home sold for $190,000, compared to $250,000 for agent-assisted home sales.


This is not to tell sellers (or buyers) how to go about their real estate needs. But those considering the option of a direct or cash sale should keep a few things in mind:

Realtors know the best ways to advertise to attract buyers, plus they can use the marketing muscle of their brokerage and MLS to promote your home.

With years of bargaining experience and expert understanding of the market, Realtors can help close the deal at the price and terms you want.

Realtors have the time and expertise to handle open houses, showings, inspections and the dozens of other tasks that would take you away from your work and regular routine.

Buying or selling a home involves reams of paperwork that can be hard to understand. Realtors thrive in this world.

Realtors can evaluate your home and suggest improvements to get maximum value, and they’re skilled at handling showings to generate a positive response.

Through the Multiple Listing Service, the most accurate data source for local listings with a database of prospects and professional contacts, Realtors can help you reach the widest range of customers.

Realtors are experts in the community and can work with you to find your ideal home in a location of your choice that fits all of your family’s needs.

An experienced Realtor will continue to support you as questions pop up after the deal is done.

Realtors can refer you to their network of quality lenders, lawyers, inspectors and repair people to ensure you get the best result in every stage of your deal. n

Justin Porembo is the CEO of Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (, a not-for-profit trade association representing more than 2,500 Realtors in Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties. He can be reached at [email protected]

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