Pros and Cons of Using a Realtor

Pros and cons of using a Realtor

The Pros and Cons of Using a Realtor

When you decide to sell your Virginia Beach house, there are two basic approaches to take. The first is the conventional one where you list your property with a Realtor. The second, the unconventional approach, is to sell your house directly to a cash buyer, like me. Both approaches have their unique advantages and disadvantages. This week, I will discuss the conventional approach, when you should take it and few potential pitfalls to watch out for.

The Conventional Approach

If you want to receive absolute top dollar for your house, then you probably need to list it with a Realtor. Click here to see a list of local Virginia Beach Realtors. These real estate professionals have a wealth of local real estate knowledge and they generally work with several buyers at one time. If one of those buyers is looking for a house similar to your’s, presto, you’re in luck. But that’s not usually the case.

Even still, for many people, a Realtor is still their best option and I recommend it if:

  1. You have plenty of time to sell your house
  2. Your house is in great shape and doesn’t need updating
  3. Your house is in great location (think school district)

Time Commitment

If you go this route, make sure to interview several agents because you will generally be required to sign an exclusive right to sell contract with him or her a minimum of 90 days and often times 180 days. As of July 2014, the average house in Virginia Beach took 69 days to sell, which is an increase 5% over the same month last year.

Real Estate Commissions

A good agent will put in the time and effort to market your property, but a poor one will let it just sit on the MLS. To compensate the listing agent for his efforts, be prepared to pay 6-7% of the final sales price. Traditionally, the listing agent will split that commission with the buying agent. Also, in the current buyer’s market, your buyer will likely ask you to cover all closing costs, which usually total another 3-4%.

Repairs and Updates

In addition to agent commissions, you will likely incur additional costs when selling through the conventional approach. If your property is in poor condition, you will likely have to make upgrades and repairs. It is very hard to sell an “ugly house” to a conventional buyer, even if the buyer wants to do the repairs. This is because a conventional buyer will likely need to obtain a mortgage and banks generally don’t loan on “fixer-uppers.”

When agreeing to list a house that has, what the industry terms as deferred maintenance, many Realtors will insist that you either, make the repairs yourself, or include a fixed amount of money to due to the buyer at closing to be used for repairs. Clearly, this can get real expensive and time consuming. It can also become a real headache scheduling different contractors to come in and out of your house just to get it ready to list.

Keeping it Clean

Lastly, be prepared to have potential buyers walking through your house multiple times a week. You’ll need to clean the house immaculately—and keep it that way. I’ve heard some frustrated sellers say they feel like their living in a museum!

If you do decide to go this route, here’s a quick tip: if you have buyers coming over and you don’t have time to wash all the dishes, throw them in the oven, just don’t forget to take them back out before you start cooking dinner!


In conclusion, there are several pros and cons of using a Realtor in Virginia Beach. If your house is located in the right location, you have the time and you have the resources, you are probably best listing it with a Realtor. If that’s not the case, you may want to consider selling to a cash buyer in, such as myself.

Christian Dunlap

I am a family man with four kids and one heck of a beautiful wife. For work, I'm one of those, "We buy houses" guys, which basically means I buy houses for cash through out Hampton Roads, fix them up and then resell them. It's a very rewarding career that affords me to the opportunity to meet and help out people from every walk of life.