Unemotional perspective, assuming you pick a good agent. Not all are good.
Local knowledge. This can be critical if you are moving to a new area. Their opinion will also not always jive with yours, so be aware, but they should raise things for you to consider and research. Our current agent, with whom we have bought two homes, sold one and will be placing another in her hand this Spring, has actually talked us out of putting a contract in on a place. She takes her fiduciary responsibility seriously, and is a good enough agent to know that her honesty is a better investment through referrals than anything she could do with that commission.
I have sold properties by owner, been a Realtor myself…a good one, IMO. I have straightened out buyer’s credit so that they can afford a house, guided sellers in what to do to their property to make it more easily seen by buyers as a place that could be theirs, saved buyers significant tax savings by understanding the weird property tax structure of the area in which they were buying and finding the loopholes. (A 5 year old property saved them about $5K/YEAR in taxes compared to the new home they wanted.) I took my fiduciary responsibility seriously as well and always put my client’s needs first. I know how to sell/buy properties and have done so without an agent as well as with, but a good agent by your side will help you not to make expensive mistakes. I think outside the box and used my creativity to get my clients better deals. Bad agents are less than useless. Good ones are worth every penny.
Beyond that, there is a perception by most buyers that FSBOs don’t know what they are doing. Often they are right, and these deals can fall through with much greater incidence than brokered sales. The agents are there to hold emotions in check, allowing the sale to close. Our agent did this for us with our last sale. Even though I was a Realtor and know the drill, it took someone for whom it was only about money, (commission,) to be the voice of reason.
There are some properties that all you need to do is throw a sign up and it will essentially sell itself. The first house I FSBOed was on a well traveled street and in the starter home market. I sold that very quickly. My second FSBO I never even put a sign up and let word of mouth sell it. The property we are placing on the market next Spring is more secluded and with a higher price point. I want lots of eyeballs on the property to get bidding wars going. That requires an MLS listing.
I have never paid 6% to sell a home. My properties tend to be pristine and have emotional push points that make buyers drool. Contracts are negotiable. Agents take one look at my property and realize how little work they need to do to sell it. If they don’t take my commission, someone will. Last property went with a 5% commission, being a rental which comes with more hand holding. We intend to sell next Spring with a 4 % commission. There are so few properties on the market, and ours has things not easily reproducible elsewhere, that I do not anticipate an issue getting an agreement with that.
So why would I list with a Realtor? A seller NEVER wants to be able to be questioned directly by a prospective buyer. I love buying FSBO. I can extract a ton of info that the seller doesn’t even realize they are giving me. And happily because we have a great agent. They exist. Learn how to find them.