Time. From booking and conducting showings, answering questions about your property and fielding calls from tire kickers as well as prospective buyers, the work involved in selling your own property can be both time consuming and emotionally overwhelming. Likewise, when property shopping without a realtor, you might miss out on listings available only to agents.

Cost. While selling your own property might seem like a savings, you will still be obliged to pay a percentage of your home's sale price to your buyer's agent. As well, any marketing and advertising costs, including home staging, photography, graphic design and MLS listing fees will become your out-of-pocket responsibility.

Property evaluation. Under evaluating and over evaluating your property can have detrimental effects on whether or not your property sells. Hiring a qualified realtor can avoid potential pitfalls.

Legal. Improperly written sales contracts can result in costly repairs, additional closing costs and even lawsuits. Familiar with legal rights, contracts and obligations, a realtor can help prevent those situations from occurring, whether you are buying or selling your home.

Negotiation. Negotiating can be tricky business. From cutthroat tactics to bidding wars, an experienced realtor can speak on your behalf during tough transactions and negotiate to your benefit.

When selecting the right sales representative for the job, keep in mind that buying or selling your home is likely the biggest financial decision of your life. Can you really afford not to hire a professional?