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Key points

  • Despite low real estate inventory, today’s sellers don’t have the same upper hand they did a year ago.
  • Partnering up with a real estate agent could help you walk away with a higher sale price.
  • Look for a real estate agent with good communication skills who knows your area well.


Any time you have a situation where there’s not enough supply of a given commodity to meet demand, its price tends to rise. That might explain why as of January 2023, home prices were still up 1.3% on a national level compared to a year prior, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

A big reason home prices haven’t plunged on the heels of soaring mortgage rates is none other than a lack of inventory. As of the end of January, there was only a 2.9-month supply of available homes on the national real estate market, per the NAR. And it can take up to a 6-month supply of homes to fully meet buyer demand and level the playing field so sellers don’t have a clear upper hand.

Given where housing inventory is, it’s easy to see why you may be inclined to sell a home in today’s market without enlisting the help of a real estate agent. After all, if you don’t hire an agent, you won’t have to lose a portion of your sale proceeds to their commission. 

But it’s important to recognize that buyer demand isn’t nearly as strong today as it was a year ago. And for that reason alone, hiring an agent may be worth it.