Some homeowners think that selling their own home will save money and give them an advantage of the REALTOR® using majority. This is normally not the case. Before you start down this complicated path, here are a few reasons why using a real estate professional is important:
1) You will be drastically limiting your exposure to potential buyers, which means it can take between 10 and 15 times longer to sell your home. Houses that take a long time to sell usually sell for less because buyers believe there must be something wrong with them.
2) Most buyers find negotiating with sellers extremely awkward, and therefore avoid For Sale By Owner situations.
3) Most buyers use a REALTOR® in their home search, and most buyers’ agents will typically not work with FSBO’s because they will not be paid. This means you will have to offer a selling commission to attract buyer’s agents, which will cut into your expected “savings”.
4) Lack of negotiating experience can result in a lower selling price, or worse, a bungled contract and possible lawsuits. It is probably unwise to pit your negotiating skills against those of experienced professionals.
5) If you plan to use a lawyer to help you negotiate, your lawyer’s fees could be considerably higher than a REALTOR’s commission. Unlike REALTORS®, lawyers do not get paid for proactively representing your best interests or mediating delicate situations.
6) You only pay a commission to your REALTOR® if they successfully sell your home at a price you are happy with.
According to the National Association of REALTORS®:
“The median home price for sellers who use an agent is 16.0 percent higher than a home sold directly by an owner; $230,000 vs. $198,200; there were no significant differences between the types of homes sold. While many unrepresented sellers are motivated to save on paying a commission, we think the price difference speaks for itself,” Stevens said. “Owners without professional assistance also have problems in understanding and completing paperwork, prepping the home for sale, getting the right price and selling within the time planned.”
Survey data doesn’t explain the price difference, but Stevens offered some context. “Agents know best how to prepare a home and maximize value, agents provide broader exposure to the market and are more likely to generate multiple bids, and the portion of sales that are between private parties are likely to be at a lower price than those on the open market.”
“Copyright National Association of REALTORS®, Reprinted from REALTOR.org with permission.”
When selling your home, you should select a real estate agent who can expose your property to the biggest market to ensure the fastest sale at the best possible price. Ask your prospective agents about the different ways they plan to advertise your home. Good agents should use the MLS, national and local promotion on the Internet, yard and neighborhood signs. I personally, am a big believer in marketing, especially Internet Advertising. I am a “Showcase REALTOR®” with REALTOR.com. I believe a home sells much faster with exposure. I also have “Featured Listings” with REALTOR.com, which means your listing will appear at the top before the regular listings.
We will put as many photos as possible, so prospective buyers can “view” the home online before they step foot in the door. This way, we don’t have people wasting our time looking at something that doesn’t really fit their needs, and the lookers we do get are already interested. A photo truly is worth a thousand words. I also keep full color laser print flyers on all yard signs and a book inside the house with disclosures, surveys, etc.
Pricing your home correctly in the beginning is very important. Sales statistics show that properties that are initially priced too high eventually sell for less than properties that were correctly priced in the first place. Also, over-priced houses can take months or even years to sell, while properly priced houses usually sell in a matter of weeks or even days. When selecting your agent, make sure that each REALTOR® you interview presents a CMA (or Comparative Market Analysis) that shows what he or she thinks your house is worth. The average or median price will likely be very close to your home’s true market value.
While you don’t have to keep your house 100% clean all the time, you should make any necessary repairs and perform all major cleanup work BEFORE you start showing your home. There are hundreds of small things you can do to make your house more attractive for a showing, ranging from opening all the blinds and tightening loose doorknobs to displaying fresh-cut flowers and baking a loaf of bread. Most importantly, you should not be present during showings so that prospective buyers can explore your home freely. Ask your REALTOR® to provide a checklist of things you can do to make your home more attractive to buyers.
Good communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship. You can count on me to provide you with the information you need on a schedule and in a manner that suits you best, and you will always have 24×7 access to a wealth of online resources through my Web page. If need be, you can get in touch with me day or night via e-mail, text or phone.
Every one of my clients is unique, and that is exactly how I treat him or her. I’m proud to say that a high percentage of my business comes from past clients-from people who choose my services time and again. I don’t measure my success by sales, but by the relationships I build along the way. If you are selling a home in Bastrop County Texas, call or email me today for a free CMA. I look forward to working with you!