If you are planning to sell your home in the near future, you may be considering selling “By Owner.” The idea of saving the money you might spend on broker’s commissions is attractive. After all, who wouldn’t want to have a few thousand more dollars to spend on their new home? However, selling your home by yourself is more time consuming and stressful than most people realize. One of the scenarios we agents see all too often is the homeowner that puts their house up for sale without planning realistically for the whole process. Then, after weeks or months of frustration, they call on a real estate agent to bail them out and get the job done quickly. So, before you put that FSBO sign in the yard, give some thought to these points from your local real estate experts:
1. You’ll need a fair market value on your home. You may think you know what your home should sell for, but often homeowners overprice their home, which will lead to more time on the market. Real estate agents have many tools available to evaluate the market in your area and give you an accurate sales price.
2. Buyers will lowball you on offers. Knowing you aren’t paying broker’s commissions, buyers will offer you well below your asking price, so you may not save as much as you hope. Research shows homes listed with a broker sell for more money and less time on the market than those sold by owner. Having an agent who is experienced in negotiating price and terms is well worth the cost.
3. You will need to coordinate your own showings and open houses. Do you have the flexibility to field calls and schedule showings at all hours of the day and night? Agents are used to working 24/7 and juggling ever-changing showing schedules. You may not be prepared for shifting your family’s schedule around daily so that someone can be home to show the house. How will you respond to strangers roaming through your home, closets and cabinets? It’s well known that homes show better when the seller is not home and the buyer can look freely, under the supervision of a real estate agent.
4. You’ll need to advertise your home. When you list with an agent, your home goes into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), where it is available to every agent in your area, and it will appear on Zillow.com, Realtor.com and other national sites. Additionally, your agent will market your home within their network of agents, on social media, in print media, mass mailings, local signage, open houses, or other sources. There are flat fee listing services that will put your home in the MLS system, but they don’t offer you the support and personalized services a dedicated agent can give you.
5. The process is just starting when the contract is signed. Getting under contract is the first step of many in the process, and things can, and often do, go wrong along the way. The escrow deposit, home inspection period, home appraisal, buyer’s financing approval, obtaining a clear title, and the buyer’s final walk-through are all hurdles that must be cleared. Each step requires a clear and legal paper trail that an agent knows how to properly execute to protect your rights as a seller. An agent can guide you through any complications that might arise and will be able to speak effectively on your behalf to the other parties working on your transaction.
We’re here for the long haul. As your real estate agent, we want to build a lasting relationship with you. We’ll be here after closing day to help you with any additional needs. Even if you are moving to another city, you can call on us to give you referrals for professionals in your new area.