So, you want to sell your own home! Well, before making that final decision, you should consider reasons why you might want to change your mind.
Sure, everyone knows you can save that all-too-vilified 6% commission, but seriously, in the long run, if you don’t truly understand exactly what you’re doing, you probably end up saving nothing. Even worse, you spend more than you would have saved!
Selling a home isn’t easy. There are reasons why states regulate the industry along with the agents and brokers – it’s to protect the consumer from blatant fraud, stupidity, and ignorance on the part of the sellers. It’s difficult enough to do this with licensed agents and brokers, but it’s virtually impossible to monitor what’s happening when a consumer is dealing with a FSBO (a house that is For Sale by Owner).
Selling anything entails a marketing plan, a financial goal, and experience in the field. Whether you are selling car batteries, homemade brownies, or real estate, you need to completely understand who your target market is, where they are, and how to reach them. You must absolutely be able to establish a financial plan based on exactly what your house is worth, how quickly you need to sell, and what happens if you don’t.
Putting your own home on the market means more than putting that for sale sign on the front lawn and waiting for your phone to ring! Your chances of reaching a qualified buyer from drive-by traffic is almost nill. Without a comprehensive marketing plan and sales strategy already in place, you are doomed for failure.
Top Reasons to Use a Broker:
- Houses are priced to include that 6% broker commission. Buyers looking at FSBOs are well aware you aren’t paying that commission so they automatically deduct that money from their offer! Right off the bat, you aren’t saving anything.
- Do you know what your home is worth? Probably not! Checking Zillow.com is not the answer. Without access to a system that shows “comps”, and an understanding of how the prices of these comps were determined, there’s a good chance your home is not priced correctly. And by the time you figure this out, your perfect buyer bought another property down the street.
- Experienced real estate agents have qualified buyers actually waiting to see your home! Do you?
- Brokers have proven, established marketing plans for your home style and neighborhood – and they pay for all this advertising! (A good portion of that agency commission actually pays for this marketing.)
- They will be able to advise you on any improvements that should be done to add value and let you know what repairs absolutely must be done in order to expect a close to full price offer. You might think you want to sell “as is” but that doesn’t mean the house will sell without lots of contingencies that include the repairs and upgrades the broker would have pointed out.
- They are experts in negotiating the offers! If you have never negotiated anything other than getting a free oil change with a new car purchase, this is best left to an experienced broker. Many FSBOs unwittingly kill a deal because they don’t understand the nuances between a good offer and one that probably wouldn’t even get a bank approval.
- Your home needs personal showings and exposure. An experienced agent will prepare the perfect open house for buyers, and one for other brokers. There is no way a FSBO can create this type of response.
- FSBOs are notorious for having poor people skills. After all, you have people walking around your beloved home making comments that frequently aren’t too complimentary. (“Oh, wow, look at that ugly tub!” or “This has to be the dirtiest carpeting we’ve seen so far!”) Sure, these are certainly insults to say the least, but a qualified agent knows exactly how to turn these negative comments and perceptions into a more positive experience. Home owners aren’t usually the best choices to do private showings for this reason – they don’t handle rejection or negativity well, and certainly not without confrontation which will typically not end well.
In the end, let the professionals do their job. They have the training, the experience, and the tools necessary to make sure your home gets the best possible exposure in order to get the best possible price. Don’t make an expensive mistake you’ll never recover from!