There are numerous reasons why home owners decide to sell their home without a licensed Realtor. “I don’t want to pay the commission” or “I’ve tried an agent and I barely saw them” are a couple I've heard before. I understand the appeal of saving some money, especially if you’ve had issues with agents in the past. Please understand not every Realtor is the same. Yes, some are better than others, which is why you should interview a few agents beforehand and explain the issues you have had in the past. The truth is you probably will save more money with an agent.
Here are just a few hiccups you might encounter as a FSBO.
Time is Money: As a FSBO you have to have time to show your property. How can you possibly sell your home if you don't have the time to show it? You might show the property to 100 buyers but it’s only going to take 1 to get it sold. If you can’t show the home because you aren't available, you might have just missed the 1 in 100. If you have two jobs, your children’s games to attend or are out of town often, then maybe you don’t have the time to be a FSBO.
Let’s Get Serious: No homeowner should go into the FSBO market on a whim. It is serious business. If you have to convince yourself that you can do it, then you are not ready. Only about 20% of FSBO sell their home and they only account for about 9% of the real estate market. In addition FSBO usually sell 11-15% lower than they could have sold it with an agent.
Qualified Buyers: The last thing you want is a person taking precious time when they can’t even afford your home. Of course if you are holding an open house you don't have much control and honestly you want as many people to see the property to get the word out. But when you are scheduling appointments with buyers make sure they are qualified.
Agents Might Not Show The Property: Yes, some agents might not show your property. Remember, agents are working for their commission. But even if you are paying a commission to the buyer’s agent, they still might not show your property. The reason why is a lot of agents end up doing much of the FSBO's work in order to get the deal done, which is unprofessional and sometimes illegal. Agents have to abide by company standards and more importantly legal practices which is why they steer clear.
Investors: These folks are looking for a great deal. They generally want to make a few changes to the property and sell it for a better price. They understand that the FSBOs generally sell cheaper which is why they take advantage of it. They know most FSBOs will get frustrated by the long process and might take a lower offer.
Its Stressful: Numerous studies have shown buying or selling your home is one of the most stressful experiences that one will go through. Even with an agent some have said it is more stressful then going through a bankruptcy or divorce. Now add the stress of doing all the paperwork, showing the property, and dealing with lenders to the list. It is a lot to deal with.
The No Sale Blues: Ok, you put the house on the market yourself. You had some traffic come through, yet it didn't sell. Now you're stressing over what you did wrong and its left a bad taste in your mouth. Unfortunately, this is the reality of about 80% of FSBOs. There could be many reasons why it didn't sell. The truth of the matter is a house might be on the market for 3-6 months with or without an agent. But without a licensed agent to work with you on different strategies you might just make the same mistakes over and over. Months later you finally decide to list with an agent and now you have a bad attitude toward the whole home selling process. This isn't a good situation for you or the agent.
Ok, do you still want to give it a shot? Here are a few tips to help you on the way.
Ready to show: You have to be ready to show the house at a moment’s notice. Of course this applies to anything within reason. If someone is calling you at 8pm wanting to look at the house just tell them "It’s a little late but I’d be happy to schedule a time for you to come see it".
The Price is Right: Make sure you do your homework and price your home right. There are many home estimator tools on the internet as well as online appraisers. Look up your neighborhoods recently sold properties. Go to open houses to see if your house holds up to what’s on the market. All of this can help you gauge what you are going to list your house at. Remember when you overprice your house you sell the one down the street, which was priced right.
De-clutter and clean up: I know it sounds like a given, but yes, you're going to need to clean the house. Also remember - organized clutter is still clutter. If it is possible to have a empty home, or lightly furnished, that would be ideal. Consider renting a small storage space to scale down the amount of furniture and clutter in the house. Buyers like to imagine their furniture in the houses the walk through. When a house is packed with too much furniture it makes it feel smaller. You want the buyers to be looking at the home not your furniture. Also, limit the amount of family photos because you want these buyers to see this as their home.
Give The House A Face Lift: As homeowners we get used to the quirks of a home. That squeaky step that you've learned to avoid. The loose brick in the walkway. The scratch marks on the door from the family pet. The water mark from an old leak that you have repaired but not yet painted. These are just some of the things that you might not see as a problem but might stick out like a sore thumb to a buyer. Have a home stager, contractor, or even just a family friend look over the house for things like this. If you have any agents walk through the house follow up with them to see if they noticed anything. Some repairs might not be too costly and coat of paint makes a world of difference.
David Tanielu Realtor Virginia License # 0225228943 Branch: Howard Hanna - Laskin 1321 Laskin Rd Virginia Beach, Virginia 23454 Direct: (757) 652-0972 Office: (757) 428-7815 firstname.lastname@example.org
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