If you’re even remotely considering selling your home, then no doubt the thought of selling it on your own (fisbo style), has at least crossed your mind. How do I know this, because every homeowner across this great country has done the same thing when they decided to sell. It’s in our nature to fend for ourselves, to hold onto any equity that we can rather than just give it away to a realtor that may not be able to get your home sold for the amount originally agreed on anyway.
Think of this though, if a seasoned realtor can, at times, have difficulty moving their inventory, what makes you think that you have what it takes to get the job done on your own? Here’s a few compelling reasons why you should seriously re-consider not selling your house yourself.
1. You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
Most homeowners that decide to sell without the services of a licensed broker are treading murky waters. The truth is that even though we live in the information age, finding out what what your home is worth is not not just as easy as heading over to Zillow or Trulia and entering your address (oh my, that’s a whole other topic). Part of the value that realtors bring to the table is their access to their local board’s BLC/MLS data.
Every realtor in your city that sells a home that is listed on the MLS is required to enter all sales data for that transaction within days of the sale. This means that realtors can accurately see the breadth of the market as well as accurately determine the the current value of your home in merely minutes. Fact is, that unless you cough up money for a formal appraisal, you may not know what your home is truly worth.
2. You Must Know Your Market
It’s sad when I spot a FSBO sign in a front yard while driving through a neighborhood; cause I know that chances are that the sign I just saw is the only form of marketing that homeowner is doing. What the home owner doesn’t realize is how many buyers need to see that sign in order to actually produce a serious, ready, willing, and able buyer.
Marketing on third party real estate websites like Redfin or Zillow can offer greater exposure of your home, but be prepared to get a lot of tire kickers and “unqualified” buyers contacting you.
3. Realtors Solve Problems
What happens when the inspection reveals mold, a roof leak, a house that needs to be rewired – or worse yet when an inspector paints a picture of a fairly minor issue in a far worse light? What happens when an appraisal is less than the contract sales price? These are all run-of-the-mill issues that can blow-up your deal if they are not solved.
4. Realtors Are Experienced Real Estate Negotiators
How many times have you negotiated closing costs, sales price, or even repairs with a home buyer? I’d bet you can count them all on one hand. Like it or not, most real estate agents have much more experience in the industry than you will ever have, and in real estate, inexperience can translate into financial losses.
Why? Cause some real estate agent’s are constantly educating themselves to be better at their job; negotiating on behalf of their clients. They work hard to obtain certifications such as the Certified Negotiations Expert designation. If a buyer is more well-versed than a lone ranger seller on how & when to properly negotiate items in a real estate transaction, then potentially thousands could be at risk.
5. Your Time Is Money
Have you ever scheduled and coordinated home showings and buyer feedback? Enough said! Before taking the leap to sell by owner, in order to save the 7% commission, try calculating what your time is worth in dollars. Then, estimate how many hours you’ll realistically need to work to get your house sold. If you’re time is worth anywhere close to what mine is worth to me, then that 7% commission sure starts looking more attractive.
6. A Realtor Is Your Rock During Emotional Moments
A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most people, property represents the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you.
7. Ethical Treatment/Legal Compliance
Every Realtor must adhere to a strict code of ethics and legal filing compliance, which is based on professionalism and compliance to State and Federal laws. I doubt you have the most up-to-date catalogue of Indiana Real Estate Forms and know when and how to use them…yikes!
To Sum It All Up
Sure, it’s possible to sell a house without using an agent, but if you should decide to forego hiring a professional to help you, then don’t be deceived into thinking that you’re actually saving ANY money. There’s a good reason why 90% of home owners listed with a real estate agent when selling their home. When counting the true costs of selling “for sale by owner”, you could end up on the loosing end of the equation…and most sellers do!