FSBO’s – Should You Sell Privately or Use A Realtor?

Most people (Salespeople or otherwise) tend to see the world through their own eyes.  It’s just a natural habit for most.

Unfortunately many salespeople (Real Estate or otherwise) tend to approach prospective clients with the intention of immediately telling them why they are the best.

One of the many ways that we are able to differentiate ourselves, and ultimately achieve such high client satisfaction and client loyalty, is because we continually try to see the world through our client’s eyes.

How can we possibly provide 100% satisfaction if we don’t completely understand how they view things, and what they expect?

The recent media articles featuring the ongoing debates about Realtor commissions, [and specifically whether agents are worth the money they are paid] seem to keep going in a vicious circle.

When I am confronted by clients with that infamous question, “Why Should I Pay You To Sell My House When I Can Do It Myself”, I don’t immediately respond in “sales pitch mode” like most!

To fully appreciate the mindset or perception of most FSBO clients (For Sale By Owners), I actually stop and think back to the time before I was in Real Estate, when I was just another consumer who had to sell my own house.  The only steps (or so I thought at the time) was for me to put a sign on the lawn, place an ad in the paper, and hold an open house once in a while

Is it any wonder, with human nature as it is, that most homeowners think to themselves:  “Now wait a minute … I can do THAT”?

Of course they do not perceive a value or benefit in handing over thousands of dollars of their hard earned money and equity to someone who, (in their estimation), is providing the same basic service they can actually do themselves.

And I am the first to agree that if a Realtor is merely going to get you to sign a contract, plop a sign on your lawn, list your property on MLS, and sit back to wait for the house to sell itself and collect commissions … they possibly are not worth the money you will pay them.

Don’t Cut Off Your Nose … Just To Spite Your Face!!!

While (in the scenario above) their service IS still worth something, as they will:

  • Ensure your interests are properly covered in preparing necessary agreements,
  • Review purchase offers, and consult with clients on accepting or signing back offers,
  • Provide Trust accounts for holding deposits,
  • Qualify buyers to make sure they are not wasting your time,
  • Not to mention providing you security by bringing only pre-qualified people through your house … AND …. Accompanied in your home with a licensed Realtor who is responsible for them while in your home.

Yes, these are all problems that FSBO’s struggle with before they eventually get frustrated, scared, and ultimately (according to survey statistics) sign a Listing Agreement with a Realtor.

However, there is much more that a Realtor can (and SHOULD) do to truly earn their money.

Think about it … you could probably buy your own income tax software and do your taxes at the end of the year.  But most people use an accountant.  
Why?: Because the tax benefits, right-offs, and other ‘legal’ accounting tricks that accountants know of will actually SAVE you from paying MORE taxes, than the cost of their services.

Realtors not only offer the benefits listed above.  But when you work with some of the best Realtors in your area, they offer many additional benefits that will actually require them to work for their money.  The result will be that you will get even more money for your house than if you tried to sell it privately.  Furthermore, the increase in sale price that you will get from using a top quality Realtor will also more than cover the cost of their commission.

Bottom line:

If an Accountant costs you $800 to do your taxes but saves you $5000.00 in tax payments you feel great!
If a Realtor costs $20,000.00 in commissions for their services, but gets you $25,000 or more for your home than if you sold privately, their services have more than paid for themselves.  And that doesn’t include all of the added security and stress elimination they will offer you.

Like choosing an Accountant, a Doctor, or any other professional, you should treat choosing a Realtor the same way.  Don’t just use the first name someone gave you, or call the number on the first lawn sign you see.

You should certainly call these referrals and meet with them.  But prepare yourself with a strategic interview so that you can effectively choose the best Realtor for your needs.  The Realtor who will not only offer you the common benefits explained in the beginning of this article … but will also provide (not offer) the added value explained in the previous section of this article.

p.s. If you don’t know where or how to start interviewing agents, don’t worry.
Give me a call (416) 414-0554

I have a FREE download I can send you with 15 Strategic Questions You Should Ask Multiple Agents Before Selecting One To Work With.

Blog Archives