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Welcome to Part 2 of this three-part blog series about For Sale By Owner Homes and the common objections to using a REALTOR®. Yesterday, I left you with the promise of addressing the most common objection, commission, what it means to sell your own home and what you should do to be successful and the associated costs.
So, let’s start by acknowledging what it means to sell your home yourself; it means WORK. There’s a lot that goes into successfully selling a home. If you’re thinking, “I can take pictures and up load them online just as easily as my REALTOR® can,” you’re right, you can, but is that the best use of your time when someone else can do it for you? Here’s where we meet theory number 1.
Theory No.1: There is this notion that wealthy and successful people follow and that is, time is worth more than money. If you are going to spend all your time doing $10 an hour jobs, you are going to make $10 an hour and lose quality time that could be spent elsewhere. So pay someone else to do the $10 an hour jobs so that you can get on with making your millions and spending your time doing what you want with whom you want. Value your time.
So what kind of work are we talking about? Here are a few things that you absolutely should do if you’re trying to sell your own home:
- Cut the lawn, trim the shrubs, groom the flowers and de-clutter the yard
- Clean everything from top to bottom and de-clutter the inside of your house
- Check all the faucets and bulbs and wipe up the counters
- Message all of your friends and family to let them know you’re selling and see if they’re buying
- After you’ve cleaned and shined everything, take some high quality professional photographs
- Upload all the photographs to your computer and start sorting! (display only the best)
- Once you’ve got the cream of the crop, write up your advertisement
- Start posting your ad and pictures on every classified site and social media outlet
- Don’t forget to monitor these and repost your ad every day or else you’ll be bumped to the 9th or 10th page in no time!)
- Go buy a lawn sign and put it on your front lawn
- Schedule to be home every evening and weekend from now until you sell in order to ensure that if someone wants to view your house that you’ll be ready and able
- Be prepared to miss out on some buyers (out-of-towners, shift-workers, etc.) because they are only available to see it during your work hours
- Be aware that some Buyers might not feel comfortable contacting you directly or may insist on using their agent to communicate with you
- Safeguard yourself against insurance liabilities and legal risks associated with having potential Buyers in your home
- Brush up on your contract writing skills, legal terminology and awareness of local real estate practices
- Revisit and practice your negotiating skills because Buyers these days are determined
- Prepare yourself for the risks involved with having strangers coming to your home
- Try not to show your home alone and be careful if Buyer’s want to view late at night
The above is not an exhaustive list of what you need to do, but they are definitely some suggestions of things you should be considering if you are going to go it alone.
Another thing to consider when selling your home is the time it will take to sell and the translated monetary cost. On average, REALTOR® listed properties sell faster than FSBO’s and for the right price. Many FSBOs have told me that they don’t want to pay commission so they can make more on their sale. However, they forget to factor in that while they are waiting to sell their home they are losing more money through a combination of:
- Not appropriately pricing their home (how will you accurately assess your value?)
- Not taking a deposit with an offer and qualifying the buyers (very important!)
- Not being able to negotiate to get the best deal with buyers (it is not all about price!)
- Eventually reducing their price to less than what a REALTOR® could get them,
- Spending hours per day and per week monitoring and re-posting ads and showing the home, and most commonly,
- Paying two mortgages, two sets of property taxes and two utility bills.
When you add up all of these monetary costs, not to mention the mental, physical, emotional and potential relationship stress that prolonged attempts to sell ones’ house can create, a FSBO would likely be better off and have a quicker and more profitable sale if they had chosen to use a REALTOR® in the first place. On average, REALTOR® listed homes sell faster than FSBOs, which often equates to savings in time, money and stress levels.
Now, I am not saying that every REALTOR® will win over your heart and bank account, but when you find a good REALTOR®, they should 110% provide you with added value and completely ease the process of selling your home. REALTOR®s go through extensive education, examination and training in order to get their practicing designation and, just like a doctor, lawyer or dentist, they hold a fiduciary duty to provide the highest quality and confidential service to their clients and that is how they should earn their commission.
What sort of added value are we talking about when hiring a REALTOR®? Come back tomorrow to get your checklist of what services a REALTOR® should be providing you and some questions you should be asking a REALTOR® who wants to work for you.
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