The real estate market is one of the more fickle industries to participate in. From changes in pricing structure, to fluctuating interest rates to unpredictable market seasons, every day’s a gamble. So why would you take a chance listing your home without the expert knowledge and guidance of a real estate agent? Most who try their hand at selling their home by themselves, or as we call it “For Sale By Owner”, do so to try and save money on commission, but here is why the promise of potential savings may end up not being worth it.
When I list a home for my clients, I have a solid marketing strategy in place before the house even hits the market. From taking professional photos, to purchasing ads and networking with other industry professionals, marketing is the number one reason For Sale By Owner homes do not sell. I have the experience to know that your home needs to be put in front of the right people in order to sell.
2. Preparing your home
When I consult on a home and provide clients with home evaluations, not only am I looking at the home as it is, but also small tips and tricks that can be done to increase your home’s appeal to potential buyers. Things like decluttering, removing personal items, hiring a professional cleaner to get into every nook and cranny, and completing minor home repairs are just a few of the areas I focus on and recommend to increase your home’s value. For Sale By Owner properties usually are left as they were before the “FOR SALE” sign hits the lawn. For potential buyers, the condition of your home makes a big impact on the ability to sell your home for the right price.
3. Dealing with potential buyers
Working with agents and others who are interested in your property takes up about 90% of my time as a realtor. While I am selling a home, I work with other agents to ensure that their clients are pre-approved and actually interested in your property, instead of just being nosy and wanting to see how you decided to decorate your living room. With For Sale By Owner properties, most people aren’t prepared to screen or deal with every random person that drives past your home and sees the sign. It is a lot of work to stay on top of emails, phone calls, and messages from all social media and listing platforms. If you add in people who are not genuinely interested in your home, it can add up to a lot of time wasted if you’re not experienced in managing the process. For Sale By Owner homeowners also won’t know to ask the kinds of questions that help screen out the duds from the right purchaser for the property, such as does the interested party have a property to sell before they can purchase yours? Are they approved? Can they afford to purchase your home? If they are eligible, are they aware of the closing costs that are also a factor (legal, land transfer, etc.)?
4. Pricing your home correctly
The pricing of a home is one of the trickier factors in selling a home. What the homeowner thinks their home is worth, what the bank tells you your home is worth, and what someone is willing to pay for it are all VERY different numbers. My job as an agent is to find a middle ground between all of them, so we can price your home competitively and attract the right buyer to get you the best price for your home. For Sale By Owner sellers often overprice their home and are not willing to negotiate with potential buyers, often missing out on many opportunities because they aren’t well-versed in the market value of their home. There are so many factors to consider when pricing a home. For Sale By Owners usually make personal feelings part of that process, which can cause their home to be priced incorrectly. You need to remember that while your memories and hard work mean a lot to you, they don’t mean anything to potential buyers.
5. You may end up losing money
Saving money is the number one reason people try to sell their homes without all the professional help, but this could end up costing you more. Potential buyers more than likely will request a home inspection, which in turn can end up costing the homeowner in repairs that they either didn’t think would be a problem when they decided to sell or didn’t even realize existed. There are also clauses in real estate contracts that without a professional to decipher them can cause confusion over who is paying for what and when, like the clause that requires the seller to professionally close their pool or buy out a furnace contract before the closing date. All of those clauses can be buried in the required paperwork to sell your home and missing them can cause the price of selling your home to go up if you decide to go it alone. Before you put that sign on your yard by yourself remember: For Sale By Owner homes are only successful less than 10% of the time and professional agents like myself have different packages available that can help you save on the sale of your home. Don’t burden yourself with all of the factors and legal ramifications of selling your home. Have a market expert like me in your corner – I will take care of all the details, do all of the hard work, and help you navigate one of the largest and most important transactions you will ever complete in your life.