Every Real Estate Season there is always that seller who wants to save money, and often we see it when an owner is selling there personal home or investment property FSBO. Here are a few facts to think about when you’re thinking about selling your home yourself vs using a real estate agent.
- Real Estate Firms rarely take on agents who are selling homes part-time If you’re doing real estate part-time you’re not really in the market. A part-time agent isn’t seeing what else is on the market. Agents must know the product they are selling but often what else is on the market. Knowing a product means going to open houses, talking to mortgage brokers, talking to other agents. You can’t do that part-time. If an agent can’t do it as a part-time job why do you think selling your home without an agent will be that successful and a good value of your time?
Facts about FSBO
For Sale by Owner, properties take longer and bring in less money. Most FSBO still have to pay a commission. A Seller might have to pay a listing fee, but the buyer isn’t going to come directly in most cases. Most of the time buyers have an agent.
30% of For Sale By owners believe selling their home will save them time not using an agent. When you are not using an agent you’re doing everything the agent would do which includes staging the home, marketing, showings, open houses, getting a buyer in for home inspections, Scheduling smoke inspection. If the buyer comes with an agent then the agent can write up the offer. However, If the buyer comes directly you might have an issue you didn’t expect to have. Agents do all of this for a living so they not only can do this all quickly.
FSBO Listings attract fewer offers than agent-listed properties. Realtors have an extensive network of other agents they have worked with prior and their own buyers that they can tap into to get the home sold faster. If they are part of a larger firm like Gibson Sotheby’s which has 23 offices throughout the state of Massachusetts and is part of Sotheby’s International which has 990 offices in 72 Countries the home is bound to sell faster than an FSBO. The listing just has more exposure out of the gate. So FSBO home will have fewer offers to review and will be on the market longer vs selling it with an agent.
According to the National Association of Realtor, a third of sellers attempt to sell their own and end up listing with an agent.
Balancing Act of Selling home
FSBO Seller struggles to balance their normal life on top of the new job listing agent. Selling a home often involves cleaning, staging, listing, marketing, paperwork and that is all before the showings start. Once the listing is on market an owner must not only schedule showings, respond to inquiries, qualify the buyer and continue to market it through other channels.
Agents know how to sell houses and save seller money every step of the way. Selling a home is not a part-time job, it’s not a hobby for the full-time agent.
Knowing the market and planning for it
Sellers who try to sell their home on their own have a difficult time pricing the home correctly. An agent looks at the home objectively without any emotional involvement. Seller is pricing the home they are attached to the home emotionally in some way. I have never met a seller who didn’t think their home wasn’t the best one on the block.
Sellers also have a tough time planning out a realistic timeframe when trying to sell there home. Many times a seller will commit to a closing date without really thinking about everything else. Seller is often thinking about where they are moving to and how they are moving. Seller often does not think about how much time the attorney might need, fire department, making repairs. Real Estate Agents think about that stuff often.
Why Sellers do FSBO and Why do Agents Succeed?
The biggest reason why sellers sell their homes themselves is that they don’t want to lose any money. Price your home is a delicate balancing act. List your home too high and the buyer will just bypass the home since they feel it’s not worth your price. The price you’re home to low then you’re leaving money on the table.
Sellers are often emotionally attached to the property in one way or another. Pricing a home should be a non-emotional activity. Agents are not emotionally involved in the property. Agents might be at times emotionally involved in the transaction, but they are often not emotionally attached to the property. Seasoned agents will look at what else has sold, what has come on the market. Savvy agents might price a home under what it should be so a seller gets more than one offer pushing the price higher in the end. They will often take into account the seller timeline and their motivation to sell. If a Seller has bought another home and can’t carry both homes an agent will approach a listing differently to get the target price a seller wants.
FSBO is not used to the legally binding paperwork that goes with selling a home. Agents are used to it and know how to explain it and execute it quickly. When a seller attempts to sell their own without an agent a property typically says on market 19 days longer vs using an agent.
Is your home being marketed?
Yes, most FSBO Companies allow the option to publish the listing on MLS and your home might be on Trulia and Zillow, but most real estate firms when you list with them it will go on MLS, Trulia, Zillow, Boston.com, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The agent’s social media channels, The firm’s media channels. You might have the ability to have your home on MLS but you won’t be able to see how often its viewed and won’t be able to reverse prospect ie reach out to those agents and have a conversation about your listing with the agents who look at it and don’t set up a showing.
COVID 19 Offered New Challenges
Doing physical open houses might not be able to be done, and instead, your home might have to enter the virtual world using 3D tours and video, and most for sale by owner platforms are not offering that technology or there is an additional cost you need to pay. If your home doesn’t have a video or 3D tour there is a good chance it won’t sell quickly or at all.
Leave it to the Professional
A Real Estate agent does earn their commission. The best agents make the job seem easy, and that is what you want. You want an agent who sells your home and keeps a calm level head with no stress. Agents don’t share with you all the hoops they jump through to get the showing done. They don’t tell you about the odd buyer who walked into the open house claiming they have the cash to buy your home till they check on buyer qualifications. Seasoned real estate agents do the leg work maxing your time. Agents handle multiple offers by looking them over and finding the pluses and drawbacks of every offer making sure you can pick the best offer for you.
If you’re tempted to sell your home on your own please use an agent. Be the guy who has there home on market less than three weeks and can focus on the things that matter to you and leave the heavy lifting to your agent.