If you have a home in Brantford to sell, you might be toying with the idea of offering it “For Sale by Owner.”
After all, if you list with an agent you’ll have to pay a commission, and you’d really like to keep that money. And – how hard can it be to put a sign in the yard and give a few people a tour of the house?
You’re right. That part isn’t hard at all, but that’s not all an agent does. There are many reasons why you’re better off being represented by a full service broker.
First, the price needs to be right, and without access to sold prices, and/or the seller concessions that might have been granted, you have no way to know what buyers are paying this month. All you have to go on are the list prices you find on line or the gossip you’ve heard about neighborhood sales.
In addition, because you haven’t actually seen inside the houses you might be using as a comparison when pricing your own home, you don’t know if the houses you’re seeing offered for sale actually compare to yours.
But … what about Zillow? Can’t you just go there and find out how to price your home? No. Absolutely not. Zillow is often 30% or even 40% off. Sometimes they’re high and sometimes they’re low. But they’re seldom right.
Next, being available to answer your phone and/or show your house at all hours of the day is not fun.
Some FSBO buyers seem to have no sense about showing up early or late, or calling at midnight. Plus, since those buyers are known to appear without appointments, you have to keep your house “show ready” all day – every day.
Forget about going out for the evening, spending a day shopping with friends, going to a ball game, or simply curling up with a good book for a day.
Paperwork is another issue. Today’s purchase agreements are complicated, and the number of disclosures required by law is intimidating. If you forget to fill in a blank or enter an incorrect number, your mistake can cost you thousands.
Then there’s the safety factor. Letting unknown strangers into your home is dangerous, especially when you’re home alone.
But perhaps most important to you is the fact that homebuyer surveys show that For Sale by Owner homes sell for less.
Research shows that homes offered for sale without the assistance of a real estate professional sell, on average, for 13% less. In other words, the seller’s net at the close of the transaction is far less than it would have been with an agent – and meanwhile the seller had to do all the work.
Why do they sell for less?
One reason is that buyers want that commission money just as much as the seller does. They know the seller isn’t paying a listing agent, so they negotiate harder.
The second reason is that the longer a home is on the market, the more buyers begin to think there’s “something wrong” with it. Just as over priced homes become “stale on the market” and eventually sell for less, so do FSBO homes.
Why are FSBO homes usually on the market longer?
Simply because fewer potential buyers see them. For one thing, unless you can stay home all day every day, you’ll miss a few potential buyers.
But more importantly, your marketing doesn’t have the reach.
Today over 90% of home buyers search the Internet to find a home. Many of them have narrowed the choices and possibly even chosen the home they think they want before they contact an agent.
That makes it vitally important for listing agents to post professional quality photos and virtual tours, and to write descriptions that tell more than the basic facts about a home. Then we publish that information on our Multiple Listing Service site, our company site, our personal site, and about 40 or so other real estate sites. As if that wasn’t enough, we blog about our listings and share those blogs on a variety of social media sites.
In other words, we do all in our power to put our listings in front of every possible web-surfing buyer.
You, as a FSBO seller, don’t have access to all those sites. And here’s the most startling news of all: A survey of home buyers reported that only 10% ever visited a For Sale by Owner website. The rest didn’t even bother to check what might be available.
So when you’re ready to sell that Brantford home, call me. I’ll do all the things that are difficult for you – and get that home sold quickly and for top dollar.