Here is looking at you, For Sale By Owner (FSBO). You have decided that you are going to go about trying to sell your house all on your own. And why wouldn’t you when you could potentially save thousands on commission costs of a Realtor? So you go to FSBO.com, or any one of the number of do it yourself sites and spring for the, “Full Meal Deal” MLS package for $350. I mean, if you are going to do this, you better do it right. You notice that you must disclose Buyers Agent Commission in the MLS listing. You mean I have to pay the Buyer’s Agent? I didn’t know that. But you figure most buyers are probably going to use agents, and you don’t want agents skipping over your house if they won’t get paid, so you offer 3% assuming that is the going rate. But hey, you are still going to save 3-4%. Sweet.
You buy a few signs and use up all of the color ink in your printer making some great listing flyers for people to take from your yard. A couple Zillow, Trulia and Craigslist posts later and you are in business. Let the flock of buyer’s descend on your front door with full price offers in hand!
Soon the phone starts ringing off the hook. But wait, it is nothing but Realtors calling to see why you are selling on your own rather than with them. Not to show my house. The very people you wished to avoid are now all you are hearing from!
So, you decide you need to have an open house to some see actual buyers. But then find that you have just burned 2-3 hours of your day showing your home to people who statistically speaking, 99% of the time have no intention or means of buying your home. So you wait, and wait, maybe fielding an extreme low ball offer or two every so often. And meanwhile the perceived value of your home is going down the longer that “For Sale” sign is in your yard.
Sound familiar to those who have ventured down this path before? Of course it does, unless you are part of the lucky 10% of FSBO sellers who actually sell their house without the help of a Realtor. Don’t feel bad you other 90%, even the Founder/CEO of ForSaleByOwner.com was unable to sell his New York condo using his own site (http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2011/08/09/forsalebyownercom-founder-uses-agent-sell-home). It is hard.
With that story in mind, here are 7 main reasons why you should always enlist the help of a licensed Realtor whenever selling your home (and buying a home for that matter). There are many more, but to keep it simple, let’s stop at 7.
- Higher sales price vs. FSBO
- Marketing strategies = More money
- The longer it sits for sale, the more money you lose
- Buyers shop FSBO listings to save commission
- REALTORS are trained to separate the lookers from the buyers
- Center of Influence (people you know) sells homes
- Third party negotiations save time
I am going to expand upon a couple of the more important ones. If you want more information on the others, feel free to contact me and we can discuss them further.
The first is Center of Influence sells homes. According the National Association of Realtors, 43% of home sales are done through Center of Influence. In short, you have to know someone willing to buy the property. Duh…right? Not groundbreaking stuff. Buyers don’t just fall out of the sky. But what it means is that using a Realtor gives you higher mathematical probability that your home will sell because they have LARGE Center of Influences.
Next, and one that few FSBO sellers understand is that buyers shop FSBO because they want to save on commissions too. But wait, how can both the buyer and seller save on the same commission? The answer, they can’t. Buyers believe that with FSBO’s they can get a better deal because the commission has been eliminated, therefore the seller can take more money off the price because they are not paying an agent. No buyer is going to pay you the money you are saving on commission.
Last is that using a Realtor doesn’t cost you money, it makes you money. According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, using an agent on average nets the seller 17% more than FSBO. So the math here is that FSBO’s typically take 17% less on their house to save what is now 3-4% commission. Does that make sense?
In the end I hope all of this will help you know that the next time you are thinking about selling your home. Let the experts help you sell it faster, easier, and for more money!