Aug. 1, 2017
Trying to sell a home can take a lot of time. Without the experience it takes a seller could waste countless hours and still not be successful.
Even in a sellers market not every home will sell. Poor pricing, marketing and follow through will likely end in failure. An amateur attempt could end up damaging the perception of the home in the market place. The lure of saving that commission is strong, but many amateur home sellers don't prepare, and frankly don't know what they don't know.
Here are 7 factors home sellers over look when they try to sell without an agent.
1. Data Doesn't Equal Knowledge - Pricing your home correctly from the beginning is critical to a successful sale. There is a wealth of data available on the internet these days. Anyone can go find recent home sales. They are public records, and available on most county websites. But can the typical amateur home seller tell which ones are Arms Length Transactions? What is an arms length transaction anyway, and why is it important. An agent has access to the best real estate data, the MLS. An experienced agent knows how to process and interpret all that information correctly. Don't rely on Zillow or other site to give you quality information and data you need.
2. Negotiating Skills - Some people really enjoy negotiating, most don't. When confronted by an offer on your most valuable asset, how will you react to the horribly insulting offers you will likely receive? Inexperienced negotiators will often let their ego get in the way and lose the deal before it has a chance. That's one good reason why almost 90% of buyers hire agents, at no cost to themselves, to do the negotiating on their behalf.
3. Time. I think the thing most amateur home sellers underestimate is how much time will be drained from their lives that they will never get back. And that's whether they are successful or not, and the odds are against them. Tiling my patio looked simple job and doing it myself seemed like an easy way to save some money. I had never done it before so it took at least twice as long to do as an experienced professional would take. Now whenever I sit on my patio, I wish I had spent the money and had that weekend back. Here is the trap. The more time you have into it, the harder it gets to toss in the towel.
4. Preparation - Some of the things you do to prepare your home are common sense. Some are not. Of course, cleaning and painting go a long way in making your property easier to sell. Is staging worth the effort and expense for your home? Would you consider a pre-marketing home inspection? What will you need for forms and contracts if someone does make an offer?
5. Sales and Marketing - Talking isn't selling. Amateur home sellers tend to oversell their home. They talk too much and hover when they should let the buyer explore and image themselves living there. An experienced agent knows when to talk and when to listen. Marketing is putting together the flyers and getting awesome pictures taken and placing ads in the right places to attract buyers to your home. Professional photography is an investment that few amateur home sellers are willing to spend on. Awesome pictures is what attracts the eye to your ads and ultimately to create the curiosity to view the home in person. 3D photography is something many homes would benefit from but even fewer would be willing to spend the money on.
6. The Realtor Network - I said earlier almost 90% of home buyers hire an agent to represent them. Those buyer agents don't really want to show your home even if you are offering a commission. Why? Because of the risk involved. It is too easy for them to get cut out of the deal. So that leaves the amateur home seller to deal mostly with the investors and other bargain hunters.
7. Keeping the Deal Together - After selling hundreds of homes, I really think that the hardest part of selling a home happens after a buyer is found and a price and terms are agreed upon. This is were an experienced agent really earns their fee. There are a multitude of things that can make a transaction turn sour, or at least make it necessary for the buyer and seller to be in different rooms to sign the closing documents. What can kill a deal? Inspections gone bad. An appraisal that comes in low. Financing is denied. Open permits, code violations, title problems, the list goes on and on. It can be a very stressful time for all parties involved. An experienced agent knows how to tackle these problems in a direct way. They know how to be a diplomat or referee when necessary.
Saving the commission is more perception than reality. If you are cooperating with buyers agents, then you are only saving 3% or less. When you factor in your time, expenses, and all the headaches for an endeavor that has no guaranty of paying off, what are you really saving? Hire an experienced agent. It's worth it.
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