Pros and cons of selling your own home

So, you want to sell your own house! Well, before making that final decision, you need to consider the reasons why you might want to change your mind.

Sure, everyone knows you can save that much-maligned 6% commission, but seriously, in the long run, if you don’t really understand exactly what you’re doing, you probably won’t end up saving anything. Worse yet, you spend more than you would have saved!

Selling a house is not easy. There are reasons that states regulate the industry alongside agents and brokers: It is to protect the consumer from blatant fraud, stupidity, and ignorance on the part of sellers. It is quite difficult to do this with licensed agents and brokers, but it is virtually impossible to monitor what happens when a consumer is dealing with an FSBO (a home for sale by owner).

Selling anything involves a marketing plan, a financial goal, and experience in the field. Whether you’re selling car batteries, homemade brownies, or real estate, you need to fully understand who your target market is, where they are, and how to reach them. You absolutely must be able to establish a financial plan based exactly on the value of your home, how quickly you need to sell, and what happens if you don’t.

Putting your own home on the market means more than putting up that for sale sign in your front yard and waiting for your phone to ring! Your chances of reaching a qualified car traffic buyer are slim to none. Without a comprehensive marketing plan and sales strategy in place, you are doomed.

Top reasons to use a broker:

  • The houses are priced that includes that 6% broker commission. Buyers looking for FSBO know very well that you are not paying that commission, so they automatically deduct that money from your offer. Right off the bat, you’re not saving anything.

  • Do you know what your house is worth? Probably not! Consulting Zillow.com is not the answer. Without access to a system that displays “offsets” and without an understanding of how these offsets were priced, it is very likely that your home is not priced correctly. And by the time you find out, your perfect buyer has bought another property down the street.

  • Experienced real estate agents have qualified buyers who are really looking forward to seeing your home! You do?

  • Brokers have established proven marketing plans for the style of their home and neighborhood, and they pay for all this hype! (A good part of the agency commission pays for this marketing).

  • They will be able to advise you on any improvements that need to be made to add value and let you know what repairs you absolutely need to do to expect an offer close to full price. You may think you want to sell “as is,” but that doesn’t mean the home will be sold without many contingencies including the repairs and improvements that the broker would have noted.

  • They are experts in negotiating the offers! If you’ve never bargained for anything other than getting a free oil change with a new car purchase, it’s best left to an experienced broker. Many FSBOs unknowingly kill a deal because they don’t understand the nuances between a good offer and one that probably wouldn’t even get bank approval.

  • Your home needs exhibitions and personal exhibitions. An experienced agent will prepare the perfect open house for buyers and another for other brokers. There is no way that an FSBO can create this type of response.

  • FSBOs are known to have poor people skills. After all, there are people who walk around your beloved home making comments that are often not overly complimentary. (“Oh wow, look at that ugly bathtub!” Or “This must be the dirtiest rug we’ve seen so far!”) Sure, these are certainly insults, to say the least, but a qualified agent knows exactly how. Turn these negative comments and perceptions into a more positive experience. Homeowners are often not the best choice for private showing for this reason – they don’t handle rejection or negativity well, and certainly not without confrontation that usually won’t end well.

In the end, let the professionals do their job. They have the training, experience, and tools to make sure your home has the best possible exposure for the best possible price. Don’t make a costly mistake that you will never recover from!

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