Are you thinking of selling your House For Sale By Owner? (FSBO)
Marketing a house today is NOT the same as marketing it 10 years ago. Even if you did this once before, you have to do so much more today than plant a sign on the yard and place a classified ad.
1. Advertising is more complicated. When is the last time you picked up a newspaper to search the classifieds? Years ago you’d buy the paper to see what houses were for sale or rent. A single classified ad run several times a week might get you enough calls to sell the house. Now it’s so much more complicated! Most Realtors don’t advertise in newspapers anymore because we know those ads DON’T WORK, and also because they are very expensive considering the lack of results.
2. Are you internet savvy? What does work is the internet. Buyers start their searches online now, months before they are ready to buy. When you list with me, I will put your property on the MLS which reaches out to thousands of Realtors in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, St. John, St. James, St. Charles, St. Helena, Plaquemine, Tangipahoa, Livingston, Washington, Ascension, and Baton Rouge Parishes. I’ll also use our corporate internet marketing to reach the public by feeding your listing to dozens of commercial websites including Zillow, Realtor.com and Homes.com. Can you do that?
3. Are you ready to pre-qualify a stranger who calls you on the phone? Before you even let someone cross the threshold, are you ready to ask them personal questions about their finances? …Or are you going to let just anyone walk through your house? How do you know if this person really has the necessary cash for a down payment, or if he can qualify for a mortgage? …Because he says so? Really? Not in today’s world! Furthermore, at what risk are you putting your family? Do you really know who these people are that are walking through your house?
4. What about pricing? Will you ask the same price for your house as the one down the street that was sold by a Realtor? If so, buyers will know your house is overpriced. They are far too savvy to pay a Realtors price, or “full retail”, without the benefits of working with an agent
5. Can you negotiate like a pro? Seriously… If a buyer walks in and asks “Can you go lower” or “Why are you selling” or “What is your bottom line?” – have you thought about how you will answer? This is not like selling a used lawn mower. This is your home! Will you waffle a bit and tell them there is room to negotiate? Will you tell them that you need to be moved in 30 days because you got a new job? Will you hurt your negotiating power by giving away too many details about why you are moving and/or how much you will really take?
Having an agent representing you gives you a buffer when it comes to negotiating. Perhaps if you don’t want to hire an agent, you should pay a lawyer to negotiate for you. Bottom line, don’t try this yourself if you even think you or your spouse might tell buyers too much personal information, or cave when they say your house is overpriced, or they can only afford ‘x’ amount.
6. And finally, what about all the legal work? If you do go FSBO, you should at least have a good lawyer. You will need someone to prepare the contracts that get you to a settlement. Particularly in LA you should not just go online or to Office Depot for generic documents. Laws are so different here and making mistakes are potentially disastrous financially.
Again, if you’re not using a Realtor, you’ll need an attorney once you find a buyer. And even then, the work is not finished. There will be various inspections (some optional, some required by law) with further negotiations over problems and repairs. Then there is the issue of the appraisal. Have you thought about what do you do if the house doesn’t appraise for your sale price? And finally, do you know about all the different kinds of financing or how to avoid title issues? It takes skill and know-how to actually get a sale to the closing table.
Real estate agents, the good ones, will put YOUR interests above theirs. They will negotiate fiercely to get you the highest and best price for your house. They will take care of all the legalities you’d otherwise have to handle on your own. The best agents are worth every penny to get your home sold sooner, with fewer problems.
So. Are you still thinking of selling your house by yourself? FSBO? Going FSBO because you think you can’t afford a Realtor, may just be the worse decision you’ll ever make…. kind of like performing your own heart surgery. Ouch! Fact is, you cannot afford NOT to have a Realtor working for you. Call me. I will do all I can to help you sell your house for the best price, in the shortest amount of time, and the least amount of hassle.