After several years selling real estate representing everyone from first time home buyers to customers selling a house, there's one thing I can say for certain. Most people do not understand the real estate process and what role Realtors play in that process.
So I thought it would be a good idea to explain some things that you probably don't know. Unfortunately once I started writing, I ended up with too much for one blog post. This is part 2.
Now on to Sellers
So you think you're ready to sell your house. Maybe you're moving out of the area, or maybe you're just ready for a bigger (or smaller) home. No matter what the reason, there are some things you should know about the process as well.
Selling your home by yourself is not going to be easy. There's a reason Realtors get paid to do it. Realtors can sell it faster and for more money than homeowners trying to do it themselves. Why? Because they do this every day, and they know what they're doing.
In 2017, 91% of sellers used a Realtor to sell their home. Of the 7% that were sold For Sale By Owner (FSBO), the average sales price was only $200,000 compared to the $265,500 average price of a Realtor represented home. 49% of FSBOs didn't do anything to market their home to potential buyers, and 22% only used a sign in the yard. Of those who did choose to sell on their own, 17% said the most difficult task was pricing the house right, and 12% said it was understanding and completing the paperwork.* Those are both things a Realtor can easily handle.
According to Zillow, 36% of sellers try to sell on their own, but only 11% actually sell without an agent.** I guess the other 25% decide it isn't worth the hassle and hire an agent after all. Also in that Zillow research, 36% of FSBO sellers believe selling on their own will save them time, and that couldn't be farther from the truth. There are so many things involved in marketing and selling your home. Without an agent you'll either be skipping important steps (which will not help get the highest price), or you'll be doing everything yourself (which certainly won't save you time).
So what does all that mean to you? Well, if you can likely sell your home for more by using a Realtor, don't you think it's worth paying the small percentage for their efforts that also save you time and trouble? Let's not forget, most FSBOs end up paying half the commission to the buyer's agent anyhow.
Piece of Advice #1
Don't try to sell your home on your own. You will likely be frustrated with the time and expense involved in selling it. You will likely be even more frustrated with the paperwork, and you probably aren't going to save any money. You may actually end up netting less.
Ok you decided not to sell it on your own. Are there any options besides hiring a Realtor? Well, you may have heard of iBuyers. iBuyers are real estate companies who buy homes directly from sellers without the process of listing the homes first or doing any repairs. It's a convenient recent alternative to traditional listing, but it often comes at a very high price. A MarketWatch investigation of multiple transactions involving iBuyers showed the iBuyer offer would net the seller 11% less than sellers who listed on the open market.
If you think you'd still like to pursue this method of selling your home, I can help with that. Coldwell Banker just unveiled a new iBuyer program called RealSure. I'll be posting more about this program soon, but if you want to know more now, feel free to call me.
If you're like most sellers who don't think FSBO or iBuyers are right for them, you're going to need a Realtor. I'd like to refer you to yesterday's post for buyers under Piece of Advice #2. It's very similar to your second piece of advice.
Piece of Advice #2
Find out about the agent you are intending to have list your home. Google them. Read their reviews on sites like Rate My Agent or Real Satisfied. Look them up on Yelp. Look on Zillow to see what they've sold recently. Then call to meet with them. Did they answer your call or call you back in a timely manner? Make sure you like them. Ask to see the listing for some of their recent sales. Are they completely filled out with fantastic pictures?. Find out what all they will do to market your property. Professional flyers? Mail out postcards? Internet and social media ads? Magazine or TV exposure? Make sure the agent you hire to sell your home will go the extra mile to get your home sold as fast as possible for the most money.
One way Coldwell Banker agents can go the extra mile to sell your home is with our new all in one marketing system called Listing Concierge. With Listing Concierge, I can give you not only professional pictures and beautiful flyers, but also send postcards to your neighbors, run ads on social media and websites, get you magazine and TV exposure, and more. Watch for future posts about this program.
Once you've decided on an agent to help you with the sale, they're probably going to advise you on a few things like updates and repairs you should do prior to listing and staging your home to make it looks it's best. This is another reason to hire an experienced agent. They will be able to give you the best advice here. Maybe you don't really need to do some of the things you were expecting to do, or maybe there's a way to get those things done without paying for it until you close! Coldwell Banker has a great new program called Refresh that is perfect for preparing your home for sale. This program alone is enough to make hiring a Coldwell Banker agent worth it.
The last bit of advice I have for sellers is this. If the agent you hired to sell your home isn't getting the job done, if they aren't keeping you informed about the progress, if the home is just not getting any offers, reconsider your decisions. You may not be getting enough exposure in the market. The most likely issue, however, is price. You are probably just priced too high.
Piece of Advice #3
Make your agent show you what they've done to sell your home. Ask your agent to go over the comparable sales with you again. If you did a good job with the second piece of advice, you can probably trust what your agent is telling you. Listen to logic. It's probably time for a price drop. If that still doesn't get you offers, you may want to consider a new agent.
You will need to discuss this with your current agent. You probably signed a legal contract for them to represent you. Maybe that conversation will inspire them to do more to promote your property. They may be willing to cancel your agreement, however. If that's the case go back to piece of advice #2 and try again. Find an agent you feel really good about, and trust the advice they give you.
For more information on listing your property, follow my blog or give me a call.
** Source Zillow Consumer Housing Trends Report 2017