"Anybody" cannot take "great" photographs, regardless of the equipment. There's a reason that there's an Annie Leibowitz monograph, and none by real estate agents.
"Anybody" cannot prepare their homes properly for sale. "What's to know, you just . . . do what I do, that's fine." Not fine enough.
And, "Anybody" does not know how to attract buyers to a property. School's out, so I'm not going to be holding class here. There are more than a few tasks that a good listing agent undertakes, and the higher the degree of skill, the better chance that the Seller will net more money.
But, that's only important if you are trying to get the best results.
I don't think it's immodest to suggest that I - or most any experienced pro - could do a better job listing real estate than virtually any FSBO out there.
Regarding the comment: "I halfway think Cheaposeller is actually an agent." Trust the other halfway of your thinking. I am not an agent but thanks anyway for suggesting that I may know at least half as much!
I share the cynicism expressed in many responses, even if for different reasons. I am a seller wondering why I need a listing agent. After speaking with three listing agents that actively sell in my neighborhood, I simply came to the conclusion I know as much as they do about the houses for sale/sold within my community. I already had all the "comps" with pricing history and actual sales price . So no value there. Can get all that info off the internet anyway. I am also familiar with the houses that sold, having been in them or knowing their history.
I got skeptical about the added value when two agents came with preconceived notions of a selling price BEFORE seeing the house. At least one said they wanted to first see the house and ask other agents in their office to come over and give their assessment. The other two simply took the square footage based on public records, multiplied by the average price per square foot over the last 1-3 months in our neighborhood and then factored in the average asking/selling price ratio in our neighborhood to conclude a price. They considered no other factors that make the house competitively more appealing...or unappealing, as the case may be. One suggested slightly under pricing the house. I did not share this opinion as there is no reason for me to do that and believe it will only fuel the downward price pressures already in the market. Anyone can sell anything that is priced low enough.
I know the market stinks, but I am not about to give away the property. I am not seeking anything other than a fair value in today's market. If I sell fine. If not, fine too. Basically, I am thinking to sell now so I have the flexibility to relocate as career opportunities arise over the next couple of years. I frankly do not think house prices are going up any time soon and anticipate they will probably remain flat for some time. I sense we may experience some short term fluctuations up and down, but I don't believe anything dramatic at this point. So I figure selling now...or two years from now probably makes no difference. Might as well go for it now and rent for a bit if I happen to sell sooner than later. Makes moving for career reasons a lot easier.
I am still looking for a compelling reason beyond "convenience" to use a listing agent. I'm kind of a DIY person. I won't do open houses, can list the properties on most web sites myself, am willing to pay a buying agent the "standard split", can stage the house myself (but am told I don't need to do this), can put a nice sign in front of my home (there is lots of buyer traffic), can write a great promo sheet takeaway, can even host a catered luncheon for the buying agents who I already know sell the most houses in our neighborhood. I also have a well-established real estate attorney to handle my docs (which I would do anyway even with a listing agent so no extra cost there). I also would not strand a buyer if four days before closing, a storm creates some damage as one respondent said happened to her.
I do not see what extraordinary capability a listing agent brings to the table...for my situation. I am open to changing my mind. Just give me more substantive reasons other than fear. Like my house won't sell unless I use a listing agent or bring into question my competence as a seller...maybe we should be referred to as "home owner" instead of "seller" as not to suggest we actually know what we are doing.
What about statistics regarding homes that are listed and marketed through a full-service agent that expire?
In these situations the Realtor claims the homeowner was unrealistic with price and the Seller claims the agent did not market the property well. Which just so happens to be the same reasons a FSBO does not sell... True?
We have not heard from Mack in this thread but a week ago Mack said:
"Well, if you price it low enough, and provide enough incentives to buyers, you certainly can circumvent the professional real estate machine." http://www.trulia.com/voices/Home_Selling/I_am_preparing_to_
If someone is able to do it (and smart enough to leave the house while it's being shown), it can be a good way to save money. If it were a system that so many people had 100% success with, it would be more popular.
Thanks for posting such a great question.
We receive a lot of questions like "HELP, my home won't sell" and that is when it is listed by a Realtor.
So what gives? Why are people having a hard time selling WITH a Realtor, and now you suggest using an MLS Entry Only broker that will list your property in the MLS for $XXXX?
I monitor the actual results of MLS Entry Only Brokers and Discount Brokers in my MLS. Here are the facts:
1. Listings taken by MLS Entry Only Brokers and Discount Brokers FAIL TO SELL twice as often as those of full service brokers.
2. When the listings do sell, they sell, on average, for about 2.75% LESS, when you compare list price to sale price. Funny, that's about the amount they sellers think they are "saving"....
3. When the listings sell, it takes longer for them to sell.
So, what good is it to list your home with a much greater chance of it not selling at all, and if it does sell, selling for less?
I just came across this thread.............for a topic that could stir up some excitement, it seems as though everyone has shared their thoughts and ideas nicely and politely..............how lovely!......I just wanted to say I enjoyed reading everything that was said..................
Rock - valuable input, as always..............even though you're not one of us :)
Mack - clever as always..............I might hire you to write my responses!
Lori, et al....so nice to see such nice replies from everyone..................(geesh, I feel like I am doing the 11Pm news summary here)
Anyway.................Cheapo (cute name - reminds me of a date I had once!).....Good luck with the sale of your home..................get back to us and report in when you're ready to close!!
All the best...........
Yes, you can see by my posts that I'm certainly not anti-agent. I'm more about truth in advertising. That brings me to the "dean of FSBOs" characterization of me in your post. Hopefully that was meant facetiously, because having only done one FSBO hardly qualifies me for that title. Maybe since the *Dean of Anti-NAR Type Propaganda is gone, I'll take the title of Temporary Dean of Anti-NAR Type Propaganda.
Rockin buddy, I don't think for a minute that you are anit-agent. Your own words go to that better than anything I could ever say. To be sure, you are probably the most learned seller I've come across regardless of how many or few properties you've sold. I meant no disrepect and believe you didn't think I did.
Still, you either have a lot of time on your hands because you really do have a lot of data at your command and that requires research. This is to say the least, uncommon for a private seller. I do wonder (though not really a whole lot) what your profession is or was.
My bottom line with any cheapo would be, don't talk about it, just do it. I mean really, knock yourself out. A FSBO may just get lucky and sell! All I'm saying here is that most and that means almost all FSBO's are not able to sell on their own for whatever the reason may be. There is usually a broker bringing in a buyer ultimately and that doesn't translate into selling on ones own.
Lastly, I certainly do wish cheapo the best of luck. Experience is the best way to learn.
Your reasons are valid and I respect your decision.
My question to you...What is your motivation?
1.) The thrill of claiming you were a successful FSBO or
2.) Saving ___% in commission. (Hence the title Cheapo)
3.) Combination of the above
If it's #2 - be sure to factor in your cost of advertising and the value of your time when evaluating your actual savings. I hope you are successful. I am not the gambling type - and although the odds are against you (according to design statistics) My money would be on you.
I still recommend that you incentivize the BUYER...not the Buyer's broker (bc you want to work with the Lori J's who represent their client's best interest - not those whose primary concern is pushing the product that lines their own pockets.)
I think you have gotten some great input. In return, promise us that whether you sell or you don't sell you will let us know.
GO CHEAPO! SELL THAT HOUSE!!!
Hope you are always available to answer calls for appointments . If you have the time and knowledge you can put it in mls and sell it.
I can pipe in on Cheapo's idea to offer bigger incentives to the buyer broker. That's would never work in my situation or many agents I know. it's a buyer broker's job to negotiate for the buyer. If a big bonus was offered, that would tell m e that the seller has wiggle room and I would simply knock that off whatever price my buyer and I had rounded down to (yes, it recently happened and yes, we got the price drop instead). I would never show a home just because a huge bonus was offered just as I would never NOT show a house just because they were offering less than my fee. I will get paid and my agreement with my buyer ensures that. If a seller is not offering anything, I'll still bring it to my buyers attention because we've already had the discussion that, at the end of the day, I will get paid by that seller or by them. Like I said, not many fsbos around but for those I have sold, about 3/4 of the sellers have paid me - the rest of the time my buyers did! The last 'deal with the seller' I did was interesting. As many agents find out, much of what the seller thinks they understand and agreed to in the contract becomes a challenge. The last one I did, I can't tell you how many times I had to say 'that's what the contract says'. I've only had a few deals like that but all of the sellers were very excited at contract time and gradually broke down and failed to show and perform towards the end. Guess who takes over and meets the utility people at the house, meets the contractors when the seller doesn't show? Storm damage 4 days before closing and my buyers have to move in? Guess who removed broken glass and windows and brought them in to have new glass put in? OK, I'm ranting now and off topic but I can guarantee you that agents working with seller have it tougher. Not only do we have to double our disclosures but our work is doubled. We mentally prepare ourselves up front and just dive in. Most of us will not avoid these seller's homes since they may be what our buyer wants.
Oh, and Cheapo's tossing around of words like 'dual agency' out of context shows a lack of understanding. just because there is an agent on each end does not mean there is dual agency. Dual agency accounts for less than 5% of my transactions. Well, time to get to work. Have a great day everyone!
The best of luck to you.
I agree with James' comment. Sellers should look at the Stanford report before going the FSBO route.
I do believe Horace's comments are misguided in that any reputable ethical agent is not going to show a house because the owner is offering additional commission. As long as the agent perceives that they are getting reasonably compensated for showing a property. Offering an additional 2% points will not get it shown more. What will keep it from being shown is that if a seller does not offer fair compensation. I would rather see the price reduced or incentives given to the buyer, rather than offering a selling agent 2% more commission.
Furthermore, most of the references you cited are very dated with some going back to the top of the market in 2004-2005 era. That was a differerent market.
I am removing my previous post. I should not have referenced the 6% commission charged by most agents. Some agents charge more, some agents charge less. I don't want this comment to be misconstrued and interpreted to mean AVERAGE or NORMAL commission. Commission is always negotiable between an agent and the seller.
If you're willing to extend a "larger cut to buyer broker" does that mean 3%-4%? if so, great. Of course, you're not that far away from 5% and many brokers would list and market at that percentage.
As the dean of FSBO's, Rockinblu said: "A knowledgeable pro can do a better job of marketing than an amateur. They also have the advantage of networking among other agents. This means they can generally do a better job overall in the promotion of the listing. Then comes the navigation process from offer to closing. Again, no contest. Yes, professionals in any field are simply better than amateurs, but better generally equates to costing more."
Yes, there is a premium to be paid for professional representation. We're on it constantly and you'll get premium service but again by all means, go it alone. Keep in mind that sometimes the cheap(o) comes out expensive. Best of everything to you moving forward!
A Seller has the option that you speak of and it may work well depending on your personality, selling skills and your availability.
You can incent the Buyer's agent and you can incent the Buyer as well.
Ex. Offer 3.25% Start rate by paying discount points at closing to Buydown the Buyer's interest rate/payment.
Calculate small cost for Seller and HUGE savings for Buyer:
Your question reminds me of the recent "Edward Jones Investing" TV commercial -- the individual was trying to save some money, called his doctor, and the doctor gave him instructions to perform heart surgery on himself - kitchen table, steak knife, you get the picture. Of course you can do it! But the question is, can you do it as well as a trained and experienced professional, and can you afford the consequences of not using a trained and experienced professional?
Here's another example for you. An agent in our office was scheduling homes to show this weekend to one of his clients. He had printed out about 10 possible homes to show, and then was sorting them by best fit, etc. I caught a glimpse of one of the homes he had ruled out, and asked him why. He showed me in the notes that it was a limited services listing, and the listing agent was referring all calls directly to the owner. His comment was "there are so many nice homes on the market, why would I even get into a situation of negotiating with an inexperienced and emotional homeowner, expose myself and my client to that liability, AND have to do both sides of the work for half the commission?"
Hope that answers your question. I'd be glad to give you more reasons to use an experienced professional to list and sell your house. Give me a call.
Teresa Cooper, Realtor(R)
And for those who do, what you're recommending is generally considered "flat-fee FSBO on the MLS"... (ie: you pay a flat-fee company a small fee to put you on the MLS, and you handle the listing aspects of the sale yourself).
If you feel comfortable with that... it's a great way to go. Most people, do not feel comfortable handling what is arguably one of the largest purchases/sales of their lives, without the assistance and guidance of someone who does this regularly.
There are certainly owners out there that have the ability and knowledge to sell their own home. Most do not.
The risk you take is although you may feel you are capable - real estate tends to be a "Murphy's Law" industry.
Many experienced agents know how to avoid potential problems where non-agents may not.
You take legal risks as well. Are you aware of the state and local laws and how they may affect you? Are you up to date on how to properly disclose?
If so...Go for it! If not - find a good professional.
The last thing I will add to this thread would be this; Based on all the current information out there regardless of where you hear or read it, one thing appears to be true. No matter where you are selling real eatate, if you are a broker or FSBO, the market will most likely take quite a while longer to see any appreciation. To me that translates into any owners "need" to sell and that need has many aspects.
Whatever the need is; empty nesters looking to downgrade in size, expanding family looking for more space, moving because of a job offer, divorce, etc. everyone has their reasons. My last thought here for cheapo is to make sure you have a need to sell and you're not just looking to see what you might be able to get. After all, it makes absolutely no sense to sell in a down market and there are probably a good amount of short sales and REO's in your vicinity that would be in direct competition to your home, let alone other listed properties.
In my market (New York City) we've seen prices soften, no question. The thing here is that this is such a strong market compared to the rest of the nation that we seem to be the last to go down in value and the first to bounce back. Still, no matter where you are from, this is a best time to buy.
Here's the IRS link for information on form 5405 regarding the Federal tax credit and who qualifies.
You can also download the form 5405 from the home page, left hand side where it says, "forms and publications."
Best to all my fellow agents and broker associates this year and good luck to all those who choose to do it themselves.
I meant "anyone" as a general term for "interested persons." Any person with enough interest in something can usually learn and efficiently undertake a given act, to a certain extent. Like take great photos, well, maybe not GREAT, but very nice photos. You'd be amazed what a good camera and lens will do without much effort. Add some effort into it, and we are getting places. Notice I did not say $100 camera. Sarcasm was sprinkled in my post. Hence the use of monkey, unicorn, and rainbows. I probably should of been more clear on that. ;)
I just briefly touched on a few things required to list a property. I didn't even get to the staging, full marketing, proper pricing, etc of a property. Since the original poster had already stated he wanted to know why to hire a listing agent other than the convenience of saving his own time. I wanted to shed light at the possibilities and troubles that can pop up.
Like I initially stated, I have TONS of opinions on this topic. I didn't want to ramble on about things, so I shortened things up. Nevertheless, it always seems like I end up writing more than I originally wanted to write. Like here too.
I do emphasize in my post how important an experienced agent is. I'm sure you and many other pros do a better job than most FSBO. I clearly posted that. I used nice words for us like "experienced" and "smart."
It's 2:40am here, I can't believe I'm still up. But I'm trying to wrap up a few BPOs that came my way.
But I'll still add my .02 cents! :) Like already stated by Joseph, I also believe in being honest and truthful. I also adapt to the environment.
Cheaposeller: To be honest, it does sound like you have the knowledge to sell your own home. The value of time comes into play for most busy people. You obviously have done research and have the time to take on your own listing. Most buyers don't. They just don't have the time to do it themselves or research all the information needed to sell a home. And that's if the process rides a rainbow the whole way while seeing unicorns prance in the distance. :) I myself could cut my own yard, fix my own car, diagnose a small medical condition. Does this mean that I will or should? Maybe, maybe not. It just depends on the scope of things.
The knowledge of an experienced agent is what really makes (a*) commission worth it. An agent isn't just 1, they are also the power of their team and broker. You should ask yourself what if the buyers agent comes back with repairs they need done after the contract? Or they want a credit in lieu of those repairs? Or offers a 21 day option period. Or only $500 earnest money? Or if you offer a BTSA, and if so, how much? Or countless other situations..... If you are experienced, you'll know the answers. If you research enough, you can also find things out.
Experience is key though. Any monkey can input information into the MLS. Anyone with a $500 camera can take great pictures. Anyone can submit listings to Trulia, Realtor, etc. But usually only an experienced agent knows how to deal with the problems that can pop up in a real estate transaction. You might get lucky and have a carefree transaction. Shoot, you might even find a buyer from calling your sign. Then save the buyers commission too. But what if things get a little rough?
Contrary to what most people think, not all real estate transactions are easy. There are a lot of behind-the-scenes issues that go on. Often times, listing a home is the easy part. When it goes into pending is when the fire starts getting hot. Another thing a FSBO seller should take into account is that an experienced buyers agent could probably walk all over a FSBO seller. I know I have to benefit my client.
Most FSBO are overpriced. But if you are smart, you will price it reasonably, and also market and stage your home properly. If you do, it will draw attention. The issue here is a smart buyers agent could probably put you into a corner to get an even better deal. When I say "you," I mean it as a general term. You could in fact be smarter and out do them
My post isn't meant to discourage or encourage you, rather just to inform. People have access to more information now thanks to the internet. You just need to know how to use it. All smart people adapt, new things come into play. Legalzoom.com isn't putting attorneys out of business, WebMD isn't putting doctors out of business. The same with buyowner.com or FSBO sellers. I feel the pie is big enough for everyone.
* In fact, I also believe that the value of a listing agent has changed. I will get flamed for this by other agents, but with today's smarter buyers and sellers, it's much easier than it was before. Experience is still key, but buyers and sellers are doing more and more research everyday. If you where to list your home with me, I value your research. Same with buyers, smart buyers do research. They know what they want and where. The new smart buyers and sellers are the reason why I offer rebates to my buyers and offer to list homes for half the commission. I know other agents hate this, but I think it's a good middle ground between flat-fee service and paying 3%.
With a smart seller, I earn a little less, but save a lot of time. Here is where that time value issue comes into play again. The same with buyers. They help me, help them. I share the wealth. :)
Just my .02 cents! Good luck.
i think i saw that colour on one of your listing pics and it is nice.
Cheapo, I did reread your post and something popped out about not really having to sell (if it sells, fine...if not fine). If your market is a tough one it's probably not the time to throw your home into the mix. I may be wrong, you might put it up for sale and get your dream price and terms but if your market absorption rate for your comps is long, it may be tough. Your market may be crawling it's way up or it could be just experiencing it's second waive of distress sales and it could take years to stabilize. Either way, keep us in the loop. You can always update this string in 4 months and kick off another 300 posts!
Look, if you don't care about the quality of the finished result, then it doesn't matter who does the work.
And if you want do to the work more than you care about the quality of the finished work, then, by all means, do it yourself!
In fact, Lori, I care so much about the quality of my postings that I've actually hired Calvin Trillin to do my postings. (Lie). Absolutely. Why should I, an unpublished non-author, write my own stuff?
Actually, it's because I like to do it, and I don't care that there's never going to be a "Collected Postings of Mack McCoy" in hardcover. Oh, and I have worked as a copy writer, so I guess there's the point that somebody has actually paid me to write!
But, part of the joy of life is being able to afford to do as you please, so if someone wants to try to play real estate agent, I'm all for it. Again, life is short.
Along the same lines, if somebody wants to try building their own cabinets, pave their own driveway - anything else where you're hiring the one person you know to do the job who nobody else would hire - life is short, have at it.
Everything in life doesn't always have to be about the money, after all.
Let us know how it goes. Maybe let us know your initial offering price and date on market then show us what the final close price and date are. For me, it would't matter if you were a fsbo or listed. If it met my buyer's criteria, I'd show it. Forget about agent incentives, just price it right.
I agree, any house will sell if you price it below the market value. I don't know who the agents you had contact with and who told you to price your house below the comps, but perhaps that agent was concerned that if you didn't price it competitively you will be chasing the market down. I don't even know what neighborhood your house is located in, so don't know what is on the market there. But if there is a lot of inventory, buyers may never even take a look at your house if it is not priced correctly. Their agent will pull up the houses in the neighborhood and find the least expensive ones for the square footage and just show them those (unless your house is overwhelmingly better and have excellent pictures, perhaps a visual tour, and wording that reflect that).
Most sellers are not as savvy as you are and cannot face the reality of the current market. They relate the current value of their home to what they paid for it, wheras that has little to do with it's value (especially if they bought in 2004-2005). But to put a sign in the yard, advertise in the paper and expect a buyer to find your house simply rarely works. Craigs list is a good resource for you. You can list it there and get some interest. You may even know someone (one of your friends that may be interested or knows someone who might like your home)
As I mentioned before, the way I sell houses is by networking and directiing my efforts toward fellow agents. I am very careful as to how the house looks on the MLS. Visit my listing of 433 Church St in Mount Pleasant in the MLS (MLS#2929274). It will give you an idea of what I do for my clients. There are 120-130 agents in my office, each one of those agents has several buyers at a given time. Personally, at the present time I am working with 4 buyers, but the odds of one of my buyers matching your house is very remote. So, to reiterate, I sell your house to other agents who each have buyers. I have the tools to find out which agents HAVE CURRENT BUYERS and are CURRENTLY showing houses in the price-range and area where a house is located. I check and personally call those agents and ask them to show my listings. You waste a lot of time and effort to stab in the dark a Them MLS is a great tool, but the MLS does not sell houses...agents do.
Open houses are an ineffective way to try to sell your house, unless it is an agent open house for agents who have buyers in the price-range of your house and want your area. I rarely do that unless the price warrants it and the features are substantially different from the competitive houses. Our company does a weekly sales meeting and caravan where we talk about our listings and then go and see them. I am very familiar with the market and am in houses almost every day. In the world of "vinyl villages" built by volume builders, most houses are very similar except for a few features and condition. I try to put my listings in the best condition and price them CORRECTLY to attract a buyer.
I can't , nor will I try to, convince you to list with an agent. You have to decide that for yourself. I don't know you so all I can do is give you the best advice I know how to. You can take that advice or reject it. If you feel you can sell it yourself and net what you want, I would say do it. I wish you all the success in your efforts.
Most FSBO's fail to sell, are pulled off the market, and are eventually listed with an agent. The statistics you see and cite do not reflect the overwhelming number of FSBO failures.
I repeatedly see the process that many FSBO's go through...first they put a sign out, price it according to what they paid for it, advertise it and try to sell it themselves. Sometimes they try several times. Afterwards they attempt to find accurate neighborhood data from either an agent or another source, realistically reprice the property, languish on it, reprice it again, list it in the MLS with ForSaleByOwner.com or another similar company. When they go through all of that, they list with a limited service broker, and if the house still doesn't sell, they then choose a full service agent. I prefer to work with sellers who have tried FSBO for awhile because they are serious about getting their home sold and will follow advice that will enable the home to be sold. Many times it is just a presentation issue. Sometimes it's pricing, but usually the seller has reduced the price to compete with the neighborhood coms. Only 3 things sell homes, price, condition, exposure. If one of those things is out of whack, the house will not sell.
With kind regards,
Obviously you do not understand or respect what Realtors do for their clients.
I am surprised at the results of that study in such a closed market. It just goes to show that a RealtorÂ® does add value to the sale.
When selling your home, your REALTORÂ® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace including price, financing and terms of competing properties. These are key factors in a successful sale of your property at the best price in the least amount of time.
Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSÂ® are properly called REALTORSÂ®. REALTORSÂ® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. They are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORÂ® business practices are monitored at local board levels. Arbitration and disciplinary systems are in place to address complaints from the public or other board members.
Your REALTORÂ® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer's proposal and then help write an appropriate legally binding sale agreement. Between the initial sales agreement and settlement, questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs may be required to obtain financing or a problem with the title is discovered. Your REALTORÂ® is the best person to help you resolve those issues and move the transaction to settlement.
Jerry A. Lorenz
Cell: 440 724 4402
Check Out My Real Estate Blog: http://jerrysrealestateblog.blogspot.com/