So let me start by removing myself or my company Kindred Real Estate from the possible pool of potential agents wanting to sell your home.
Now, selling your home on your own is done all the time. Many people have great results and don't have to pay an agent a penny - which can be expensive.
But many home sellers without agents find themselves happy with not paying a commission, but then learning that they a) undersold their home b) years later find out they are in a legal mess c) had no idea the amount of work required.
First, not all agents are created or dedicated equally. Unfortunately, there are some agents who think 'marketing' a property begins and ends with listing on MLS then linking to all of the other online sites (Trulia being one). This is NOT marketing, that is data input. So maybe, as others have suggested, your home was priced above market. But maybe not.
I would suggest start from scratch. Set up a meeting with a three different agents from three different brokerages. Ask how they are going to sell your home. Even have the meeting with them all together - you are hiring someone to sell one of your most valuable assets. If they say they do something, ask for physical proof.
Selling your home on your own is an option. But for 98% of the population, it is an option they will regret.
That said, you can try to sell your home on your own. There are many sites out there that will help you. I would suggest you try starting here: http://www.homesbylender.com/sandiego/ to list your home.
Find a Loan Originator to work with to help you pre-qualify any potential buyers to be sure they will qualify for a loan before you take your home off the market. They can also provide marketing materials & attractive loan option sheets detailing the interest rates, monthly payment, down payment & closing costs for prospective buyers.
Also, call a couple of title companies. They usually have someone to help you through the paperwork & can give you some tips.
Some real estate agents will help you through the selling process for a reduced fee, others won't.
Good luck on your home sale & please feel free to contact me directly if you have any further questions, I'd be glad to help.
All the best,
Roswell Moore, CMPS
Certified Mortgage Planner
We are a Direct Lender, Mortgage Bank where we originate, process, underwrite, fund, AND SERVICE our loans, in-house, with FHA (starting at a 580 score AND still only 3.5% down), FHA Streamline loans (NO minimum credit score, NO appraisal required) Go Green rehab loans, HomePath, Investor Friendly (10 financed properties), VA, USDA, Jumbo, Conventional, plus, we allow Escrow Hold-Backs!
1. Most importantly, put your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and offer a fair commission to buyer's agents (2.5-3%). If you search "flat fee MLS" you can find a list of brokers who provide this service (you can get it for less than $100, so don't overpay). By doing this you achieve two things:
a. Marketing Exposure. You get marketing exposure on all the high traffic real estate websites (trulia.com, zillow.com, realtor.com, and many more) as these websites get much of their data from the local MLS'. Not all real estate websites get the same amount of buyer traffic. Trulia.com, Zillow.com, and Realtor.com get roughly 50% of all real estate traffic on the Internet and you can only get on Trulia.com and Realtor.com by first being listed on the MLS. So for a small fee you can get broad exposure on the Internet, which is where 42% of home buyers find the house they ultimately purchased (see http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2012/10/nar-survey-of-h ).
b. Agent Engagement. By offering a fair commission you provide incentive for buyer's agents to want to show your home to their buyer clients. One of the big issues why FSBO homes can sit on the market longer is that buyer's agents will steer their buyers elsewhere if the seller is not offering a commission (and you can't really blame the agents for avoiding them in that case - everyone needs to eat). The second thing to keep in mind here is the natural reaction of home buyers when they see a home they want to view or put an offer in on - and that reaction is to contact a real estate agent. For those buyers finding the home they ultimately purchase on the Internet, 91% of them use an agent (see http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2012/10/nar-survey-of-h ). Again, if there is no commission to be made, the buyers will likely be steered elsewhere by their agent.
2. Have a MLS linked lockbox installed at your home so buyer's agents can show the property at their convenience. This is another service that a flat fee broker can provide. This achieves two things:
a. Accessibility. We provide this lockbox service to our clients and I have been amazed at the number of buyer's agents who call us and say they won't be showing the home to their buyer clients just because there is no lockbox. Buyer's agents want things to be easy as well and our experience has shown that some will not even bother showing a place if it involves having to setup an appointment with the seller. You are trying to create competition for your home and this limited expense can easily pay for itself if you get just one more offer.
b. Security. The MLS linked lockboxes limit access to only authorized card holders and the boxes track every entry into the home. When FSBO sellers place a key in a standard combination lockbox and give the combination out to just one person, they can assume that everyone has the combination as there is no way to control/track entry once the combination is out there. You will also be able to provide information to the flat fee broker on times the home is available for showing, which the broker will note on the MLS showing comments to other agents/brokers.
3. Have professional looking yard signs (if the local government/HOA allows this) and flyers made up and make sure the people in your neighborhood are aware you are selling your home. Distribute the flyers to your neighbors and co-workers and possibly even do an open house. Remember, your neighbors have the greatest vested interest in who buys your home and often they will encourage one of their friends to move to the neighborhood. 10% of buyers find the home they ultimately purchase from a yard sign or open house (see http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2012/10/nar-survey-of-h ).
4. Reach out to your social network (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter make this really easy) and let them know about your home being for sale. 6% of buyers find the home they ultimately purchase from a friend, neighbor, or relative. (see http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2012/10/nar-survey-of-h ).
Ok - do these four things and you will have covered the sources of over 95% of home buyers. We hope his helps - let us know if you have any questions and check us out if you need any more information.
1. Reap your top dollar in a competitive market
2. Maximize listing exposure to achieve your goal
3. Proceed professionally to minimize negligence, liabilities, and other potential legal issues
With these said, my recommendation:
-- Not just hire any agent, but hire one (preferably a Realtor) who understands your local market and knows about your neighborhood inside out.
I have a couple of questions for you:
1. What does a buyer look like? How do you know that the guy calling about the ad is a buyer and not somebody looking to case your home and come back later?
2. How do you know that the offer you receive is legit? Is that buyer really qualified?
3. How do you open escrow and who do you have the earnest money made out to?
4. What kind of disclosures do you need to give that buyer? If you don't provide the right paperwork can you guess what'll happen if that buyer decides to file a lawsuit?
5. Lastly, who are you going to call for the termite, appraisal, inspection? How are you going to let the world know it's for sale? Newspaper? Is that where all the buyers are looking? Craigslist? Maybe, Do you think that'll get you top dollar?
Yes it costs money to sell a home and real estate agents have been collecting a commission for 110 years because it's not easy at all. You need an agent that knows how to price a home to sell (not under market), an agent who knows how to negotiate to get you top dollar in this market, and an agent that can protect you and your family from costly mistakes. Check out my web reference below which spells out all the steps it takes from getting the home on the market to closing. Give me a call when you've made your decision.
Keller Williams Realty
The laziness of real estate agents is incredible. And you are paying for it. Have a look at a few dozen listings in any state across the country for homes in the sub 500k range.
Listings showing nothing but minimal photos, blurry photos, poorly exposed photos, repeating the same photos over and over to make it seem "more" is better to those who don't know the number game they are playing. Photos of homes in winter when it is clearly now summer. Close ups of irrelevant things or personal possessions in the home. OMG! And this is what I am paying my so called "professional" agent to do for me? You are supposed to know the legal ins and outs and requirements and you CAN"T EVEN OPERATE A CAMERA PROPERLY!!! Seriosuly!???
And who in the office are they delegating the photo uploading to? And THAT person doesn't mention...uhhh gee these photos are all blurry or the wrong season? Dumb and dumber at work.
If I had an agent post photos of my property like that, I would be LIVID!! That phone would be immediately in my hand and they would getting chewed out, up down and all around for pulling that crap.
Most agents are like lawyers, they are plain LAZY. Just get the seller to keep dropping the price until it sells. Gee, your lovely home has not sold for two months. Clearly it is overpriced. My 6 blurry photos are clearly showing how lovely the home is. Just reduce your price by 25k and I can collect my commission and move on. That's covers over 50% of "professional" agents out there.
The fear marketing tactic is a popular one. Oh the sky is going to fall on you and doom will prevail if you do or don't do this. Insurance companies LOVE the fear tactic. And so do real estate agents.
Paperwork? Not knowledgeable? Hire a real estate attorney to handle the paperwork. Preferably one who does a lot of residential work. For a small fee, they can handle the legal requirements.
If you are using an agent, you best do your homework and find the best in the area, especially if you are in a smaller town. They are out there amongst the lazy masses posing as professionals.
Screening people? That is a laugh. Most agents don't know how to screen anyone. And even if they ask questions, they are not hiring a private investigator to substantiate the statesments. ANYONE can walk into an open house or make an appointment. The agent doesn't care if you are a tire kicking neighbor, a local burglar casing the place, or anything else at an open house. They just want the sale for the least effort and hassle and to move on. Sell, move on, sell move on, rinse repeat.
Thankfully I had excellent agents recently who set the bar very high. And in doing so, expose the woefully inadequate masses that call themselves "real estate professionals."
Anybody can sue you for anything, real estate agent involved or not.
Don't succumb to fear tactic motivators. It's the oldest ploy in the book.
Educate yourself well, make a good effort,and price your home correctly. And it will sell.
If you are the highest price home in the neighborhood it is going to be more difficult unless you clearly blow away the competition. A couple of nice trees, and a new countertop ain't going to make it happen. And many upgrades are matter of taste. You may love black cabinets and bright yellow tile, but being unique is not always a good thing come time to sell.
Which means that you now have the Client your Agent used to have.
As Dr, Phil would say; "Let us know how it works for you."
The real difference boils down to 1 thing, liability. If you represent yourself and you miss something, the buyer can sue you. Part of what you pay a broker for, is to limit your liability.
If you feel 100% comfortable representing yourself, we truly wish you luck and want you to succeed.
Make sure you understand how real estate marketing works and what drive sales, not traffic. Yes, people have to see the home to purchase it. However, savvy brokers utilize much more than the MLS to market properties.
Best of luck to you,
Mark & Kari Shea
Shea Real Estate
Home Sales Specialists; New and Resale Homes
Property Valuation Specialists
Land Sales, Acquisitions & Consulting
Serving Greater San Diego
next to reach the widest array of buyers, since most will use an agent, offer 2.5% or usual percentage to the buyers agent. but mention in your home description, that if the buyer does not use an agent you will split the 2.5% with the buyer. that is win- win and gets rid of the buyers agent. some will insist on using their agent. your main goal is GET A BUYER, the added hassle of having to work with their agent is worth it if this agent brings you a pre-qualified bank approved down-payment ready buyer.
you will have to educate yourself on the local market conditions and legal disclosure forms and use a lawyer or title company as required by your state, nothing to be fearful of, just education and lining up professionals you want to work with. remember time equals money, so the more you put into it, the more you save. you are doing the work of two agents yourself.
whether you use an agent or not, clear every last piece of junk out of your house and make it look like a model home. like HGTV. put 3 sticks of furniture in each room. make it look like the buyer can just move right in and all the work is done. throw excess into a storage unit. the storage price and hassle is worth it because you will get more for your home once decluttered, and it will sell faster, once it looks like this. take excellent photos and post as many as you can online and on your MLS.
There are four types of Buyers:
1) First time Buyers. They don't know anything and they need an agent to help them through the process
2) Relocating Buyers. They are in a hurry and have an agent assisting them
3) Move up or move down. They have or will have their home on the Market. Most likely they have an agent listing their home so they will most likely be using an agent
4) Investors. These are the ones looking for a DEAL. They are only looking out for how low they can get the house. They will offer below market value and if it is FSBO they will also adjust an additional amount off that you would be paying an agent.
Which buyer do you think will be buying your home?
Price it right for the condition and location and make sure you are on the MLS.
All the best to you.
You can always try selling it for sale by owner if you want to put the time and energy into it. A great agent is priceless and a regular one - is a dime a dozen. So I can see why you would at least want to try on your own at first. Make sure you are ready to invest the time it takes and price it accordingly to what buyers will pay and not what you want out of it. If you do that, put it in the MLS and offer a buyer's agent commission - you've got a good shot at selling it yourself. BUT, having a knowledgeable agent can help you get top dollar and avoid pitfalls. It is up to you and you should take the following into consideration.
1. What would you do to market your own property?
2. How is your pricing?
3. Would you offer a buyer's agent commission?
4. Who would help you through the process and paperwork?
5. Do you have the time to setup the showings necessary for your home to sell?
6. Do you have a time frame in which you need to sell?
7. You had a bad apple for your first agent - have you considered interviewing others?
What are the main reason on why you'd like to try to do it yourself?
Best of luck - whichever direction you go.
But think about that 6% on a not-atypical moderate home in the SF bay area of $1,000,000. There's no way that the amount of work an agent performs is equal to that payout. Yet try to negotiate that with an agent. Go ahead, I dare you. They'll act like you asked them to give you their kidney.
THAT'S the issue.
Lots of good advice here! I would of course advice you to not sell one of your potential biggest assets on your own. You would have to have a marketing plan in place, a way to screen potential buyers and pre qualify them, knowing the contracts in and out, try to advertise your property on major websites like Zillow (that we agents pay a lot of money for per month to be premier agents). All agents also have E&O Insurance to protect you. Selling your home without a professional marketing expert and top notch agent might limit the exposure of your property which may result in less net dollars in your pocket.
But you could always give it a try and see what happens!
If you have any questions or need any help feel free to contact me:
Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices
These are the things that contributed to our success:
1. Price it right. Get an opinion from an agent, check recent sales on Trulia or Zillow, or pay for an appraisal. Some appraisers will do it for about $200 if it's not for an actual transaction. They'll do the same work, they just don't have the liability to the bank.
2. Get an MLS listing from one of the many services that provide access for $99 and up.
3. Offer a fair Buyer's agent commission. We offered 3%, so agents were motivated to show our property. So we didn't NOT pay commissions, just not 6%. Be exceptionally cooperative with agents trying to schedule showings. If you're a pain in the a$$ seller, don't expect professionals to want to deal with you.
4. Stage your house (even if you have to rent trendy furniture for a month) and if necessary, rent a storage unit to store all the extra crap you have that makes your house look cluttered. Have an unbiased friend give you their opinion of how it looks. Remember, very few buyer's can see beyond clutter and bad decor to see your house's potential.
5. Get professional photos. This is really important! The first impression anyone looking at the MLS will have of your property is through those photos. You want your property to be a "must-see" for everyone that views your listing. Marketing is the name of the game, and you want the maximum number of people possible walking through your house. I'm a pretty good amateur photographer with good equipment, so I took my own photos. If you take your own, get a good digital SLR with a super wide angle lens (12mm). You'd be surprised how hard it is to get an entire room into a single shot!
5. Have all your forms in order by the time you list. You don't want to be trying to find a sales agreement form online when you have a buyer in your living room. I found all of mine online, but the buyer's agent preferred to use the standard forms published by the California Association of Realtors, so I went with those. DO NOT try to reuse CAR forms from a previous sale/purchase, as it is copyright infringement.
6. Once you've got an offer, be prepared to drop whatever you're doing to deal with the issues that come up during the escrow period. Many things are highly time sensitive and need almost immediate attention. If you have a day job that prevents you from attending to these things, maybe FISBO is not the way to go. I was unemployed at the time, so I could do this.
7. Think of yourself as a real estate professional and treat the buyer's agents with the same respect you expect to receive. Yes, some of them are tools. Suck it up and work with them if they have a serious buyer.
Having gone through the process I have developed an appreciation of the work that a listing agent does (or should do). It's not easy work, and you need to understand that before you start. That having been said, I saved $15k, so the work was worth it.
The main question I have is why were there only a few showings? Typically, if there isn't activity it boils down to competition, price and or photos/detailed input so it shows on searches.
Check to make sure your photos are great and the MLS sheet is all correctly filled in.
Make sure your home is priced correctly. It doesn't matter if you have it for sale on your own or with a Realtor, if it's not priced right, it will not sell. Did your previous agent offer a 50/50 commission split or bonus? Was the wording correct and appealing for the home? Was the home easily shown and flexible to buyer's time frames?
Are there any factors to the home that may prohibit buyers from wanting to see it? Maybe lack of yard, parking, next to tracks, etc?
Selling it on your own is feasible, but many buyers are working with agents.
Those agents will be showing them homes on the MLS. You don't want to exclude a huge portion of the real estate market.
It's Feb 2013 and the market has shifted to a seller's market. If you haven't sold your home yet I'd be happy to share my marketing plan with you to get it done in 2013.
I work with the Ruth Pugh Team with Century21 Award (in Mission Valley). Our team sold 291 homes in 2012 and our goal is 365 closed sales in 2013 - we'd like you to be one of them!
Give me a call and I'll show you how the RIGHT agent makes all the difference!
The Ruth Pugh Group
I wanted to touch base and see if you did in fact sell your home. I am curious to know if you sold your Home yourself or hired an agent to do the work for you?
I can completely understand wanting to entertain the idea of selling your home your self to save on the commission. If you still want to sell and you would like a free Copy of my Book "How to Sell Your Home On Your Own in 2013" I am more than happy to email a copy to you or mail/drop off a Hard Copy. This Book breaks down step by step the process to Sell your Home for Top Dollar, and includes all the steps and checklists that an agent uses.If you feel you want to try this on your own, just call or respond to this email for your copy.
On average a Real Estate Agent will net you 17% more than selling on your own. If I could find a qualified buyer willing to pay a price acceptable to you that included my commission, would you consider such an offer? We have 5 San Diego Offices with a very lengthy list of buyers wants and needs. We have buyers waiting for the right home. I think in most cases, it is best to use the service of an experienced knowledgeable agent.You may just want to make it easier on yourself, your family and protect your assets from possible legal actions that may arise after representing yourself. Our Attorneys consistently revise the contracts and legal documents to protect all parties.
If you still want to sell, contact a couple of agents here and interview your favorites!
PS Call for the Free Book if you still want to attempt selling on your own~
Windermere Real Estate SoCal
If none of those work, consider a full service listing.
"How hard is it to sell your home on your own?" Piece of cake. Sometimes, a DIY project makes the skills of a pro more valuable.
What is important to understand is why the previous attempt was unsuccessful.
If you know the cause, and that cause if fully in your control...Piece of cake.
However, 'large for the neighborhood, tons of amenities, upgrades and income potential' suggests another problem. That problem could be a disconnect with reality.
Stick a sign in the yard and let us know how it turns out. You could hit the mother lode!
Best of success in selling your home.
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec, Palm Harbor, FL
Let's chat on -
5. Local economy, and of course,
So it IS possible to sell a home without an agent, but selling a house is not as simple as it may appear, nor are you likely to have the most satisfactory outcome of best price, smooth transaction, and reduced stress. Perhaps you should reconsider and talk to some other agents in your area who may have more feedback for you.
When you sell your own home, you are opening yourself up to a lawsuit. There are over 72 documents in a Real Estate Transaction now, because people sue people, for anything and everything that they can. A REALTOR can net you, on average, about 17% more than selling on your own. So if I can net you more than you can on yor own, is there any reason you would not hire a professional to do all of the work for you? So many great answers below as to why your home did not sell. Right now we are in the busiest time of the Home Selling Season, I reccommend finding an aggressive agent to get your home sold this time.
Our statistics show (National Association of Realtors) that the median selling price of a FSBO (for sale by owner) are 15% lower than a house that is listed with a Realtor. Homes listed with Realtors sell in less than half the amount of time than FSBO's
There are also legal issues when working a Real Estate Transaction (contracts, mandatory disclosures etc.etc)
These laws are continually changing and we, as Realtors keep informed by dooing this work every day. How will you protect yourself?
"In the day" being a successful for sale by owner was easily done. Simply stick a hardware store sign in your front yard and wait for the buyers. That was a time when buyer knew the best opportunity to save was by dealing with the owner directly.
Times have changes and so too has the real estate market. Buyers no longer view the best opportunities as "FSBO's." In stead today's buyers are chasing down short sales and foreclosures for huge savings and often opportunities that come your way only once in a lifetime.
So for today's FSBO the reality is, like all other normal sales, unless you can compete with your market's "distressed" sales, you will likely be waiting until you relist it wiith another agent and company before being able to recognize the success you desire.
Although I am inclined to agree with my colleagues who think most people would be better off working with a competent, ethical realtor, I don't agree with some of the reasons why.
Generally speaking, a realtor will not work harder for you than you will for yourself, will not get a higher price than you will yourself, will not represent your interests more effectively than you can, and will not garner the love and respect of buyers any better than you will.
Having said that, some of the reasons you've been given (e.g. by Michael, Neil, Chris, and Felix) are sound.
If you happen to have experience as an appraiser, you may be able to price the property correctly. If you happen to have spent your career in sales and marketing, you may have the skills to attract a buyer. If you happen to be an expert at negotiating deals, you may be able to represent yourself effectively. If you happen to have worked for years originating loans, you may be able to help a buyer navigate the treacherous mortgage process. If you happen to be an attorney, you may be able to prepare a contract that doesn't leave out any important provisions or disclosures. If you happen to own a title company, you may be able to ensure all the things that must be done between contract and closing are taken care of properly. If you happen to be -- I don't know -- a mom, maybe you can juggle all these responsibilities and more at once, along with all the calls from "prospects" who may not be qualified and real estate agents who want your listing.
Unfortunately, most people can't.
As Whitenk mentioned, there are a handful of brokerages that will handle the details you can't or don't want to for a reduced fee. Some even work by the hour. For the consummate do-it-yourselfer, that may be the best option. All others should seriously consider turning over this complex task to a professional.
If you did not get many showings in this hot market, then one of two things likely occurred.....either the home wasn't priced right...or the home didn't seem appealing on the MLS.
In either event, I'd be glad to offer a free consultation.
Have a great day.
1. Get your pricing right;
2. Maximize your exposure
A good agent will help you do both. You will not be able to replicate the reach of an established brokerage/agent with proven marketing reach.
I agree with prior poster. If your home didn't sell the first go around, it may well call for a new approach and possibly new resources to help you. But taking a challenging situation on yourself is not the answer. If you had surgery that didn't work, would your next step be to operate on yourself to correct it....probably not.
Stick with a pro - we are in business for a reason....because with our help, homes get sold.
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
I've met some extremely aggressive realtors that are excellent negotiators and sellers. That is what you want. Make sure they will do five other things that just list your home on MLS. Then you will have the highest probability to sell your home at the highest price.
And please listen to your Realtor. When they tell you to remove the cluttered home office from the dining room and buy a new dining room table, do it. When they tell you to clean the carpets, do it. They are trying to help you sell your home and they can't do all of it without your help.
The majority--I won't say the vast majority, but definitely a majority--were idiots who did very little but post an MLS listing and collect a check. Maybe a little help with negotiating the price.
All the comments here about legal disclosures, liability, etc. are just self-serving propaganda on the part of these agents. Having an agent is no guarantee that you won't get sued, and if you do get sued, the agent is not going to be the one dealing with it.
I'm talking about the majority of agents here. Now there are certainly good agents out there, people who do an outstanding job and are worth every penny, and for most people finding someone like that is the best course of action, because there ARE a lot of legal and financial complexities.
Unfortunately most of the agents out there are not of this caliber; they are people with some decent people skills who didn't want a 9-5 job and barely understand the documents they have you sign.
So should you hire an agent someone? Probably yes. Unfortunately it's true that the system is set up to make it extremely difficult to do this yourself, and most buyers want to use an agent, if you're going to end up paying 3% anyway, it is probably worth it to have someone represent your side. My best advice is:
If you really want to minimize costs, have a fair amount of experience buying and selling properties, and feel comfortable with pricing it yourself, check out some of the discount brokerage options, some of them will help you with the forms and listing, but charge a much lower commission.
If you don't have much experience with real estate transacitons, you are probably best off to try and find the best agent you can. be picky. try to find someone with experience specific to your part of town, who's been doing it for more than 5 years. if you're going to be paying full commission, you really do want someone who can get top dollar so don't take the first person you talk to.
The commission costs you save are usually expected by the buyer, plus you are limiting the number of buyers that will visit your home because most buyers want to work with an experienced agent to help guide them and provide assistance during the escrow process.
You have many good agents that have made comments to your question, so I'd suggest contacting one of them. Good luck on your sale!
Greater Good Realty
Also, do you have any idea what you need as far as paperwork to do a transaction and not get sued? There's a ton of paperwork involved and disclosure requirements, you'll just end up paying the broker who brings the buyer, because that agent won't do it all for you for free. Or, you can just take an offer from an investor who happens to be an agent, and you can bet it'll be way below market value.
If you want the most money, hire another agent. Even if you have to pay a few thousand in commission, you'll still make more if you don't hand $30,000 or $50,000 over to an investor.
Cory La Scala, REALTOR
Call me to have someone represent your interests!
Direct Capital & Real Estate Investments