Why do you have to be a "professional" to list your house for sale on Trulia? I would like to sell my home by owner.

Asked by Suzy Gallup, Hermosa Beach, CA Mon Feb 21, 2011

I wanted to list my house for sale, but it will only allow me to if I am a professional in realty.

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Kurt Ostebo, , Royersford, PA
Mon Feb 21, 2011
If you had a legal problem, would you proceed without an attorney? How about a tax problem—would you hire a CPA? Then why would you even consider trying to sell your home without the assistance of a real estate agent?

Real estate agents are licensed professionals trained to assist you before, during and even after you sell your home. A qualified agent can save you time and money, reduce stress and streamline the entire process.

Here are some additional advantages for working with a qualified agent:

1.An agent can provide you with current market information, such as which houses are for sale, what their listing prices are and how long they’ve been on the market. He or she will also help you set a realistic price for your home–to get it sold quickly, at the best price and with the least stress.
2.Your agent will recommend ways to improve the marketability of your home, such as fresh paint or landscaping to improve curb appeal.
3.An agent will market your home to both the general public and to other agents. According to National Association of Realtors statistics, 82% of sales result from agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends and family.
4.An agent will know how and when to advertise your property.
5.An agent will prequalify prospects so you don’t have to allow strangers into your home.
6.Your agent will help you evaluate offers on your home as well as negotiate the terms of the contract on your behalf.
7.When issues arise—as they do in every transaction—your agent will be there to help resolve them and keep the deal on track to closing.
8.Your agent will be there every step of the way, to guide you, advise you and ensure that everything goes smoothly.

CENTURY 21 Alliance has sold over 65,000 homes since our founding 40 years go. That averages out to be about 4 homes per day. Wouldnt you like your home to be 1 of those 4?
2 votes
Lance King, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Mon Feb 21, 2011

First, we are not in your area so this is not a pitch for you to hire us...

Before you go down the FSBO road, you need to know a few things about how it really works:

Most buyers don't want to deal directly with the owner, which means you'll have to pay a fee to a buyer's agent. And many buyer's agents won't deal directly with the owner since they end up having to do a lot of extra work for half the pay. So starting out of the gate you have significantly reduced your buyer pool. That doesn't help you sell your home.

Add to that the fact that many buyers don't feel comfortable asking the owner tough questions or relying on their answers, you have further reduced your buyer pool. More important is the issue of pricing. We have worked with many owners who started out trying to sell themselves first and almost everyone one of them started out way too high on pricing thinking they were allowing room for negotiating - instead they just contaminated the property in the market and either didn't sell or sold for much less than they would have if properly priced out of the gate.

Additionally, most buyers who are willing to make an offer without an agent are likely going to reduce their offer by the commission amount anyway, so in the end you're doing all the work on the sell side for the same or less money.

Admittedly there are a lot of people in the real estate business who don't bring much to the table in terms of marketing, negotiating, and offer strategy, but the ones who do will get you more money for you home than
you would otherwise, relieve you of the work of doing it yourself, have a comprehensive marketing plan that you could never come up with not being a pro, reach WAY more potential buyers than you ever could - some of the fsbo sites claim to put your property on the "MLS" but it's usually some other other website with the letters MLS in it that no one who is serious actually uses - and make sure that you have covered yourself in terms of liability by making sure you have disclosed everything about the property that you need to.

If you are still determined to do this yourself, you can use craigslist.com, fsbo.com (and others) and build a website - there are many sources for this - with lots of pictures. And while on the subject of pictures, are you a professional photographer? Does your camera have really high resolution and a super wide angle lens to make sure potential buyers can actually see the room instead of being confused by the photos instead?

The smart thing to do would be to talk with some local brokers who are active in the business, reputable, knowledgeable, and experienced negotiators. The good ones are usually busy so make sure that they have the time to do it right. In the end you'll be glad you did.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
2 votes
And then there are people like me who never want to deal with used car salesman i mean realators.
Flag Sat Apr 29, 2017
Suzy Gallup, Home Owner, Hermosa Beach, CA
Fri Aug 31, 2012
I am Suzy and after all your answers, of course I used a realtor! My house is SOLD!!
0 votes
Michael Magaw, Agent, Torrance, CA
Fri Aug 31, 2012
It would be nice to get feedback from Suzy to see how her FSBO went. I recently ran across someone who didn't see the need to use a Realtor. They decided to sell to their neighbor, but they needed help with the paperwork and the disclosures. They were willing to pay a modest fee for this service. Then they needed referrals for title, escrow, home inspector, termite, handy man, etc. The deal stalled out because the buyer, knowing there was no large commission, wanted to offer well below market. Finally after several buyers made low ball offers, they got one into escrow. Watching this process as well as the escrow was a great reminder of how much information and expertise a good Realtor brings to the table.
In the end, accounting for the low offers and the buyer wanting to share in the savings, the Seller got approximately the same net proceeds as they would have if had used an agent.
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sat Jun 2, 2012
Just realized I answered a very old question, but since most of the answers didn't even answer the question, or didn't answer it correctly, I decided to let my response remain!
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sat Jun 2, 2012
It's very simple.

Sorry, but Trulia is not set up to allow "for sale by owner" listings.
It is the way the company operates (contrary to what some have said below) - fsbo's cannot list here at this time.

Listings are fed here via various MLS systems across the country.

If you want your home to appear here, you can look into listing with a flat fee company who can place it on your local MLS. You would, however, have to agree to pay a commission to any buyer's brokers who bring in clients.

Another option as a FSBO, is Craigslist...or you can also list on Zillow.

Best wishes!
0 votes
Keith Kyle, Agent, Manhattan Beach, CA
Sat Jun 2, 2012
Hi Suzy,

Unfortunately it's a different setup for realtors and when we log in there is a "listings" section on one of our tabs in which we can submit new listings. As it's always in the upper right when I log in, I didn't realize that wasn't there for consumers. It sounds like you may want to contact Trulia directly as I would certainly assume that you can/should be able to upload a home as a for sale by owner. Let me play around with it on a computer that I'm not automatically logged in and see if I can solve the problem.
0 votes
marie horowi…, Agent, torrance, CA
Sat Jun 2, 2012
As long as you understaand that selling a property is difficult and involves many details .Also if the sales agreement is not totally accurate the owner risks a loss. In short it is possible to sell by owner but very risky. Its your call!
0 votes
Gloria Commi…, Agent, Hermosa Beach, CA
Mon Feb 21, 2011
Hi Suzy,

I dont think that you need to be a "professional" to list your home on trulia. BTW you can call a trulia customer service person and they can guide you.
However, this is one of the most difficult real estate markets in U. S History, Hiring a professional limits your liability. Many people try to list as a FSBO or "For Sale by Owner" and they end up hiring a professional realtor. Its proven that people that sell their own homes often end up netting less. Its difficult to navigate through the transaction alone. Please reconsider a local Professional to represent you and manage the 22 plus people involved in the transaction including, agents, seller, buyer, escrow, title, NHD company, Inspector, termite company, outside vendors (contractor or handyman), home warranty, brokers, marketing people, photographer, stager, advertising contacts, transaction coordinator etc. It isnt as easy as it looks.
Web Reference:  http://www.gcommiso.com
0 votes
Emily Knell, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Mon Feb 21, 2011
If you could, please send me some more info about your house, you don't have to give me the exact address.

Do you have an ocean view from any of the rooms or from the backyard? Has your home been upgraded recently? Is it a 1 or 2 story? Do you have granite in the kitchen or hardwood floors or wood shutters, newer carpet or windows? Also do you know what your lot size is?

Please email me directly, I won't look back on here for new answers. I have a buyer who's looking for a good lot size to build a new home on, near the beach (if it's a 1story, he may just add a 2nd story). I was trying to get him to build in Seal Beach, but it's too far south from L.A. for him.

562-430-3053 cell
Realtor Since 1996
0 votes
Dianne Langs…, , California
Mon Feb 21, 2011
I like the way you used the word "professional" in realty. Why do you believe that any buyer would choose to use something less? Most buyers don't have time to buy for a for sale by owner. I am a "professional in realty" and I use other agents to buy and sell. Best wishes on getting finding a buyer and getting the escrow closed. Trulia may choose to make their service available to those that are in the business professionally, because it may be viewed as a more valuable tool.
0 votes
Cricket Yee, Agent, Sherman Oaks, CA
Mon Feb 21, 2011
Hi Suzy, Hermosa is not my area so I am not trying to solicit you, so I just want to advise you to really consider hiring a Realtor. For some reason, Realtors have to reputation of "doing nothing" until you actually use one, then you see how much is involved with selling real estate! Let me be honest with you, I love to help my clients buy from owners directly because I can usually get incredible prices for my clients. Why? Because owners simply do not have the experience or the knowledge to know what top dollar is. You might have to pay more for a Realtor, but a good one will be worth every penny. They will get higher purchase prices for you, help you with contracts, disclose the info that is legally required ,and more importantly, solve problems that arise during escrow! It's like having a sore tooth-- you don't have to go to a dentist, but the only tool you have is pulling it! The dentist has the tools to solve the problem, just as we Realtors have the tools to solve problems that owner-sellers don't usually anticipate. Good luck!
0 votes
Keith Kyle, Agent, Manhattan Beach, CA
Mon Feb 21, 2011
Hi Suzy,

It sounds like the other answers you've gotten are really refering to the MLS and not to your question about Trulia. To my knowledge you do not have to be a realtor to list your home on Trulia for free. If you go to the tab at the top that says "Buy" all the way at the bottom is a tab that says FREE List a property. It's possible that it's different for a consumer and a realtor but I believe that option is there for everyone. There are other sites that will "syndicate" the listing as well and many of these sites will include Trulia in their syndication and that may be another strategy to take.
0 votes
Danny Tran, , Los Angeles County, CA
Mon Feb 21, 2011
In real estate have alot of requier and regulation, also it need to be same page with all parties involve. If you really want to sale your house, I may help you to do so.

Please contact me at information below.

Danny Tran
1289 W. 7th St
Upland, Ca 91786
0 votes
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Mon Feb 21, 2011
Hello Suzy, Trulia is really not(at this time) the right venue for you. Am sure there are websites like forsalebyowner.com or craigslist etc. Best of Luck and as somebody whose Sister lives in Manhattan Beach I am sure you have a great home! Best of Luck!!
0 votes
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