Home Selling in 60657>Question Details

Lakeviewguy74, Both Buyer and Seller in Chicago, IL

Advantages of using a realtor in my case?

Asked by Lakeviewguy74, Chicago, IL Fri May 16, 2008

I think realtors are preform a very useful service and are right for some people and some markets. But in my case, why should I use a Realtor vs. flat fee MLS?
-Condo is located in Lakeview, Chicagi. Easy to do market research and comps, so I don't need a realtor for a CMA
-Most homebuyers use the internet, the home would be listed on the MLS, the ChicagoTribune, realtor.com and a few other sites. So I would get internet exposure where I need to.
-I have a flexible work schedule, so I can show my home at any time.
-From what I have seen based on past sales, these types of units sell in a very narrow price range, realtor or no realtor (so the argument that FSOB are selling at lower prices is not valid in Chicago metro market)
As you can probably guess, I am leaning toward not using a realtor. Unless I am missing something, I don't see how using one would benefit. Rather than spending 10K on the sell side realttor, in this market, would I not be better off lowering price by 10K?

Help the community by answering this question:


I would say, given the circumstances, why not try? Unless you're in a rush, you can try first and always hire a realtor later. I would definitely mention buyers' agents are welcome and offer commission on the buy side. And definitely have a good attorney. We tried FSBO 4 years ago and weren't successful, but I think that in a place with easy comps and your ability to show it, you might be able to save a few $$$. We didn't have readily accessible comps (West Loop), weren't able to show it as needed, and eventually hired someone who did a great sales job. On our own, we were getting a few random inquiries here and there...with a realtor, we got more serious showing and eventually the offer.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 17, 2008
You seem like a very intelligent guy, so I only have a few things for you to consider:
You are selling to save the cost of commission, right? So you think that you will net more at the end of the sale, right?
I would suggest that you interiew a couple of real. live Realtors and ask them to prepare an estimate of seller's net proceeds to find out. You do the math, then you make the call.

A couple of points:
1. When you bought your home, you used a Realtor, right? Why is that? Because we work for "free". So do you think that most buyers use Realtors.? According the a 2007 survey the buyer that first sees the home they purchase sees it with a Realtor 90% of the time. So if you opt to omit Realtors, you are excluding 90% of the market.
2. Sellers that well without representation are surveyed annually by the National Association of Realtors which revealed:
86% of sellers eventually list with a Realtor
5% Sell to someone that they know personally
5% sell to someone that they do not know...that is probably you.

So your market is limited to 5% of the buyers
The survey also shows that homes sold without professional representation sell for 15416% less than if listed with a Realtor.

I did my own study on my MLS, and the stats hold true.

So, just to summarize, if your goal is to sell in the shortest time for the highest price, then you need to list with a competent Realtor. Otherwise, you will probably sell for less.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
Good evening Lakeviewguy74,

Food for thought ...

Find an excellent real estate attorney .. they'll cover you before during and after the closing.... agents aren't attorneys -- attorneys are attorneys..

..Agents make mistakes, and title companies make even more.

Many savvy buyers are going your route ... if you've done your homework, you'll be very successful.!

A question for Barbara Vance:

>>>Then there are negotiations. Like going to court and representing yourself, a seller will often leave money on the table.>>>

You are sales people, just like any other sales people - and you are on straight juice (commission) .. how does the consumer ever know the truth..?

They hook-up with an agent that's usually referred by Uncle Bob or Aunt Betty or their picture looked good in the paper ... they hear and see a barrage of information, most of it unimportant, while being consumed by emotional numbness ..

Then they're told this is a great offer, which gets transmitted to another stranger (the listing agent) which in turn gets transmitted to the seller, usually by fax ... and neither one knows each other .. and all this information is 3rd party - at best.

Aaah, I'm confused ... "where's the negotiation part..?" ... the buyer wasn't there, so they don't know what was said ..

Keep in mind .. most agents are coming of a 5 year stint where getting $3,000 knocked off a $300,000 home was a big deal .. that's called order taking - not negotiating.

: ^)
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 16, 2008
Listing below other units in your building and area is favorable. Be sure to watch for open houses and do one hte exact same day & time as other units in your area. I did this when I sold a townhouse and it worked very well. I got 90% of the foot traffic fromother units into mine. The Flat Fee services can get you into the MLS for as little as $250 plus pictures. All the other sites pull data from the MLS. Therefore, you will be automatically included in Realtor.com, Homes,Com, Chicagotribune.com.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
With price being everything, why not try it? You can always list with an agent if it doesn't work, but you appear to have the time to make it work, and the sense to offer the property at a price that is in line with recently sold properties.
Web Reference: http://optionsrealty.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 19, 2008
What is it with Realtors?? You guys are scared of the Flat Fee concept because you know its the wave of the future born via the Internet. Lakeviewguy74 read these responses carefully. Information being provided by agents is accurate. I am not an agent, nor do I have a vested interest in promoting any company or organization. However, I see that there are a number of Realtors who are providing you with FALSE information. We consumers now have access to a ton of information that allows us to do comps and trends for our areas. Most consumers search the web then take lisitngs to agents regardless of whatelse is being said. I've sold 2 properties in Chicago with a Flat Fee agent very successfully and have always done a 2.5% buyer commission. The Agents who do not know the Chicago condo market should remain silent on this question. I've noticed that there is a trend for several to answer all questions posted. To top it all off, information supplied to consumes is inaccurate.

Selling a Condo is Chicago is very easy, especially in Lakeview. Be sure to have a great Attorney to help you negotiate. All Realtor forms are public and downloadable. Save the money and do it yourself.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
answer for Tman,
No doubt there are people in all professions that put their own personal needs above their client/customer. SOME Atty's sell out their clients due to their special brand of time mgmt, SOME Investment counselors drive people towards funds that pay them better, SOME clergy are sexual deviants...i wish we knew your profession TMAN, so that our community could perhaps point out some flawed folks that do what you do. YES, part of our expertise is salesmanship. HECK if you took that attribute away from Realtors, our clientele would really suffer. I know too many ethical, moral hard working Realtors who are NOT effective salespeople and their propeties sell slower and in this market that could be damaging to the bottom line. MANY longterm Realtors have honed their skills at negotiations. Its a talent. Excellent intuitive and observation skills, similar to a professional poker player paired with EDUCATION in the field of negotiations. Additionally, a sincere caring attitude towards their customers and clientele rounds out the best of the profession. Longterm, one gets a great reputation as a trustworthy tool with added value. Personally, my clients are for the most part, wealthier than I and I learn from them. They trust my knowlege, my experience and my people skills. For that I am rewarded with a healthy practice that feeds my family and funds my retirement. I don't think I am so unusual. Thats not me being humble, If you poll this community I think you will find- for the most part- dedicated and skilled professionals who sincerely care about their customers and clientele and from whom I have learned much by being part of this community on Trulia.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 17, 2008
Thanks for all the responses. So far, no one has addressed my last point. So to expand:
I would like to sell quickly. Comparable units (same floor plan, finishes, location, etc.. ) are listing for $450K and selling at around $430. So I can list at $450K with an agent, or list at $437K with no agent (the 3% commission I am saving, I use to reduce the sale price). It seems to me, that in this market, being the lowest priced unit on the market should help me. sell faster than with no agent. In terms of exposure, would it not also help me stand out in MLS, Realtor.com and the other sites, by being on the low side in terms of price?
In my previous 2 home purchases: The 1st I used a realtor, but did the negotiating myself. The 2nd I did not use a realtor. The selling realtor agreed to reduce commission from 6% to 4% (she got 1% more for very little extra work). Very smooth process, got a great price, everybody was happy in the end.
So for now I will use a flat fee realtor and see how it goes.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
You're asking a forum full of real estate agents if they recommend not using an agent.
What kind of answer do you expect to get exactly?

Get yourself a good lawyer, set a fair price for your property - do your research and your homework on the building you're in so y ou're prepared to answer questions about your price.

From the scenario you've layed out - i don't think it will be nearly as difficult as some of the pros might lead you to believe. Then again - they make money off your property - so what do you think they want you to believe?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 21, 2008
Lakeview has a wide range of properties within blocks of each other and in many cases on the same street. Have you been in many of the units that have recently closed to compare with your condo? Even the slightest adjustment to a floorplan can render a unit less desirable than its competition and an agent that markets homes in the area will be able to tell you the pluses and minuses of your condo compared to the competition that may appear the same at first glance.
Overprice initially and your chasing the market from then on. Make no adjustment to the price and in no time you'll have a tainted property with extended market time that will only help sell the competition. A discounter won't be there to hold your hand (they'll be there to get the flat fee up front though before listing your home).
You're prepared to go with a discounter and offer a co-op to a buyers agent (the buyer is smart, they've gone with an agent that you're paying for). Why not give yourself the same level of expertise and guidance by hiring a Realtor to represent your interests?

Best of luck, Ken.
Web Reference: http://www.KDRchicago.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 21, 2008
Hmm interesting...

>>>>>>"A Realtor qualifies buyer inquiries and screens individuals before taking them to show homes. Do you want strangers coming to your home? >>>

Really .. and in what country might that be in.?

I've been in maybe 800 homes in 7 states and I've been asked for ID *twice* ... once because the seller was a famous county Coroner .. the other one was an Ex President.

>>>>>>> He took her purse, cell phone, keys and eye glasses.>>>

Sounds like Miami at lunchtime ... we've had shootings at Columbine and Virginia Tech and we're worrying about an agents knock-off purse and sunglasses...?

>>>>>>>A Realtor handles all the necessary legal forms to prevent a seller from legal issues and spends hours making sure the transactions is going well and without problems>>>

There's 1,500 very qualified real estate attorneys from Amelia Island to Hutchinson Island, that will do a very safe and quality transition for $1,500 or less....

>>>>>>>Lenders today are very difficult to deal with. I run into challenges all the time..it takes much of my time resolving lender issues to get my sales to close.>>>>>>>

If you have some $$ and good credit, you can buy ....

; ^)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 21, 2008
I can't believe y'all are jamming my mailbox in response to someone with an enormous chip on his shoulder. I don't need to justify myself to TMan, or to anyone. I bet he nitpicks his butcher, dentist, doctor, and banker as well. That's what happens when a person who considers themselves superior to others has too much time & technology on his hands. Please, let it go ~ it's just not worth arguing with him!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 21, 2008

Sounds like 2 hours and 37 minutes on the cell phone, another 2 hours in catching calls .. two tanks of gas at $3.60 a gallon, another 5 hours to cover the paperwork that the office staff does before the closing...

..Or.. we can pretend we went through the motion of 180 items - and wishing and hoping somebody was really naive enough to believe it.

Another great article: http://www.realestateradiousa.com/blog/2008/02/09/the-nation…


: ^))
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 19, 2008
Alex, a very good post.!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 19, 2008
**Chipping Away At Realtors' Six Percent
Lesley Stahl Reports How Realtors' Commission Fees Are Under Assault**

>>>"things are beginning to change. What happened to travel agents, stock brokers and book sellers – the encroachment of the Internet – is beginning to affect real estate agents. And the sacred six percent is under assault from online discounters">>>

Like I said, there will be many changes in the next 20/30 months:

: ^)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 19, 2008
Sorry Keith,

>>>Sellers that well without representation are surveyed annually by the National Association of Realtors which revealed>>>

Unless you've been in a coma or you just moved here from Tibet, nobody gives credence to NAR figures anymore, including the vast majority of agents (unless they're trying to find a job)..

maybe because of: http://wallstreetexaminer.com/?p=2115
or maybe: http://www.forsalebyownercenter.com/blog/2006/10/do-nar-stat…

And lets not forget: http://seekingalpha.com/article/48506-nar-on-temporary-housi…

Perhaps it's because: http://lawrenceyunwatch.blogspot.com/

NAR figures.? C'mon Keith ... even "you" couldn't print that with a straight face....

: ^)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 19, 2008
I am a believer that anyone can sell their own home. Just like anyone can defend themselves in court. Sure you can do it but did you do the best job? The best reason to have a realtor is for the unforeseen problems. A good agent should see them coming and avoid them. You might not be prepared for something and lose a good deal.

Another benefit is that they are going to do their best to protect you legally from any lawsuit in the future. By using all the correct paperwork, getting all the signatures and making sure you meet all the deadlines is important.

The last factor I always consider is how much time do you think it will take you in personal hours to sell your home? This includes driving out of your way for showings, waiting for late agents, answering phone calls, setting up advertising and then keeping the deal together. I don’t know what you do for a living but all these “quick” tasks take up a lot of time even for an experienced agent.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 17, 2008
Dear 74,

Deciding to use a Realtor depends on many factors, not the least of which is the practical experience a person has had selling properties in the past, present market conditions in your area and the property owners' willingness to commit time to the selling process.

You're correct about the ease of doing a CMA to determine market value, however I would suggest you consider the source of your information and its accuracy. A good Realtor will offer a thorough analysis of value that far exceeds your average boiler plate CMA that may well be lacking details germane to determining true market value.

You are correct once again about Internet exposure, however consider that a good Realtor will be able to showcase your property on the Internet in a manner and with an outreach far beyond the norm. The real question then becomes, how much and what type of exposure do you want?

You may be able to show your home with ease, but will you be willing to engage those looking at your home in substantive conversations revealing their intent, motivation, urgency and most importantly their true ability to buy your home?

I can't speak to how FSBO's are selling in your market. What I can tell you is that they are not selling in my market. Why? Because they are mostly significantly over priced. If you're willing to reduce your price by the amount of a real estate commission, you are a rare breed indeed. Nonetheless, expect buyers to want to negotiate a sales price far below what you ask, if for no other reason, other than you have no Realtor.

One last thing. The value of a Realtor should not be measured solely on how much you will save by selling your property yourself. A good Realtor will save you time, money and aggrevation in ways you may not have considered.

If money is your only consideration, you have answered your own question.

Good luck!

Downing-Frye Realty, Inc.
Naples, Florida
Web Reference: http://www.golftobeach.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 17, 2008
Aaah, I'm confused ... "where's the negotiation part..?" ... the buyer wasn't there, so they don't know what was said ..

It's likely that the buyer wasn't there because my intent is to shield my clients from the more negative aspects of the transaction. Deals have been made & broken over missed deadlines, bad loan officers & even appliances! People, pursuant to our human nature, tend to take these differences of opinion to a more personal level. By being removed from the "stake" of the negotiation, my colleagues & i are able to put things in perspective for all involved. We keep our clients on an even keel when they get upset & also keep the other parties at arm's length if they get out of control.

Say what you want, i have yet to meet an attorney who will call, without a retainer, the other side to argue over a washing machine that leaks, which i do until the deal is closed. The day i can find an attorney to take care of this minutiae without guarantee of payment is the day is resign my license & move in with you!

I think we all know that we don't need to defend our profession. Some people just like to judge others & that will never change. How often do we hear about mechanics and other skilled craftsmen? Yet, i don't think most of us want to learn basic car repair & buy the myriad of tools needed or get that dirty. Why is my profession one of those that the layperson holds is a harsh light? Because a handful of us just are not meant for this business. Like in any industry, one bad apple seems to tarnish the whole group.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 17, 2008
When it comes to selling your property even with flat fee MLS you are still not receiving the exposure you would using ainternet savy agent... My listings for instance go out on over 50 websites. An agent who has a good reputation will also attract agents who the've worked with in the past. As has been touched on by others there are so many other aspects of the transaction once you find the buyer that go sometimes unnoticed... And let me ask, would you take the amount of money invested in this property and walk onto the trading floor of the NYSE or would you use a professional told handle your investments.
Web Reference: http://www.fiorealtor.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 17, 2008
Agents...well said, but I would like to add that beside, the marketing, advertising,showing, negotiating, legal ramifications, etc...let us not forget that Realtors have client/prospect data bases that they can make personal connections in an effort to find a buyer. We also prospect for other Realtors who may have a buyer for the home. Networking with a client data base and other proffessionals, can make all the difference. It is not enough to simply place the listing in the MLS, there is much, much more that takes place in order to get a home SOLD! A FSBO is like any other do-it-yourselfer, whether it is a home repair or hair cut......you may be able to get the job done....but is will not be the same as when it was done by a proffessional in their field!
Web Reference: http://www.VassiSaviano.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 17, 2008
Sounds like you have already made up your mind. If you believe you can do the job of a Realtor from list to close, then you should do so. I would ask one favor, though. If you could update us on this website every couple of weeks or so, I think it would provide some valuable insight into the age old question, "Do I really need a Realtor to sell my house?"
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 16, 2008
I'd be more than happy to address the concerns of the poster giving my answer a thumbs down. Just reporting what I see out in the marketplace on a daily basis.

Thanks, Ken.
Web Reference: http://www.KDRchicago.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
A Realtor qualifies buyer inquiries and screens individuals before taking them to show homes.
Do you want strangers coming to your home?
In my area of service, Ormond Beach, Florida, a lady Realtor was robbed when a buyer ( man) asked her to show him a high end home. He provided details of his finances and drove a mercedes and provided proof of funds. When the Realtor showed him the master bedroom he walked in behind her and pulled her down and tied her up in the closet. He took her purse, cell phone, keys and eye glasses.

A Realtor handles all the necessary legal forms to prevent a seller from legal issues and spends hours making sure the transactions is going well and without problems.

Lenders today are very difficult to deal with. I run into challenges all the time..it takes much of my time resolving lender issues to get my sales to close.

There is much more to closing a sale than just showing a condo or house and then waiting for it to close.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 21, 2008
I wish you luck, Lakeviewguy74! I am a mortgage lender and have worked for the same bank now for over 19 years. I've been originating mortgages for over 30 years, so I kinda have a good handle on the industry. Coming from experience, I've had a few FSBO's go rather well when both parties (buyer and seller) cooperate and 'cover themselves.' Then I've had many more FSBO's that weren't so smooth due to the seller's lack of knowledge about how to market; disclosures; real estate law; contingencies; etc,etc,etc. Also, most buyers do not know how to protect themselves either and sometimes get themselves into trouble in the middle of the transaction.

For instance, let's say the home/condo doesn't appraise? Or, let's say the seller won't move out by the occupancy date? What is the seller took all the fixtures, mail boxes, etc---or didn't mow the lawn for three months? What is your buyer wasn't really pre-approved with a legit bank/mortgage company with a legit approval? What if the buyer no longer can buy your home/condo and they've given you a modest EMD and you've kept your home/condo off the market during 'hot periods' and wasted that time? How many 'no shows' are you willing to put up with and waste your time with for those who make appointments to see your home/condo and then don't show up? Happens a lot! Or holding an "Open House" and having little to no people show up----or just the nosey neighbors?

I am not saying that this doesn't go on with good, professional realtors and a good mortgage lender involved; but at least the professionals will know how to handle it. And these issues are either 'nipped in the bud' or just doesn't happen as often. I know when I get a FSBO (which I am very good at handling all the way around as a mortgage lender) I know I am going to have my work cut out for me from beginning to end.

Really, you do what you think you have to do. I just wanted to point some things out to consider while making your decision to either use or not use a professional real estate agent. I know I breath a sigh of reliefe when my borrower or seller has one!!!! Good luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 21, 2008
Hi Lakeviewguy74. It sounds like your situation may very well be one of those where you can indeed "list" your condo yourself. With any luck, you might even be the one to find the buyer yourself and then you can double-end it. There's no question that there are some people who may not benefit from a full service real estate agent and if you have the time and your schedule is flexible enough to do the job, why not give it a shot. I don't hear you say that you have any particular time pressure which means to me that you'd not really lose anything if the condo should not sell. Just don't get emotionally involved in the negotiation part. and don't lose sight of the big picture. Good luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 19, 2008
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in New Castle, DE
Realtor Role Final steps.... 180 Total........................
150 Negotiate payment and oversee completion of all required repairs on seller's behalf, if needed
The Appraisal
151 Schedule Appraisal
154 Provide comparable sales used in market pricing to Appraiser
152 Follow-Up On Appraisal
151 Enter completion into HomeTrackâ„¢
153 Assist seller in questioning appraisal report if it seems too low
Closing Preparations and Duties
154 Contract Is Signed By All Parties
155 Coordinate closing process with buyer's agent and lender
156 Update closing forms & files
157 Ensure all parties have all forms and information needed to close the sale
158 Select location where closing will be held
159 Confirm closing date and time and notify all parties
160 Assist in solving any title problems (boundary disputes, easements, etc)
or in obtaining Death Certificates
161 Work with buyer's agent in scheduling and conducting buyer's
Final Walk-Thru prior to closing
172 Research all tax, HOA, utility and other applicable prorations
162 Request final closing figures from closing agent (attorney or title company)
163 Receive & carefully review closing figures to ensure accuracy of preparation
164 Forward verified closing figures to buyer's agent
165 Request copy of closing documents from closing agent
166 Confirm buyer and buyer's agent have received title insurance commitment
167 Provide "Home Owners Warranty" for availability at closing
168 Reviews all closing documents carefully for errors
169 Forward closing documents to absentee seller as requested
170 Review documents with closing agent (attorney)
171 Provide earnest money deposit check from escrow account to closing agent
173 Coordinate this closing with seller's next purchase and resolve any timing problems
174 Have a "no surprises" closing and present seller a net proceeds check at closing
175 Refer sellers to one of the best agents at their destination, if applicable
176 Change MLS listing status to Sold. Enter sale date and price,
selling broker and agent's ID numbers, etc.
177 Close out listing in Programs Required
Follow Up After Closing
178 Answer questions about filing claims with Home Owner Warranty company if requested
179 Attempt to clarify and resolve any conflicts about repairs if buyer is not satisfied
180 Respond to any follow-on calls and provide any additional information required from office

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 19, 2008
Realtor Critical Role Steps Con't...
101 Submit ads to company's participating Internet real estate sites
102 Price changes conveyed promptly to all Internet groups
103 Reprint/supply brochures promptly as needed
104 Loan information reviewed and updated in MLS as required
105 Feedback e-mails/faxes sent to buyers' agents after showings
106 Review weekly Market Study
107 Discuss feedback from showing agents with seller to determine
if changes will accelerate the sale
108 Place regular weekly update calls to seller to discuss marketing & pricing
109 Promptly enter price changes in MLS listing database
The Offer and Contract
109 Receive and review all Offer to Purchase contracts submitted by
buyers or buyer's agents.
110 Evaluate offer(s) and prepare a "net sheet" on each for the owner
for comparison purposes
111 Counsel seller on offers. Explain merits and weakness of each component of each offer
112 Contact buyers' agents to review buyer's qualifications and discuss offer
113 Fax or deliver Seller's Disclosure form to buyer's agent or buyer (upon request
and prior to offer being made if possible)
114 Confirm buyer is pre-qualified by calling Loan Officer
115 Obtain pre-qualification letter on buyer from Loan Officer
116 Negotiate all offers on seller's behalf, setting time limit
for loan approval and closing date
117 Prepare and convey any counteroffers, acceptance or amendments to buyer's agent
118 Fax copies of contract and all addendums to closing attorney or title company
119 When an Offer to Purchase Contract is accepted and signed by seller,
deliver signed offer to buyer's agent
120 Record and promptly deposit buyer's earnest money in escrow account.
121 Disseminate "Under-Contract Showing Restrictions" as seller requests
122 Deliver copies of fully signed Offer to Purchase contract to seller
123 Fax/deliver copies of Offer to Purchase contract to Selling Agent
133 Fax copies of Offer to Purchase contract to lender
124 Provide copies of signed Offer to Purchase contract for office file
125 Advise seller in handling any additional offers to purchase that may be
submitted between contract and closing
126 Change status in MLS to "Sale Pending"
127 Update HomeTrackâ„¢ to show "Sale Pending"
128 Review buyer's credit report results -- Advise seller of worst and best case scenarios
129 Provide credit report information to seller if property will be seller-financed
130 Assist buyer with obtaining financing, if applicable and follow-up as necessary
131 Coordinate with lender on Discount Points being locked in with dates
132 Deliver unrecorded property information to buyer
133 Order septic system inspection, if applicable
134 Receive and review septic system report and assess any possible impact on sale
135 Deliver copy of septic system inspection report lender & buyer
136 Deliver Well Flow Test Report copies to lender & buyer and property listing file
137 Verify termite inspection ordered
138 Verify mold inspection ordered, if required
Tracking the Loan Process
139 Confirm Verifications Of Deposit & Buyer's Employment Have Been Returned
140 Follow Loan Processing Through To The Underwriter
141 Add lender and other service vendors to HomeTrackâ„¢ so agents,
buyer and seller can track progress of sale
142 Contact lender weekly to ensure processing is on track
143 Relay final approval of buyer's loan application to seller
Home Inspection
144 Coordinate buyer's professional home inspection with seller
145 Review home inspector's report
146 Enter completion into HomeTrackâ„¢
147 Explain seller's responsibilities with respect to loan limits
and interpret any clauses in the contract
148 Ensure seller's compliance with Home Inspection Clause requirements
149 Recommend or assist seller with identifying and negotiating with trustworthy contractors to
perform any required repairs
150 Negotiate payment and oversee completion of all required repairs on seller's behalf, if needed
The Appraisal
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 19, 2008
Realtor Functions in a Transaction Con't...
51 Research electricity availability and supplier's name and phone number
52 Calculate average utility usage from last 12 months of bills
53 Research and verify city sewer/septic tank system
54 Water System: Calculate average water fees or rates from last 12 months of bills )
55 Well Water: Confirm well status, depth and output from Well Report
56 Natural Gas: Research/verify availability and supplier's name and phone number
57 Verify security system, current term of service and whether owned or leased
58 Verify if seller has transferable Termite Bond
59 Ascertain need for lead-based paint disclosure
60 Prepare detailed list of property amenities and assess market impact
61 Prepare detailed list of property's "Inclusions & Conveyances with Sale"
62 Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items
63 Send "Vacancy Checklist" to seller if property is vacant
64 Explain benefits of Home Owner Warranty to seller
65 Assist sellers with completion and submission of Home Owner Warranty Application
66 When received, place Home Owner Warranty in property file for
conveyance at time of sale
67 Have extra key made for lockbox
68 Verify if property has rental units involved. And if so:
69 * Make copies of all leases for retention in listing file
70 * Verify all rents & deposits
71 * Inform tenants of listing and discuss how showings will be handled
72 Arrange for installation of yard sign
73 Assist seller with completion of Seller's Disclosure form
74 "New Listing Checklist" Completed
75 Review results of Curb Appeal Assessment with seller and provide suggestions
to improve salability
76 Review results of Interior Décor Assessment and suggest changes
to shorten time on market
77 Assign HomeTrackâ„¢ login and password for sellers to check progress
Entering Property in Multiple Listing Service Database
78 Prepare MLS Property Profile Sheet -- Agents is responsible for "quality control" and
accuracy of listing data
79 Enter property data from Profile Sheet into MLS Listing Database
80 Proofread MLS database listing for accuracy - including proper placement in mapping function
81 Add property to company's Active Listings list
82 Provide seller with signed copies of Listing Agreement and MLS Profile Sheet Data
Entry Form within 48 hours
83 Take additional photos for upload into MLS and use in flyers. Discuss efficacy
of panoramic photography
Marketing The Listing
84 Create print and Internet ads with seller's input

85 Coordinate showings with owners, tenants, and other Realtors®.
Return calls, (weekends Included)
86 Install electronic lock box if authorized by owner and program with agreed-upon
showing time windows
87 Prepare mailing and contact list
88 Generate mail-merge letters to contact list
89 Order “Just Listed” labels & reports
90 Prepare flyers & feedback faxes
91 Review comparable MLS listings regularly to ensure property remains
competitive in price, terms, conditions and availability
92 Prepare property marketing brochure for seller's review
93 Arrange for printing or copying of supply of marketing brochures or fliers
94 Place marketing brochures in all company agent mail boxes
95 Upload listing to company and agent Internet site, if applicable
96 Mail Out "Just Listed" notice to all neighborhood residents
97 Advise Network Referral Program of listing
98 Provide marketing data to buyers coming through
international relocation networks
99 Provide marketing data to buyers coming from referral network
100 Provide "Special Feature" cards for marketing, if applicable
to buyer's agent
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 19, 2008
The REALTOR®’S Critical Role in the Transaction
Listed here are the nearly 200 typical actions, research steps, procedures, processes and review
stages in a successful residential real estate transaction that are normally provided by full service
real estate brokerages in return for their sales commission. Depending on the transaction, some may
take minutes, hours, or even days to complete, while some may not be needed.
More importantly, they reflect the level of skill, knowledge and attention to detail required in today’s
real estate transaction, underscoring the importance of having help and guidance from someone who
fully understands the process – a REALTOR®.
And never forget that REALTORS® are pledged to uphold the stringent, enforceable tenets of the
REALTOR® Code of Ethics in their professional dealings with the public. Not every real estate
licensee holds REALTOR® membership.
Make sure yours does!

Pre-Listing Activities

1 Make appointment with seller for listing presentation
2 Send seller a written or e-mail confirmation of listing appointment and call to confirm
3 Review pre-appointment questions
4 Research all comparable currently listed properties
5 Research sales activity for past 18 months from MLS and public records databases
6 Research "Average Days on Market" for this property of this type, price range and location
7 Download and review property tax roll information
8 Prepare "Comparable Market Analysis" (CMA) to establish fair market value
9 Obtain copy of subdivision plat/complex lay-out
10 Research property's ownership & deed type
11 Research property's public record information for lot size & dimensions
12 Research and verify legal description
13 Research property's land use coding and deed restrictions
14 Research property's current use and zoning
15 Verify legal names of owner(s) in county's public property records
16 Prepare listing presentation package with above materials
17 Perform exterior "Curb Appeal Assessment" of subject property
18 Compile and assemble formal file on property
19 Confirm current public schools and explain impact of schools on market value
20 Review listing appointment checklist to ensure all steps and actions have been completed
Listing Appointment Presentation
21 Give seller an overview of current market conditions and projections
22 Review agent's and company's credentials and accomplishments in the market
23 Present company's profile and position or "niche" in the marketplace
24 Present CMA Results To Seller, including Comparable's, Sold's, Current Listings & Expireds
25 Offer pricing strategy based on professional judgment and interpretation of current market
26 Discuss Goals With Seller To Market Effectively
27 Explain market power and benefits of Multiple Listing Service
28 Explain market power of IDX and REALTOR.com
29 Explain the work the brokerage and agent do "behind the scenes" and agent's
availability on weekends
30 Explain agent's role in taking all calls to screen for qualified buyers and protect seller
from curiosity seekers
31 Present and discuss strategic master marketing plan
32 Explain different agency relationships and determine seller's preference
33 Review and explain all clauses in Listing Contract & Addendum and obtain seller's signature
Once Property is Under Listing Agreement
34 Review current title information
35 Measure overall and heated square footage
36 Measure interior room sizes
37 Confirm lot size via owner's copy of certified survey, if available
38 Note any and all unrecorded property lines, agreements, easements
39 Obtain house plans, if applicable and available
40 Review house plans and make copy
41 Order plat map for retention in property's listing file
42 Prepare showing instructions for buyers' agents and agree on
showing time window with seller
43 Obtain current mortgage loan(s) information: companies and & loan account numbers
44 Verify current loan information with lender(s)
45 Check assumability of loan(s) and any special requirements
46 Discuss possible buyer financing alternatives and options with seller
47 Review current appraisal if available
48 Identify Home Owner Association manager if applicable
49 Verify Home Owner Association Fees with manager - mandatory or optional
and current annual fee
50 Order copy of Homeowner Association bylaws, if applicable

More to come...

See Part 2 +
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 19, 2008
I think you framed your question perfectly; asking about the advantages of using a Realtor® vs. whether you can do it FSBO. As Realtors®, we often get testy when the concept of For Sale By Owner is raised. We take it as an article of faith that it should be obvious that you can't sell without a Realtor®. That someone questioning that is, by proxy, questioning us, our abilities, and our "career" reason for being. Congrats on a good question; a question every seller should ask.

So it sounds like you have a good handle on the market in Lakeview, you have a flexible schedule, and you are willing to do the marketing to make your home standout. You appear to be someone who is going to have success selling FSBO.

But most of the FSBOs I list are doing their best to sell their home. So why do they choose to use me and why do 70% of people who start out FSBO end up listing with a Realtor®?

When I list a FSBO, one that has really tried to sell their home, what I tend to find out is that they decided that the effort of trying to sell their home by themselves wasn't worth the savings. They started out with the best intentions, but over the course of time they got tired/frustrated with the process. It’s been a couple of weeks (or months) and their house hasn't sold. They question whether they are doing things right; pricing, marketing, staging, etc. (It’s the same thing that happens every January when I resolve to get in shape)

Invariably, I also notice that they started out with unrealistic expectations. If average market time is 180 days, they are frustrated when the home hasn't sold in 90 days. If market value is in a $20K range, it seems their always at the top of that range. So why do they do this? It’s not because their dumb; they tend to be bright people. They do it because they are "invested" in the sale of their home and that "investment" clouds their judgment. Some Realtors® do this too: they’re so invested in getting the listing; they'll take it at a reduced commission or at an unrealistic list price. I think its human nature.

But for sake of discussion, let’s say that you can be objective and unbiased about your home. That you (or you and your spouse) can acknowledge (if true): “there's 10 other homes like mine for sale in my neighborhood/building and mine is the 4th best; average market time is 200 days, but we think it could take 300 to sell; we know that it’s worth $400K, but we'll take the 5% off the top that FSBO buyers do and sell it for $380K". You can do this so you are going to be part of the 30% that persevere. So what are the logical reasons (outside of marketing/exposure) for using a Realtor®?

There’s one that sticks out for me; it’s so you have a “fail-safe” option when you do get a contract. Prior to contract, usually the worst thing that can happen is that you have wasted your time. Not so when you are presented with a contract. Assuming that you have negotiated the best price for your home (a concern in itself), once you have signed a contract you now have contractual obligations to that buyer.

With those obligations comes potential liability when a contract falls out. Your Realtor®, as mentioned in an earlier post, carries Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance. E&O, as defined by Insurance Journal, is “the insurance that covers your company, or you individually, in the event that a client holds you responsible for a service you provided, or failed to provide, that did not have the expected or promised results”. When you sell FSBO, you go without that protection. And while the unexpected rarely happens, when it does you are hit with the double whammy: you don’t have the training/knowledge to fix the problem and you are unprotected when that problem leads to litigation.

I break it down for my clients into 2 analogies. To me the marketing or selling portion of getting a home sold is like the choice between cooking a gourmet meal or dining out at a fine restaurant; both may end up tasting great, but I’d bet on the chef. The closing portion is like making the choice to have life insurance when you are 30 and have young kids. Odds are you aren’t going to need it, but what happens if you do and your family does? This is the largest financial transaction you may ever make, so how much risk are you prepared to take?

I apologize for the lengthy post, but selling FSBO can have significant ramifications and, as I mentioned earlier, it’s a topic that Realtors® usually don’t like to discuss. I hope that I have given you something to consider and I wish you good luck with your decision.
Web Reference: http://www.SoperTeam.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 16, 2008
I agree with the previous comment and think you have already made your mind up. I do find this, though sparingly, where more and more buyers and sellers want to represent themselves as a mortgage officer. In my opinion a good realtor is a great asset in your tranaction. You may be trying to avoid paying realtor commissions and want to do everything on your own. However, I feel at the end of the day it is certainly worth contracting a realtor to assist you. Because lets face it, they are knowledgeable, know probably almost every cities market conditions in every aera around their cities, and have very valuable information only they know through their experience as a realtor.

Another thing it's less time consuming, if I was selling my house, I would find it somewhat overwhelming without having one involved. It would probably take alot of time out of my day to reach my end result. However by putting it up on the MLS for a flat fee might get you what you want. I do know many sellers though who are having a tough time and their houses ahave been on the market for months....So the additional exposure may help. But you could very well be correct in your decision!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 16, 2008
Barbara makes a good point. An additional thing to consider is absence of Errors and Omissions Insurance. Agents carry E&O Insurance on all transactions, to cover any non fraudulent errors or omissions in the contract. Another thing to consider..security. With an agent, there is knowledge that the buyer prospect is at least qualified to purchase your home. Agents also know who the individual is (with rare exception). The question to note, is whether or not the person coming to look at your home is looking to buy the home, or to "scope you out". Realtors historically can do a better job with exposure than an owner can. And finally, a Realtor's job REALLY begins once a contract is signed. There are alot of details that are involved in getting Buyers and Sellers to the closing table. If you are planning to go it alone, for your own protection...consult a Real Estate Attorney before accepting a contract. Regards,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 16, 2008
Hi Lakeviewguy74,

Thank you for a well thought out question.

You say that you would show the propety yourself. ---There are many buyers who are uncomfortable looking at someones personal home when the owner is present. Often they are too embarassed to bring up objections, so they stay silent and the objections cannot be answered. When a buyer brings up objections its actually because they are interested!

Not all realtor.com entries are equal. A full service Realtor is more likely to have an enhanced presence on Realtor.com and may have access to websites the flat fee company doesn't.

Then there are negotiations. Like going to court and representing yourself, a seller will often leave money on the table.

Who will review the offer for you? Vetting the buyer to be sure they are indeed qualified, as many pre-q letters are not worth the paper they are written on?

Finally I don't know believe if I can that FSBOS get the same price as well represented sellers with a pro Realtor. Pricing doesn't measure bottom line. Many of the fsbos might be agreeing to give buyer compensation in the form of traditionally buyer-paid closing costs or other allowances.

Before making your FINAL decision, why not find via the internet who the BEST Realtors are for your particular area and style of home? Invite a few to view your home, they might give you some free tips on staging and further, might shed light on recent sales activity to prove or disprove your theories.

You have nothing to lose. Hope all works out well for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 16, 2008
Marketing & showing the home are at the forefront of our efforts. So much more happens once the contract is executed & the closing day approaches. Are you prepared to negotiate inspections, repairs, appraisals & loan approval deadlines? Are you comfortable handling the varied technical aspects? I am now a licensed Realtor in Florida, but have been a FSBO seller & buyer & can tell you i will never go through that again. So much frustration & disappointment that i could have avoided & for a fraction of the price of the homes! Also, please consider a co-broke fee for a licensed professional who brings your buyer to closing. You are just as likely to sell that way than to a private buyer, in most cases. Either way, best of luck to you! Vivian
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 16, 2008
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