Here is the 4th in the series of posts focused on issues that sellers must seriously consider if they are thinking about selling their homes without the assistance of a licensed real estate agent.
Exposure - This is a buyer's market, for most parts of the country, and a tough one (even for experienced agents) because of the significant inventory. In order to sell a home quickly and for top dollar, it is CRITICAL to have maximum exposure in the marketplace because of this competition. In many areas there are multiple, similar homes on ONE STREET for buyers to choose from. How will you cope with this?
- How will YOU get the exposure you need in this crowded market?
- Do you know what your target market is? And how to find those buyers?
- The MLS is only for homes that are represented by licensed agents/brokers (at least in our area), so you don't have this access without the aid of an agent (even one that does this for a fee and provides no other services). Many MLS organizations have thousands of agents so you will miss out on a significant buyer pool.
- Realtor.com, probably the most widely used site for home searching by buyers, pulls data from the MLS so you miss out on this significant buyer pool as well.
- How many potential buyers will truly drive past your For Sale By Owner sign?
- Will the marketplace even know your home is for sale? How?
- There are websites specifically for For-Sale-by-Owners, but other real estate websites will only allow agents to post their listings - so you are further limiting your exposure on the Internet
- NOTE: a study by NAR in 2005 showed that 79% of buyers were using the Internet to search for a new home, and that % has probably increased since that study was done. That's a huge buyer pool to miss out on if you don't have substantial Internet exposure.
Qualifying Buyers - A buyer who is not QUALIFIED to purchase is not a buyer - they are just a tourist in your home!
- Do you know how to determine if a buyer is qualified to purchase your property?
- Do you know the right questions to ask buyers to assess their qualifications to purchase?
- How will you know for sure that they are qualified and have the financial status that will satisfy mortgage approval criteria?
- Will you feel comfortable querying prospective buyers on their financial status? And what if they say they can't afford your home?
- How do you feel about showing your home to buyers who can't afford it (this means that buyers are just having fun dreaming, or are checking out your decorating sensibilities)? Isn't this a waste of your time?
Staging your Home - Your home really needs to stand out in this market where there are multiple similar homes in the same price range. Otherwsie why should a buyer choose OUR home?
- How do you know that your home is truly ready to show buyers? And if it isn't what do you do about it?
- Are you an expert in creating an atmosphere to encourage buyers to envision themselves living there rather than being distracted by your personal lifestyle?
- What mood does your home convey to buyers who walk up to the front door, or drive by? Is it welcoming? Or does it say something else? Be aware that some buyers will simply keep on driving if they don't like how a home looks.
- What do you know about the kinds of amenities buyers are seeking? Do you fit the bill? How do you ensure buyers are aware of these things in YOUR home? Do you know how to overcome the lack of these amenities?
- Are there any design or functional flaws in your home that can be repaired or altered to avoid turning off buyers? If they can't be fixed do you know how to get buyers to overlook these issues?
These are just a few questions you need to ask yourself as you consider whether you really want to sell on your own or not. If you need more information or have any questions, let me know. And stop by tomorrow for my wrap-up on this weighty subject.