So You Are Thinking of Selling Your Home Yourself? (Part 4 of 5)

By
Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CalBRE Lic #01490977

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.

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Anonymous
Anonymous
I love your series Jeff.  It has added a couple of points to my fsbo presentation.  Can't wait for the final post.
Nov 28, 2006 10:51 AM #1
Rainer
51,441
John Hruska
Homes Charlotte, LLC - Charlotte, NC

Jeff,

Alot of great ideas.  I've enjoyed your series.

Nov 28, 2006 11:29 AM #2
Ambassador
1,892,820
Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360
Thanks, Keith and John. It has been fun to write, and interestingly has created yet another marketing FREE REPORT I can use. Plus it has made me think more about the value we, as agent, bring to the process. The challenge has been to try and keeo it from being too wordy (not sure I achieved that goal), yet putting the issues out there. I know I have missed other points that could have been added...ideas for a future post.
Nov 28, 2006 12:34 PM #3
Rainmaker
924,345
Tony Marriott
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Associate Broker, REALTOR
Jeff - This is really excellent information and certainly will catch the attention of those folks considering or already in the process of For Sale By Owner.  Don't you love their "REALTOR Wanted" signs in their yards?!
Nov 28, 2006 02:06 PM #4
Rainer
99,630
Kaushik Sirkar
Call Realty, Inc. - Chandler, AZ
I really appreciate this series.  I just forwarded your series to a friend who is thinking of going FSBO.  Thanks again!
Nov 28, 2006 02:32 PM #5
Rainer
10,754
Yael Warman
Right About Real Estate - Dania Beach, FL

Great post Jeff! This is definitely a wake up call to FSBOs who although may still try to give it a shot at seling on their own, may realize sooner than later that hiring a professional to assist them in the sale of their biggest asset is their best bet.

Also, if national statistics indicate that sucessful For Sale By Owners wind up getting about 9% less than they would have gotten if they had used a professional Broker, why skimp on 6% commission?

 

 

Nov 28, 2006 03:13 PM #6
Rainmaker
147,916
Jay LaGace
RE/MAX Realty Team - Cape Coral, FL
Cape Coral Real Estate - 239-443-8795

Outstanding series Jeff... Ya think an Agent from Florida could get permission from you to use some of this material???

 Patiently awaiting Part 5 ......

Nov 28, 2006 03:37 PM #7
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

Thanks for the feedback Yael, Jay, Kaushik and Tony. I appreciate your stopping by to read.

Jay - I am happy to share this. I have reformated it a bit so I can use it as a marketing piece and a report that can be downloaded from my site (not up on my site yet). if you would like a copy, let me know - I'll remove the logo. Thanks for asking permission - it's appreciated.

Jeff

Nov 28, 2006 04:22 PM #8
Rainmaker
158,751
Leo Namiot
www.LeoLends.com: CT Low Rate Mortgages - Waterbury, CT
CT Mortgage Lender - FHA, VA - CT First Time Home Buyers, USDA, FHA, VA
Great stuff, people don't realize how much work is involved in selling a home as well as the expenses that go along with marketing it.
Nov 28, 2006 05:17 PM #9
Rainer
26,344
Brad Patshkowski
Heritage Home Loans a division of Mann Mortgage LLC - Spokane Valley, WA
Home Loans Spokane, WA
I have not read all of your series, but I was wondering if you mention the advantage of haveing a lender working along side you.  I don't think people know how beneficial a lender can be to the process of selling a home on your own.  Thanks for the blog though, great information. :)
Nov 28, 2006 06:27 PM #10
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George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages Connecticut - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Most sellers think that you put a sign out in front of the house and wait for the phone to ring or for someone to knock on the door. They quickly come to the realization that the phone isn't going to ring and people are not just going to knock on the door. A lot of work goes into making those things happen, and I think that you have been doing a great job of detailing all of those steps so far. I look forward to your next one Jeff.

Nov 28, 2006 08:20 PM #11
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

Brad - Thanks for your note. That's a good point. However, my blog has been more focused on issues sellers should consider that might encourage them to NOT go it alone. But your post gave me a thought for a follow-up on my series - so stay tuned.

Jeff

Nov 28, 2006 09:06 PM #12
Rainmaker
147,916
Jay LaGace
RE/MAX Realty Team - Cape Coral, FL
Cape Coral Real Estate - 239-443-8795
Jeff, I would love a copy.. Much Appreciated!
Nov 28, 2006 09:09 PM #13
Rainmaker
138,618
Kaye Thomas
Real Estate West - Manhattan Beach, CA
e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA

Jeff,

Great series.. I just finished parts 1-3.. good stuff.  Sellers really do not understand that selling a home takes a lot more then putting a sign out or holding an open house.

Nov 28, 2006 09:20 PM #14
Rainer
262,843
Teresa Boardman
Saint Paul Home Realty - Saint Paul, MN
The idea cracks me up.  I am a REALTOR but would not sell my own home because I don't want to deal directly with the buyers or their agents on the sale of my own home.  I so not want to show it either.
Nov 29, 2006 06:51 PM #15
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