In March of 2006 an article titled Sellers Who Skip Brokerage May Be Losing Their Edge was published by Lew Sichelman, United Feature Syndicate.  I think the content is not only still relevant, but more necessary in today’s real estate market.  Below I will explain the article and add my own comments about it.  There are a lot of do-it-yourselfers out there, but there are great reasons why you should not sell your home yourself.  It should be handled by a professional full service real estate agent who knows the current market and can set your house apart from the competition. 

Some homeowners feel that they can save a 6% commission fee and sell their house themselves.  In a rich and lucrative market, it happens rarely.  In our current market, I never hear of being successful.  The 6% is usually made up for in the fact that a Realtor can negotiate for you, save you lawyer and document fees, and get more for the house than you would selling it yourself.  The reason Realtors can sell the house much faster is because they have access to a buyer pool.  Even if their buyers are not interested in your home, any Realtor can show the home and sell it.  So Realtors not only market to consumers, they market to other Realtors who have buyers with housing needs. Realtors also absorb the advertising costs.  On average, for my selling clients, I pay for Ads, Open Houses, Fliers, web traffic, multiple listing service fees, efliers, signs – that’s just the basics.  If you do for sale by owner (FSBO), you have to incur marketing costs and then try to get what you are asking for the house.  Usually only your immediate neighbors know you have your house for sale, unless you happen to have a house on a busy street.  Buying tiny newspaper ads rarely help a house sell.  Did you know that according to the National Association of Realtors FSBOs sell for an average of 16% below that of comparable properties who use experienced agents?  A poll of 7,813 buyers and sellers through county deed records found that the median price achieved by sellers with agents was $230,000 versus $198,200 for sellers without agents. 

No doubt there are sellers out there that will tell you trying to save comission can backfire on you.  Research by two University of Texas instructors found sellers realize little net gain when they use limited-service agents to sell their homes.  These agents cut costs by not marketing the property properly.  Usually, all they do is put it in the MLS System with limited bad quality photos.  I see those listings daily and they are painful because I want to go to those sellers and explain what’s happening, but I can’t.  That would be an ethics violation on my part.  So months go by and their house isn’t showing and they don’t know why.  A study found that limited-service listings sold for 1.7% less than full-service listings and took 17.1% longer to sell.  According to the Nation Association of Relators 87% of buyers are shopping online for houses.  So most FSBO are missing the majority of the buyers.  

In addition to finding the right qualified buyer and negotiating the deal to the closing table, FSBOs in the NAR survey also said they had difficulty in completing the necessary paperwork, staging their homes to sell, and setting the price.  Realtors really are worth the extra 6%, especially in a down market.

Todays consumers want virtual tours, maps, nice photos, neighborhood information, and details about the property before they ever contact an agent to go see it.  That’s why it’s important your home is being properly marketed on the internet and through traditional marketing so that it can be viewed by all the qualified buyers.  Selling your home with me makes it stand out from the competition.  Be sure to choose the right agent that will get your home out to a qualified buyer in the shortest amount of time – in any market!  Call me today for your FREE Market Analysis and to see how my marketing plan sets me apart from the competition.  You need to pay the 6% to sell, so you should choose the best agent that will do the most effective marketing and get it SOLD!

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