Oct. 29, 2010

FSBO or Realtor: What's a Seller To Do!

Suffice it to say, this is one of the toughest markets to be in if you are a home seller.
A gluttonous inventory inundated with Short Sales and Foreclosure that are driving home values down, and a lack of buyers is prompting home sellers to choose self- representation rather than hiring a Realtor in an effort to maximize as much  profit as is possible in this highly competitive market. By  choosing “ For Sale by Owner” vs.  a Realtor's representation,knowledge, and skill , sellers are ultimately setting themselves up to lose much more than just commission's.   You could lose out on the sale itself.
Let's imagine that you put your home on the market, yourself.  After a few of months of doing your own marketing, open houses  (keep in mind apprx. 85% of buyers are now shopping online) and very little exposure, you do get a buyer for your home and a cash buyer to boot who promises a closing within 15 days, enough time to do an inspection on your home.   Hopefully you are knowledgeable about writing up contracts and have prepared a clear cut contract complete with all the necessary  contingencies and protections.
So, inspection is done and the buyer agrees to move forward with the sale of your home.  Oh, and imagine also that you have found the home of your dreams since you now have a buyer for your home.  Great ! The proceeds from your home sale will help you purchase your dream home.  So moving along and 3 days prior to closing the deal on your home the buyer notifies you that they don't have the funds and have at this point applied for a loan which will take at the least 4 weeks to close.  Yikes!  4 more weeks. And they're just letting you know now. You now have the job of notifying the seller of your dream home that this sale will have to be postponed (extended) due to your buyer's predicament.  But the seller of your dream home does not grant you the 4 week extension but instead will allow one week with non-refundable earnest money (they have a back up buyer) unless you can perform on this sale.  What would you do?
Imagine having to negotiate all this by yourself with no one to guide you, to counsel you, to be objective for you, to fight for you, to negotiate these offers on your behalf and with your best interest at heart.
Stop and think about  who you are allowing into your home.  How do you know this buyer is legitimate?  Have you screened them?  Do you know how to screen them?  These potential buyers that promise cash and a closing in a week, two at the max., any homeowner would get excited with this type of buyer knocking at the door. Common sense and reasoning are replaced with enthusiasm and eagerness and objectivity is lost.
Consider the many jobs a Realtor will do for you:
>First, Realtor's can be objective about your home, no emotions involved.
Realtor's, through years of experience, know how to talk to a buyer, know which questions to ask, know which answers are Red Flags.
>Realtor's know how to weed out the serious buyer's from the non-serious.
>Realtor's are skilled in their markets and know what the values are in their communities and therefore will know what your home should sell for.
>Realtor's are skilled in the art of negotiation and will work hard at getting the best offer and will strive to keep your deal from unravelling; we have a Fiduciary duty to our clients as well as your best interest at heart.
>Realtor's know how to ride the wave of anxiety when your deal turns south or you hit a bump in the road.  It is a Realtor's job to alleviate any worry, and help you think clearly and creatively.
>Realtor's also will be able to get your home the exposure it needs in order to capture the right buyer.
>I consider my biggest job as a Realtor that of “hand holding”.  No one wants to go through something this major alone and that I believe is one of our most important jobs, Being There.
Consider the statistics.   In a 2006 study done by NAR only â€œ12% of home sellers chose to sell their home “ FSBO” style.  Of these 12%,   40% sold their home to someone they knew prior to the transaction.  This means that only 7% of these homes are actually open market FSBO transactions”
--Data from the 2006 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Your home is a major investment for you, these days on average a $200,00 to $300,000 investment if not more, at least here in Bellingham, WA.    You are willing to pay a Stock Broker or Financial Planner for guidance and investment services, yet willing to risk losing out on a sale or even a lawsuit over commission dollars.  To get the job done and done right, it "pays" to hire a licensed Real Estate professional.
And by the way, the scenario I painted above is a true story.  The woman chose to rescind her purchase offer rather than risk losing her earnest money.  The buyer for her home did not qualify after all and thus she lost out on the sale of her home.  She also was a skilled 20 year+ veteran in the Legal Field.  She eventually did entrust the services of selling her home to a licensed Realtor.

If you have questions regarding Bellingham Homes for Sale,  are a homeowner considering selling your home or a buyer in need of Buyer Representation, and want qualified and dedicated representation,  feel free to call me direct at 360-303-3898 or via email at roberta.soares@exprealty.com.
and remember, it"pays" to hire a Realtor!

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