Last week’s financial column discussed the many considerations potential investors need to address before taking the first step into real estate purchases. In many respects, a decision to sell a house on your own is a similar circumstance. There’s a lot to know, a lot to do, and in this case, compelling reasons to work with a real estate professional in most situations. This Team Move/OVM Financial blog offers some insights on potential pitfalls that For Sale By Owner (FSBO’s) are likely to experience.
Setting the price. The most important decision in the home selling process is making sure it’s priced properly. Too high, and the property stays on the market unnecessarily long. Too low, and the seller is leaving money on the table. Online home value estimators rely on formulas, but lack the analytical insights that experienced agents have, to assemble all the information and arrive at the right number.
Showcasing the property. Pictures, and in modern day real estate, video, are worth a thousand words. Hiring a professional who knows how to literally show a home in its best light is a competitive must. It’s not uncommon now for real estate agencies to incorporate drone footage and virtual reality tours of homes. An agent will know who to engage to make a home look great, and is also more likely to do a better job of emphasizing its key selling points when potential buyers are on site.
Marketing the home. Sellers who think a “For Sale” sign constitutes effective marketing will be sadly disappointed. Real estate agencies have the ability to network with motivated prospects and other agents, to place listings in widely-accessible databases, and even to introduce mobile device marketing and email alerts to potential buyers.
Dotting the i’s. Buyers and their agents, appraisers and attorneys will expect to have access to several documents, such as warranties, a survey or plot map, title insurance, utility bills and home inspections. An attorney needs to be hired to represent the seller. This is another area where an experienced agent can be invaluable in helping to organize paperwork and processes.
Although it may be tempting to try to save money by cutting out an agent’s commission, the trade off is rarely worth it. For more information on the pros and cons of retaining a real estate firm, versus undertaking an FSBO, please read this Team Move/OVM Financial blog.