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FSBO - You just lost a buyer!

FSBO – you just lost a buyer!

My husband and I sold our 1st home in the early 90’s. It never even crossed our mind not to use a Realtor. We are both educated people. My husband is an engineer – numbers just dance in his head playfully. I, a marketing and Interior Design major. Put these 2 together – we make a great Realtor, right? We should have done For Sale by Owner!

It never once for a second crossed our minds to list FSBO. We both had full time jobs, and wanted a Realtor who was a full time, selling our home.

Fast forward to today – I am now a Realtor. A Realtor since 2002 and I realize the reason to hire a Realtor is more then needing a FULL Time Realtor to sell a home. Although your Realtor should be a full time.

2014’s Real Estate market is one we have not seen since I have been a Realtor. We have limited inventory, we have very low interest rates with the threat of them going up after the election. We have homes with equity if they bought the home when we were at our lowest. And we keep going up in values rapidly. We have homes with very little if any equity at all if they bought prior to the crash. There are a so many different situations out there right now.

When values were going down – people waited for the market to hit bottom to buy – but they never really knew when we were going to hit bottom till we started going up. They missed it! As it started going up fast! The same rule applies with values going up – many will miss the great time to sell, as they will wait too long!

Some want to sell now, and not miss this great sellers market, however feel FSBO Is the way to go. I worry about this. I worry about this for several reasons. As FSBO’s time on market is much longer then time on market on the MLS. I can list all the things we do as a listing agent – but there are many blogs and write up’s about that. Lets talk money.

How can you be sure you are getting the highest price possible for your home?

1. In today’s Real Estate Market – we talk the importance of hiring a buyer’s agent. We get a contract signed called “Buyers Agency”. With an agreed amount the buyer will pay the buyer’s agent – the shared commission from the listing agent usually covers this amount. So it may never cost the buyer a penny. However if they buy a FSBO this amount will come out from the buyer’s pocket. Therefore they are going to look for homes listed on the MLS. You just lost many buyers.
2. Grand Rapids is becoming the place to live – with national news always putting GR in many top 10 lists. Result, we now have many relocating here. Listing your home with a KW Realtor will assure your home listing will syndicate with thousands of home sites on the web. Yes the local MLS is great, but people relocating here they do not know that web address. You better be sure you are OUT THERE on all of the possible website’s. You just lost many buyers.
3. More sales fall through with a FSBO then listed with a Realtor. I had a home listed most recently in a neighborhood that was part of an association. As the seller and I discussed all possible financing we would possibly accept they wanted to include VA. They wanted to be sure a vet could buy the home with the great loan product called VA loan. However I had to explain that their home was in an association not approved by VA – therefore we could not accept this kind of financing. There are so many loan products out there now. Knowing them and understanding them is essential to assuring you are not wasting your time and will make it to the closing table. Knowing the Lenders and their reputation is also essential – we can advise! While you take your home off the market to only to find out the deal is not going through – you just lost many buyers.
4. Picture’s – oh man let talk about these! Pictures are now what are considered curb appeal first impression. Having a wide-angle lens that can show all the details of the homes is essential to getting every possible buyer into the home. I can not tell you how many times I have had to convince a buyer to take a look at a home I know will be perfect for them but they don’t want to go based on the pictures. So if your pictures are not fabulous you may not be getting the best buyers through your home; Buyers that may not be willing to pay top dollar may be coming through, They may be thinking I can get a deal on this home from the way it looks on line! You just lost many buyers.
5. Marketing – do you really have the time to do all he marketing that should be done to assure to get every possible buyer out to your home? Do you know all the marketing you should do? Do you know not only what homes sold for in the area, but also the most typical financing used? Which tells us who the typical buyer is for the area and we can adjust our marketing to fit this. You just lost many buyers!
6. Open houses and showings. If for no other reason let this be the one! I know you have loved your home and you want to tell the buyer why. You want to tell them all the great stories behind every wall – therefore you hover, you follow the buyer around thinking you are a great sales person. I need to tell you, this is the most uncomfortable situation EVER! The buyers need freedom to see themselves in the home. While you tell your great stories they cannot think, they cannot take in what they need to take in to decide. So they leave and probably leave thinking I cannot go back there, as they will follow me again! Hiring a Realtor assures you a Realtor will be there to protect your home, while allowing the buyer do what they need to do to decide if your home is for them. Other wise – you will loose this buyer!
7. Negotiations. This can become very personal very rapidly if selling FSBO. A professional Realtor will not allow this to become personal. We will work very hard to achieve your personal goals, but with no drama! Having someone to fight for you is much easier then trying to do it for yourself. A few years back I sold our own home. It sold in 3 days, and what a God send! My emotions were running high. I was rapidly putting my feelings in front of my good sense. Thankfully we sold fast and at full price and the buyers had a great buyers agent – so I just had to wait for the closing. However if this was not the case I can honestly I may of stood in my own way of selling my own home and I am Realtor! If I list again, I will co-list for sure. I need to make sure someone puts good sense back into the deal! Not letting emotions get in the way – you will loose the buyer!
8. According to the National Association of Realtor’s 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the average FSBO sales price was $174,900, while the average price for a home represented by an agent was $215,000, a difference of $40,100. So we are back to the money, above is many of the reason’s why.

Okay so you sold FSBO– can you honestly say you got the best price and best buyer for your home. You cannot – because not every possible buyer had access to your listing or wanted to see a FSBO! Don’t let this be you. Contact a Realtor today or better yet, contact The Gordon Group! We would love to discuss our 14 step-marketing plan with you! Plus we are fun people! We will have a blast too!