The main reason most Humboldt County For Sale By Owners go it alone, is to save on the commission. And I say if you can do it on your own more power to you. However there's more to Humboldt County Real Estate than meets the eye. So I guess it comes down to value. I can give you a list of over 50 to 75 tasks that I do for my sellers before, during and after the sale. A lot of it is behind the scenes and I do try to present this information clearly when meeting with a potential home owner who's thinking about selling their home in Humboldt County CA.
Several weeks ago I sat down with a lovely couple who had tried to sell their home in Trinidad CA with a local Realtor 2 years prior and they were unsuccessful. After sending them some information about the market, they gave me a call to see if they wanted to put the house back on the market after waiting 2 years. Needless to say the market was quite different now than 2 years ago, but based on our economy the likelyhood of them getting more for their Humboldt County real estate investment a year from today was slim.
So they needed time to ponder what was the best situation for them. After some discussion they decided to continue to rent their home and ride out the Humboldt County Real Estate market. Until I received a phone call from them yesterday. Stating they decided to go it alone and sell their home on their own. And luckily they attracted an interested buyer. "Good for You" I mentioned on the phone to them. But they called me because they know that there's a lot of footwork to be done to get the sale through. And they weren't exactly sure how handle the sale on their own. They considerrd whether to hire me to handle the sale.
Since I didn't list the home, and do the marketing, I offered them a reduced rate to handle the sale of their home. But there was hesitation on the other end of the line. They really wanted to save as much as possible and I can completely understand their situation. It's an investment and every cent they can get out of this sale is important - it is part of their retirement.
She considered using the lender or the title agent to help them through the deal. And here's what I said to her on the phone.
"Yes the lender might be able to guide you through the sale and maybe even the Title agent, however neither party deals with the ins and outs of a real estate transaction. Hiring a Realtor to handle the sale is like hiring a conductor for a symphony. There are all kinds of little details that must be addressed and handled throughout the sale."
Then it got me thinking about what we do as listing agents for our sellers. Here's a list of thoughts below:
1) Making sure the buyer really is qualified to buy and he gets a preapproval letter from a legitimate lender. And remember if the lender says he's going to help you - Who is he working for? He's working for the buyer...not YOU the seller. I'm not sure if lenders or title agents are really allowed to provide services that Real Estate agents provide. Not sure on this, but....
2) Making sure the contracts are written correctly to protect YOU the seller and explaining those contracts in detail to make sure you understand what and why you are agreeing to certain terms in the contract. If you aren't going to use a real estate agent than it's probably a good idea to hire a real estate attorney.
3) Making sure you understand, fill out and sign all the disclosures that you are required to provide the buyer per the state of California real estate law. So if god for bid the buyer comes back to sue you - hopefully if you disclosed everything you were supposed to and your agent was diligent in making sure every aspect of the sale was documented, including the conversations with the buyer - then it's going to be harder for this buyer to nail you on something. No guarantees, however you have a better chance of protecting yourself this way. The "I didn't know I was supposed to dislcose that piece of information" does not excuse you from the disclosure requirements.
4) Making sure all inspections are done and if there are problems creatively coming up with solutions to solve those problems so the deal doesn't go south.
5) Making sure the lender is on task and moving forward with the loan so we can close on the agreed time. I've run into lots of lenders who tell you what you want to hear and then in the end can not deliver the loan. None of my lenders have had problems, but other agents have told me horror stories.
6) Making sure the buyer gets his walk thru before the close of escrow, everyone gets to the table to sign closing documents and all funds, cash and loan are in place - keeping the escrow officer and title officer on task. These are just a few items to name on the list.
Hiring a Realtor to handle the ins and outs of a transaction is like hiring an event coordinator to handle your party. The question is: Do you want to be stressed at your own party, making sure the food and wine is flowing, the entertainment is keeping guests happy, etc. or do you want to enjoy the event? Same goes for real estate. Do you want to handle all the minute details that go into selling your home - no this is not like selling a Big Screen TV or a Washer and Dryer at Sears - it's more involved, trust me - or do you want someone who deals with selling homes day in and day out to take the reigns?
It's up to you and in the end it's your decision. Is it worth a few thousand dollars to have peace of mind and to know someone is handling all the major details of the sale or are you a do it your selfer who would rather be in the thick of it and save some cash?
Copyright 2009 Jessica Bigger. All Rights Reserved. *Humboldt County For Sale By Owner: Going it Alone or Getting Help*
Are you thinking about selling your Humboldt County Home and want a stress free sale. Give me a call and we can chat about your situation.
Jessica Bigger RE/MAX Humboldt Realty - 707-496-5770
Disclaimer: The information provided herein is supplied by several sources and is subject to change without notice. California Coast Real Estate Blog does not guarantee or is any way responsible for its accuracy, and provides said information without warranties of any kind, either express or implied. Entries on California Coast Real Estate Blog represent the opinions and ideas of the author(s). California Coast Real Estate Blog does not express the views of RE/MAX Humboldt Realty or those of the broker.