Here's an interesting story from Karen Otto about her impressions of a For Sale By Owner, compared to a Realtor Sale during an open house visit:
First let me say, I am not a Realtor.
However, as a Plano Home Staging Professional, my business involves selling real estate. And even though I am not a Realtor nor selling my home one thing I do know is that selling a home yourself is not a good idea!
Let me explain.
Today I took the time to visit 2 North Texas open houses. One I was invited to as a professional home stager to provide some feedback on, the other I stopped in on my way home, just because I wanted to.
The first open house was a gorgeous home in McKinney, TX wonderfully presented by a top notch Realtor who was present at her listing.
Great food, marketing materials and even prizes (one was a free one hour consultation from yours truly: Home Star Staging).
I was able to comfortably tour the property and talk with the listing agent and provide some feedback which may assist in showcasing the home to its fullest potential. I felt free to comment and make any recommendations I saw while knowing I was not going to be offending the home owners but helping.
Fast forward about an hour to the next stop, a fizzbo...FSBO which is an acronym for "For Sale By Owner" for those home sellers who don't know what that means.
This FSBO was in my neighborhood and as I drove down the street I saw not only this listing but 2 others. I arrived just before the 3:00 PM end of the open house and was warmly greeted by the owner.
Before even continuing into the home I explained who I was and why I was there...
- I had been at another open house...
- I live in the neighborhood...
- I'm a professional home stager who would love nothing less than to see them sell their home at a great price to keep my own home value up!
I didn't want to fool him into thinking I was a prospective buyer and then bait and switch him at the end to get his business, that's not how I operate.
I was welcomed inside and the tour followed with two humans and one animal, feline in nature in tow.
More on the cat later.
As we went through the property I was given a lot of information on the rooms, features, upgrades and updates. I asked some of my own questions and was offered some more information, perhaps too much including:
- That the home was "priced higher than the comps"
- Who lived there
- Why they were selling and where they were moving
- How they used each room
- How long the home had been on the market
While I appreciated the information and honesty I was struck by the fact that this information can potentially be very damaging to the sale of the property.
Let's go back to the points above and I'll explain:
- Why tell someone the home is "priced higher than the comps"? This already sets the tone that you think the home is worth more than the neighboring comps. But what the market will bear (especially in the real estate climate we have now), not what you think its worth is the way a home a will sell. Even when you said "we're negotiable" (and it's even on the info paper) you've already created an objection - a huge one - in the buyer's mind.
- I don't need to know who lives there currently, in fact no one should know - from the family members you told me who are there right now, I sensed possibly a financial crisis of sorts, this leaves room, a lot of room for low ball offers.
- Never tell anyone, especially a stranger previewing your property, why you're selling or where you're going to move. Do you already have a house there and now you have two house payments? Are you in a hurry? Again, more room for low ball negotiating strategies!
- How you use each room for you and your family is great, however, if the rooms aren't being showcased for what they were intended for, don't assume that the buyer will know what to do with it once they leave. Make sure to identify each room clearly, especially if the room is an awkward layout.
- Days on market, especially for several weeks now and no offers tells you and buyers something, the house most likely isn't priced right &/or showing well... and you already told me it was overpriced...
Now about how it's showing...as a Plano home stager I'd be happy to also share with you my thoughts on how it's showing .. but that's not the point of this blog and I'm hopeful as I told you when I left today; "here's my card and if you aren't getting the offers or feedback you need please feel free to call me to discuss because I'd love for you to get a good price for your home so I keep the value in mine!" A home staging consultation is really a great way to get some important feedback.
Now about the cat...Cats and pets in general should never be part of your home tour! Many people do not like animals or the idea of co habitating with them. Allergies especially are a big concern for many. While your kitty was very sweet, my bare, lotion soaked legs did not take kindly to the fur I had to remove before I got into my car.
Home Sellers please please please re evaluate your home selling strategies if you're thinking of going FSBO. Even though I am NOT a Realtor, I can tell you in the current real estate market we have, unless you have the skill of a licensed Realtor (Or are one yourself) the money you think you'll be saving by going it alone isn't worth the loss the income you'll potentially gain by doing it the right way.
And Home Sellers...if need the name of a good Realtor or two, I know more than a few...
Home sellers do you need expert advice on preparing a home for sale ?
Home Star Staging is a qualifed, insured home staging company and we are always here for you North Texas!
- Pre-listing property consultations
- Post list "trouble shooting" property consultations
- Owner occupied property staging (utilizing owner supplied furniture & accessories or including some of our own inventory)
- Vacant & investment property staging (Full and partial rental furniture packages, accessories and staging services)
- Contact Karen at 496-964-0516 or Karen@homestarstaging.com