This is the second in a series of posts concerning issues that sellers should consider if they are thinking about selling their homes without representation.
Time - Most sellers have no clue as to the amount of time it takes to market a house (ask any listing agent). And in a market that favors buyers, marketing times have increased dramatically to 3 months and often longer. How much time do you actually have each week (in addition to your job(s), dealing with your children, maintaining the house in showing condition AT ALL TIMES, grocery shopping and other errands) to spend returning phone calls, scheduling appointments and showing the home, preparing for and sitting open houses (sometimes NO ONE shows up, or only curious neighbors), preparing and running ads, calling buyers and open house attendees to get feedback, etc. And what are you going to do if you and your spouse both work and can't show the home during the week when buyers want to see it?
Objectivity - Keep in mind that this is your HOME and you are emotionally attached. Do you believe you can truly be objective when showing buyers your home, answering buyer questions, and overhearing them critique your decor and comment on every little defect they see? Are you going to sound desperate to sell when you are showing your home? Most sellers have a difficult time being objective when they get a low offer even when working with a REALTOR - how will YOU respond when you get that ridiculous offer from buyers that "fell in love with your house?" Can you respond calmly or will you be offended? Or angry? And how will you feel and what will you do when the buyers ask for concessions and repairs on top of their ridiculously low offer? Believe me, in this market, buyers are looking for a deal and have no hesitancy toward requesting minor repairs and lots of concessions in addition to the offer that is what you paid for the home 3 years ago.
Disclosures and Paperwork - Have you sold a home before? Many states have rigorous requirements regarding paperwork and mandatory disclosures. Do you know how to complete the required paperwork correctly (for example, the offer to purchase in California is 10 pages - visit my website for a list of common seller forms for CA)? Do you know all the disclosures required by law in your state and what you MUST provide to buyers even though you are not represented by a licensed real estate agent (e.g., the TDS in California)?
It's a weighty and time-consuming task to market your own home. Stay tuned for the next installment, and please feel free to contact me with any questions.