Everywhere I look these days I see a FSBO, or For Sale By Owner, for those of you not in the "biz." The market is hot right now, at least the Richmond, VA real estate market, and everyone thinks they can DIY (Do It Yourself). I am often wondering why people take a gamble with their largest investment in life, their home. Is it because we make it look so easy, this real estate thing? All we do is stick a sign in the yard and let the offers roll in, right? What are people thinking? Do they skip the professionals when it comes to their health? Their hair? Nails? Of course not....so why do they think they can sell their homes themselves?
1. They think it's easy. If we can stick a sign in the yard and answer a few phone calls, so can they! They will need a lot of time on their hands to weed out the serious inquiries and unqualified buyers. Can they leave work for showings? Are they going to host an Open House? Do they have time to give tours of their home and point out all of its great features while a potential buyer scowls at their outdated wallpaper? Have fun with that!
2. They think they have "mad: skills. Let's start with photography. I just perused a FSBO picture with photos so dim I thought it was an advertisement for a Halloween haunted house tour! Have you seen the photo going around of the naked guy taking a picture of his bathroom...in the nude? Realtors realize their own images are sometimes captured in the mirror, and bathrooms are difficult to photograph. That's why we employ professional photographers....and show up for work in clothes.
3. They think they are good sales and marketing people. Maybe they are! But do they have time to devote to the marketing of their own home? From the listing photography, video tours, postcards, flyers, and signage to the MLS listing and internet marketing push (Facebook, Pinterest, Websites, blogging, etc), a good agent does A LOT of marketing. Most FSBO homes stay on the market longer and sell for less than those who use a Realtor. We can reach thousands more people with our established networks and marketing engines. It's just a fact.
4. They think they can get a better price. I recently talked with a man at an Open House that I was hosting. He said the home was WAY overpriced. He had bought and sold sooooo many houses and knows the market. He could sell his own house and get what the "guy up the street" got for his home. He "knew for sure" that his neighbor got big bucks for HIS house, so he felt he could do the same. I later checked the tax record. His neighbor exaggerated to the tune of 70K. People lie.
5. They think Zillow is the same as the MLS. Say it together, everybody, ZILLOW IS NOT THE MLS. Don't you love getting calls for the "dream home" currently on Zillow....you know, the one that sold THREE YEARS AGO. That is a whole other blog post .
I could keep going with my list, but I need to get out of here and sell some houses. Thanks for reading my blog! I hope you'll take a moment to follow me here on Active Rain and tell me about YOUR Richmond, VA real estate needs!