The Business of Selling a Home
Originally, I was going to title this post, "What is a For Sale By Owner Gaining Losing By Not Hiring an Agent?" The answer I imagine coming from the lips of a FSBO would be nothing. Having talked to many a FSBO, I can say that most honestly believe they are gaining by not having to pay a listing agent. It is short sighted logic and focuses on what listing agents charge vs. what they bring to the table.
The business of selling a home is essentially that of running a small business. You set up shop and have one thing to sell. Maybe that one thing is 123 Main Street. Getting Main Street on the market is a task that professional, experienced real estate agents have down to a science. Take me, for instance, a full-time agent serving Gainesville, Bristow and Haymarket since 2005. My years of experience benfit my sellers in advice on listing prep and staging. That stuff is critical, especially if you want to cash out a high sales price. I have relationships with professional photographers that take the prep and staging and make it come to life for buyers.
Think of this aspect of real estate in the parallel terms of a small businesses looking to make a splash in the market. Those businesses that succeed above and beyond hire ad agencies. Professionals that craft the message and know where to deliver it to get the best results. Real estate agents are no different to sellers than ad agencies are to small businesses. The dollars spent on hiring the professional pay off in the marketing alone. After all, you can't get the absolute highest price without being exposed to the entire market, with your crafted message. That staging and listing prep are crafting the message. Hitting the entire market is what I do every time I reach out to my network of agents about a coming soon listing, or by writing a blog post about a home. Presenting the home in a Facebook Live video or even just the choice of words used in the description all make a difference. In the end, it all matters if you want to make a positive impact on buyers. And since real estate agents are often out there rubbing elbows with buyers, we know what they are looking for and their turn offs and turn ons.
Negotiation is another area where the business of selling a home is revealed. When talking about negotiations, think about super talented young atheletes out of college that are looking to get signed to professional sports teams. If those young atheletes only thought about the price of an agent representing them and how much it cost, they would miss out on what professional representation could GAIN them in their dealings with those sports teams. It is really no different in real estate.
Professional real estate agents know a good offer when they see one. And they always see opportunities to make good offers better. That's the art of negotiation. If you have never sold a home in your life, or even have sold only one previously, you will never have the same amount of experience in contract negotiations as a professional agent who represents two dozen clients or more a year. You wouldn't know the potential pitfalls of offers that an agent would catch. Your fear of losing the deal you worked months to get may override a decision to counter an offer, be it in a sales price, or inspection repairs.
Sadly, while the decision to be FSBO is one usually motivated in saving a listing commission, most FSBO sellers will never know what they are missing in having an agent well versed in marketing and negotiations, making sure their client gets the best contract terms available. There is no fear of losing a deal because we rinse and repeat selling homes dozens of times a year. We know there's another buyer around the corner.
The business of selling a home is, in fact, business. And if you don't know what you are doing, it can be a costly experiment to think you saving yourself money by listing it yourself. Do yourself a favor and talk to a professional agent and see the amount of thought and effort that goes into the marketing and negotiations. You will understand why your FSBO sign is gathering dust in your yard and the neighbors down the street that hired an experienced agent are already under contract.