Is Selling Your Home a DIY?
Between Zillow and Fixer Upper, many think that selling your home is a DIY project. Friends telling you “it’s such a sellers market” make it easy to believe that selling your home is as simple as sticking a “For Sale By Owner” sign in the yard and uploading few mobile phone pictures to Zillow.
Sounds easy, right?
It could be for some, but in all honestly, selling your home is not as simple as some would lead you to believe. (I would NOT be a real estate agent if it was.)
According to the National Association of Realtors, For Sale By Owner Homes “FSBOs” accounted for 8% of home sales in 2016. The typical FSBO home sold for $190,000 compared to $249,000 for agent-assisted home sales.
Here is what they said is the most difficult tasks for FSBO sellers:
- Getting the right price: 15%
- Understanding and performing paperwork: 12%
- Selling within the planned length of time: 13%
- Preparing/fixing up home for sale: 9%
- Having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale: 3%
In my business as a real estate agent, I can confirm that the top reason is absolutely correct when it comes to selling your home. Everyday, I see homes that are FSBO that are overpriced. As a home owner myself, I get this. Home owners LOVE their homes. They love all of the unique features of the home and they honestly believe their home is worth more than it really is. It is also VERY natural to WANT your home to be worth more than it is when selling your home.
If a home owner is able to detach themselves from the personal feelings of what their home is worth, they are able to understand the two most important aspects of selling your home: getting it priced right, and marketing correctly.
When pricing a home, it is important to understand that it is a PRODUCT. That product is going to be for sale and either has features, or it doesn’t. In every market across the country, there are certain features that are worth more and worth less to the prospective buyer. It is important to be able to properly identify what these are and price the home (the product) accordingly.
A few examples:
- Walk out basement (A door in your basement that let’s you go outside.)
- Granite countertops in the kitchen
- Number of Bathrooms
- Garage stalls
It is also important to have the knowledge of what buyers have actually paid for homes similar to yours when selling your home. This is PROOF that buyers are willing to pay that amount for that product. If homes have sold similar to yours for $150,000 in your area, and you don’t have anything that much better in terms of features, then how can you price your home for $170,000? Do you shop at Target like that? Do you see 3 items for sale that are the same and buy the one that is overpriced?
Here’s 2 reasons why FISBO’s struggle to price correctly. Read HERE.
When selling your home, you have to realize that your home is also a UNIQUE product. That unique product will attract a certain number and certain TYPE of buyer. For example: You might have the most amazing pair of NIKE shoes. They could be worn once, very clean and limited edition. But they are only ONE size. Let’s say they are size 10. That means that ONLY people who wear size 10 are shopping for them. Budget, location, and desired features are major factors for the prospective home buyer and they must be taken into consideration when marketing a home for sale.
Exposure is a major factor in marketing your home. You could have a wonderful advertisement in a magazine that nobody is reading. Having your home on Zillow might not be enough. There is a platform that all real estate agents PAY to use called the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). It is in this platform that all agents are helping buyers shop for homes. This platform allows me (an agent) to set up search criteria and auto prospect homes listed in the MLS for my buyers. It is also instant, meaning as soon as any agent lists a home for sale, my buyer is aware if it meets their criteria. Not having this exposure hurts the marketing of a home for sale in a big way and misses a lot of buyers.
Your product needs to be evaluated, priced accordingly and then marketed correctly on the correct platforms; showcasing its most important features and sharing it with the right audience.
I’ll have another post that goes into more detail on marketing soon.
Now, do you feel like selling your home is something you can watch on youtube or read a couple of blogs and then do yourself? If it is, more power to you! If it’s not, don’t feel bad about contacting a professional to help you get the job done.