Do you really need a Realtor? A cautionary tale.

FSBORecently, I visited a For Sale By Owner in Johns Creek. The home is gorgeous, updated, and priced right, in a premier school district. The owners, a lovely couple, were adamant that they were going to save on real estate agent commission and sell their most valuable asset themselves. Every week I checked in with the owners to find out how things were going. The owners were very frustrated. People who came to see their home were either unqualified and just shopping, or would say they loved it-were going to make an offer, but never did. We affectionately call them Looky-Lous. Then there were the people who made appointments but never showed up. An agent won’t put them in a car because they can’t get a mortgage, so they prey on For Sale By Owners.

The owners couldn’t understand why they weren’t getting as much traffic as the home that was listed with a professional real estate agent was getting. I explained that professional Real estate agents use the home to market on social media, web ads, print ads, postcards, open houses, etc. Our audience is wide and large. We use tools that the average home owner does not have access to. We use professional Real estate photographers, professional stagers, drones, 3d doll house imaging of floor plans, supply home warranties,etc. But our real value comes in negotiation.

After 5 weeks on the market, I called this owner to check in and see if I could help her sell her home. She was exasperated. She had an offer the evening before. The home was listed at $460,000. She sold it to an investor for $420,000. $40,000 under asking price!!!! I asked if the deal was signed and she said yes. Had she hired an agent, she would have paid $27,000 in commission. So, she left $13,000 on the table.  The home should have sold for close to ask. The owner explained she got tired of showing her home, dealing with people who never showed, she was frustrated with dealing with people who were not qualified. For Sale By Owner: 0     Investor:1

Next story: The owner of a gorgeous townhome in Johns Creek was also selling her home For Sale By Owner. When I viewed her home, she was so excited to sell her home by herself. She was confident that she could get top dollar. The home was beautifully staged but priced a bit below market. It was a deal for the buyer.

I checked in the seller every week for three weeks. In the third week, the seller was also tired and exasperated. She explained that she and her husband got an offer from an investor. This always strikes fear in the heart of a real estate agent. Investors are a savvy lot, they want everything for .10 cents on the dollar, and have no emotional attachment to the property. So while you are trying to save on agent commission, they are also trying to save the commission you are saving. They offered well below asking and got it.

For Sale By Owners:0     Investors:2

The other interesting angle is the For Sale By Owner that cooperates with agents if they bring a buyer. In essence, the Seller is paying a buyer agent to negotiate against them!! This always works in favor of the buyer agent. Buyer agents are professional negotiators and are no match for amateurs. They get an amazing deal for their client, and you lose.

Moral of the story:

HIRE A REAL ESTATE AGENT TO SELL YOUR HOME.

 

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