You've read all the stories about evil real estate agents
You've thought so many times, "who else knows more about my home than I do?"
Time after time, you've met with realtors who have told you things like, "your home will never get the proper exposure", or "you need someone to represent you in this market".
Or maybe you've hired an agent in the past which brought you zero results.
The worst part is that all that time you spent feels wasted...and you still haven't even sold your house!
It's a horrible feeling.
So what can you do?
Well, you're not the only one feeling the pain.
In fact, For Sale By Owner homes, or FSBO's are increasing in popularity.
A recent survey (conducted by Redfin) found that 25 percent of people who sold a home in the past few years did so without the help of a full-service agent, with 15 percent of sellers using a limited service agent and about 10 percent listing without an agent’s help.
No one can deny, that selling your home yourself has gotten way easier with the sheer amount data available to the average homeowner.
Besides, the last thing you want to do is to pay extra money to someone who could never guarantee to sell your home for the price it's worth.
So, it's important to learn how to cut through the noise and understand what is real, and what is rhetoric.
How do you do this?
First, let's dive into some common misconceptions.
Misconception #1: You'll sell your home for a lot less than what it's worth
This misconception assumes two things:
- You don't have the ability to value your home properly.
- You don't have proper negotiation skills.
Now it's relatively easy to arrive at a price for your home by doing a comparitive analysis of your property.
Here are some free sources:
The problem arises when homeowners put emotion into the equation and start believing that their home is "special".
Do yourself a favor and check your emotion at the door.
Look at the comps the way a potential buyer would look at them and try to get two perspectives on the value.
Many people think it's necessary to hire an appraiser before listing their home.
Don't do this.
Most appraisers are notoriously conservative when it comes to home values.
Our advice is stay away and use your best judgment based on past sales and demand in your area.
Misconception #2: Your home will not get the proper exposure
Let's break this one down..
"Exposure" is nothing more than eyeballs on your property.
Something that was once an exclusive channel only available to licensed real estate agents, the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is the de-facto standard for publishing your property online.
Not only does the MLS give your home exposure to other realtors who might have buyers, but it's also syndicated out to the large real estate sites (Zillow, Trulia, etc) as well.
This allows you to essentials list your home for sale everywhere.
Now there is one really important thing to remember here:
DO NOT SKIMP ON THE PHOTOGRAPHY!!
If you're looking to save money, do it elsewhere.
The photos are one of the most important aspects to getting interested buyers into contacting you, so do it right.
Try Snappr, which is the all-new service that connects you with pre-vetted Real Estate Photographers. They are even able to work on short notice.
Actual photo by a photographer on Snappr
Or you could just do a Google search in your area and check Yelp for other recommended photographers.
Misconception #3: You won't be able to figure out the paperwork and you'll probably get sued
Preparing all of the legal forms, disclosures etc. is your responsibility, however you shouldn't let that scare you too much.
There are plenty of services to help you through the process and often times, you'll want to find an attorney to draft up necessary documentation.
Here is a helpful resource:
You will still want to educate yourself as much as possible on the process of selling a home, but the point is - you don't need to know everything.
Misconception #4: You don't have the experience or network to find qualified home buyers
Most realtors will lead you to believe that unqualified buyers tend to seek out homes which are for sale by owner because they know these sellers are inexperienced.
The idea is that these buyers will "trick" you into accepting their less-than-stellar financing, or accept a deal which relies on seller financing in order to close the sale.
Luckily, we live in different and exciting times - there is literally a service or app for everything and finding pre-qualified home buyers is easier and faster than ever.
Here's where it gets interesting..
Duvora is a platform which is starting a mini-revolution in home selling.
It's basically an online market, but instead of shopping for shoes or food items, you are able to shop for PRE-QUALIFED HOME BUYERS.
Think about it..
What is the purpose of holding an Open House, hiring a real estate agent, having strange people walk through your home?
To find qualified buyers. That's it.
But what if instead of trying to lure them to you...you could just send your home details to them?!
Duvora has already gained the attention of over 14,700 home sellers and is growing rapidly.
Misconception #5: You don't know how to fix up your home to make it attractive to potential buyers
It's true that your home needs to be a bit on the "neutral" side when it comes to design.
Generally, buyers do not react well to personalized design touches as they want to be able to *visualize *themselves living there.
This is a super-easy fix though.
Take some design inspiration from the following:
Misconception #6: You need a real estate agent to keep your home, personal information and belongings safe during showings
There is no guarantee that an agent will watch out for the safety of your home.
In fact, I've been to thousands of open houses and it's very rare for an agent to follow you around from room to room to see what you are doing.
Most of the open houses I've been to lately, the agent is just sitting somewhere around the kitchen area, on their phone or laptop whilst potential buyers are allowed to roam freely.
Of course, the it is up to the seller to give the agent instructions on how the home is to be showed and what safety measures are to be taken.
However, in practice, the typical real estate agent is always preoccupied with a constant stream of text messages, calls and emails, so they are not the most observant people in the world.
When you (the seller) are responsible for the showings, there is an extra layer of security which needs to be implemented.
Here are some of the latest scams to watch out for:
Misconception #7: You must have a professional negotiate price on your behalf
Here's where it gets a bit tricky..
As mentioned before, it's difficult for sellers not to get emotional when someone is trying to get a discount on their home.
After all, for most people, their home is more than just four walls - it has history, family connections and memories.
Once you've removed your emotions, negotiating well can be learned just like any other skill.
We've put together some hand-picked resources to help you learn how to negotiate like a pro.
It's important to always remember, that you don't have to go it alone.
There are enough resources available to you today to help you through most any plausible situation you might encounter.
Stay on track. Stay firm on your price and don't give up.
Here are some more links of homeowners who are going through, or have gone through the process of selling their own home.
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