Less does not mean more

By LIV Sotheby’s International Realty downtown managing broker, Steve Blank.

For some, the temptation to list your own home is great, but does it make financial sense to sell your home on your own? More importantly, can listing your own home make you more dollars at the end of the day?

If you are considering becoming a “FOR SALE BY OWNER” (FSBO), or using one of the discount brokerage firms that charges a flat fee or a lower percentage, it is wise to investigate if these options make sense.

We always hear “you get what you pay for”; people commonly consider that expression as “conventional wisdom”. It’s easy to find legal counsel that may only charge $100 to $200 per hour, instead of maybe $400 to $600 per hour. We love to spend less and receive the best value possible, as we compare price vs. quality. The attorney charging $150 per hour may not have the experience, expertise, or knowledge to get things done efficiently, costing you thousands of dollars in mistakes and time. The lesson can be learned from buying an inexpensive shirt at a discount store. Wash it a few times and you won’t wear it again, whereas a higher quality shirt may look good and wear well for years.

A home is possibly your most valued asset, so it makes good business sense to seek the best possible Realtor, who knows how to save your money, and negotiate…to make you the most money!

TIME – Everyone’s time is valuable! Learn where and how to market your home. As a FSBO, you must be available to show your home to people you’ve never met, without knowing if they can buy, or if they may be a security risk. How do you get feedback from buyers? Will they tell you the truth or string you along? If they aren’t calling you, you will likely call them asking if they are interested…you just lowered your price. With any broker, check past references and their successes. If they are really good, why would they offer deep discounts? If they discount what they earn, how do you think they will handle your important asset?

NEGOTIATIONS – It can be overwhelming to understand contract terms/conditions as well as practical nuances of financing, appraisals, title insurance, inspections, etc. Being a Realtor my entire adult life, I still work hard on keeping every contract together.

MARKETING – How do sellers reach the right buyers. Successful Realtors have access to predictive analytics or the right strategies to promote their property. Good Realtors personally sell 1 out of every 4 or 5 of their own listings. That means there is a 75-80% chance another broker would sell that home, so their affinity to network with other Realtors can be quite valuable.

PRESENTATION – Image is everything and we only get one chance at that first impression. It takes expertise to present a home in its best light, including professional photography, 3-D, drone shots, video, staging, etc.

INSPECTIONS – This is a challenging aspect of any transaction. How to address needed repairs or replacement; who is supposed to do what? Experienced Realtors have professionals they call for estimates and completion of plumbing, roofs, stucco, electrical, etc., and should also be skilled in negotiating what is necessary.

CLOSING CONSIDERATIONS – Which title company, who is a preferred closing agent, lender requirements, compliance with over 15 contract dates, and many other important considerations a good Realtor deals with daily.

Perceived savings (commission) can totally backfire relating to costly mistakes, uninformed decisions, and possible legal fees. A qualified Realtor will negotiate maximum value, protect client interests, position the home for best price in the most reasonable time frame and should provide little inconvenience and anxiety.
Pick your Realtor well! You will enjoy a pleasant and more lucrative experience.

For more information, contact LIV Sotheby’s International Realty managing broker Steve Blank, at 303.520.5558. To service all your real estate needs visit www.livsothebysrealty.com.