Friday, December 12, 2008

Why would someone want to sell their home themselves?

While hosting an Open House a few weekends ago, the Private for Sale by Owner next door, constantly compared the traffic, How many people came to see him? How many came in to see me? How many saw us both?

On each occasion, at the end of the Open House (for me this is almost dark and last person has been gone at least 20 minutes) he would meet me at the end of the driveway while I was collecting my signs, to discuss the traffic of the day. Which one would pick him and how much he was saving by doing this himself. Which prospect might be flush with cash to buy his house.

The next weekend I was yet again at this vacant home, with my coffee in hand ready to greet enthusiastic home shoppers. He was also open for business. I was armed with feature sheets, calculation of monthly mortgage payments in various downpayment senarios, mortgage applications, samples for closing costs, estimates from lawyers, copies of surveys and floorplans, Ontario Land Transfer Tax calculations, copies of home energy rebates, and a mini cd handout featuring the property. We again consulted in the driveway.

When I was back at the property, thru the week, after an offer. How much did it sell for he asked? Can't say till the deal firms up is the correct response.

Then I asked him, "How was your open house this past weekend?"

He was rather sullen and sheepish in his response; "without the six or eight open house signs that you usually put out there wasn't any traffic at all."

Yes, for a few hundred dollars they place a page on a website and you do get a sign on your front lawn, but it really got me to thinking...

Why would someone want to sell their home themselves?

FSBO. For Sale By Owner, an opportunity for a seller to SAVE thousands of dollars! Or an opportunity to call a Realtor!

Here's how I see it. Sure you will always find a buyer if you wait long enough or are lucky enough. As a professional Toronto west, Etobicoke Realtor, I have dedicated 20 years to my career. My training, my knowledge, my experience. This is what I do all day - every day! As a Realtor I know how much time, effort & money is involved in maintaining this career. It is not a part time job, it is not something I do ONLY when times are good. If it's good - it's good! When it's bad - IT'S BAD!

If you're a Banker & wanted your car fixed, you could call your poker buddy to come over and help you install new brakes on your wife's car (I'm guessing your wife will not be too happy) or perhaps the mechanic can get a part time job as a bank teller - probably not. My point is, when you have so much depending on the sale of your home, do you really have the time, money and resources that you could do a better job than a professional full time Realtor? NO - how could you? This is what I do all day. I have relationships with neighbors, bankers, past clients, advertisers, numerous agents that have their contacts as well, not to mention our FULL access to MLS and listing resources that FSBO's don't. If Real Estate was that easy...I'd be looking for a new career!

Canada Mortgage and Housing reported (Nov 08) that listings posted to sold were at 46 - 47 % That means that 50 % of ALL the listings on the system will not sell. (EXPIRE)

It's not easy, in fact it costs me 10's of thousands of dollars each year just so I could do it again and again. Once a deal is done - I'm unemployed. I have to advertise & work to get a new clients, each & every time.

If a seller has a home for sale (FSBO) for $300,000. This is the number they figured would be good, compared to other homes near by that are listed with agents. The other homes are under contract for say 5%. Therefore the net sale to the seller is $285,000. The FSBO thinks they are going to get $300K! Why don't they ask $285,000 - this would be fair, or maybe deduct 2.5% and post that as the selling price. Well, they don't because they are actually greedy. This is human nature. They are not passing the savings on, they are trying to keep the savings for themselves. Yes they may very well find a buyer but over 85% of them will eventually list with a realtor. The real loser in this scenario is the would be buyer. He just bought a house with no representation, no real comparables, no negotiating and all of this at a truly higher price!

There is a place for everyone, but in this market, if the professionals are having trouble how is a FSBO supposed to fair out.

As always your comments are welcome.

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