Monday, March 5, 2018
By Harvey Keene
So you’ve decided to sell your home… what now?

So you’ve decided to sell your home… what now?

Perhaps you have taken a new job in another state… or maybe your family has outgrown your home and you need to upsize… Maybe your kids are all grown up and moved out and you need to downsize.  Whatever the reason, you have decided it’s time to sell. There are many key points to ponder.  Depending on your timing, motivation and desire to net the largest proceeds here are some options to consider.


Sell direct to an investor:  There are several large investment companies that advertise heavily here in the valley as being a low stress and easy solution to homeowners looking to sell their home.  These companies advertise that they can make you a “fair” offer on your home and close quickly for cash.  While this may be a great and viable solution for a fast sale without having your home on the market, you would most definitely be leaving money on the table.  First of all, these companies offer a price slightly less than market value, which isn’t necessarily unfair, since they are offering a solution.  What strips away the hard earned equity of sellers who choose this route is that these companies charge a convenience fee as high as 10% of the sales price.  This fee ends up being significantly greater than the standard seller closing costs when selling the traditional way with a real estate agent. To add insult to injury, these companies will often complete a home inspection and find everything wrong with the home and then negotiate a repair credit, sometimes into the thousands of dollars, in order to proceed.  Often times, in these cases, the seller has already begun making arrangements to move, and they feel pressured to agree to an additional credit or discount to keep the deal together.  By the end of the transaction, these sellers frequently realize that they could have sold their home with a real estate agent and made a lot more money, with just a little bit of time on the market. 


For Sale By Owner, aka FSBO:  Sometimes a seller decides that they don’t want to list their home with a real estate agent and they decide to try and sell it themselves to save a commission.  Some sellers are successful and everything works out.  But according to the National Association of REALTORS, FSBO sales accounted for only 8% of homes sold in 2015 and the typical FSBO home sold for $185,000 compared to $240,000 for agent-assisted home sales.  There are many reasons why FSBOs do not have a high success rate.  Despite all the popular home value websites, which are usually not accurate, FSBO sellers find that they don’t have access to all of the most relevant data to properly price a home to sell.  Also, when it comes to marketing, unsuccessful FSBO sellers often lament that they don’t have the reach necessary to attract the audience of homebuyers actively shopping for a home.  Aside from pricing and marketing, FSBO can be risky if the sellers don’t know their way around writing a contract, issuing legally required disclosures and negotiating repairs.  To top it all off, most FSBO sellers don’t have the time necessary to dedicate to selling their home.


List your home with a REALTOR:  The most common method of selling a home is listing with a Real Estate Agent, or REALTOR.  REALTORs have access to all the most relevant data to properly price a home.  In a world of supply and demand, a properly priced home can be expected to sell in a relatively suitable timeframe for most sellers.  As a matter of fact, here in the Phoenix, AZ market, with supply being low and demand being high, homes often sell faster than sellers expect.  REALTORs have access to list homes in the Multiple Listing Service (aka MLS) where agents and active homebuyers go to find homes; therefore, listing with a REALTOR can bring exposure and demand to your home that just can’t happen with a FSBO.  REALTORS can help you with ideas to stage your home.  Many REALTORs will make arrangements to professionally photograph your home and ensure the home is marketed thru all the most effective channels. REALTORs are familiar and experienced with all the forms and legal documentation that is involved with selling a home.

  Also, REALTORs will make sure you know your disclosure obligations so that you are compliant with state disclosure laws when selling.  Because full time REALTORs are negotiating with buyers and sellers all day, every day, they can help you negotiate for the best outcome.  The best benefit to a home seller that a REALTOR can offer is representation.  Your REALTOR is your advocate… on your side and their fiduciary responsibility is to always act in your best interest.


To summarize, as a home seller, you have a few options.  But if you want professional guidance, the most money in your pocket, a quick sale and someone in your corner making sure your interests are protected, hire a REALTOR to help you sell your home.


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