Recently, Inman posted an article detailing the risk of selling by yourself. While I typically enjoy the Inman website, the article below falls under the category of scare tactics. It’s a common tactic used by Realtors who are terrified the marketplace is changing. First, a link to the article:
Now, let’s take a look at the 8 things they have listed.
1) Knowledge – Very rarely do I speak with a homeowner who isn’t aware of every sale in the subdivision. Homeowners live in the community. They see moving trucks, when signs go in the yard, home repair companies, pool builders, etc… well before a Realtor(R) ever sees this. The truth is that most homeowners I speak with are much more knowledgable about their local community than any other 3rd party.
2) Time – The article outlines scheduling showings and requesting feedback so I will tackle these two specifically. Most MLS’s now use an online showing system, thus, scheduling a showing literally doesn’t take more than 1 click. In the event you want to set up your own showings, all it takes is answering 1 thirty second phone call. Feedback – Again, this is now done online in most markets. If a showing service is used, they will request feedback automatically. The same is true with electronic lockboxes. The agent literally has to do nothing to request feedback.
3) Presentation – Realtors are not professional home stagers. Regardless, presentation quite often is more about common sense. Remove clutter from the property, keep the property clean, keep the front landscape in idea condition, etc… All of these things are items the homeowner is responsible for regardless. I haven’t seen too many Realtors(R) mopping the kitchen or cutting the lawn prior to an open house.
4) Marketing – This one is simple – you need the MLS. Realtors(R) rely upon the MLS for everything when it comes to marketing.
5) Negotiation Experience – This one is a hot topic and I feel that I’m in a unique position to give my opinion simply b/c of the # of homeowners we see negotiating their own deals. From my experience, many homeowners are better at negotiating by themselves w/out the use of a traditional Realtor(R) b/c they don’t fall prey to sales pressure. If I am a Realtor(R) selling a 1 million dollar home and an offer comes in at 950k… I stand to make about $28,500 if I can convince the seller to take that offer at 950k. Why would I fight for every penny and risk losing my $28,500 paycheck? On the flip side, the homeowner looks at it differently… The difference in 950k and 1million is a cool $50,000. I’m telling you from experience, I’ve seen some homeowners fight to the death at the negotiation table.
6) Inspection and Repair know How – This one is just ridiculous. Realtors do not inspect homes. In addition, they don’t hire inspectors. Lastly, they don’t repair homes either. Again, this is something that falls upon the buyer and seller. It has nothing to do with a Realtor.
7) Transaction Management – Finally, we have gotten to an area where a Realtor can add value. Ensuring you provide the buyer with the proper disclosures in the proper amount of time is important and Realtors do provide assistance with this. Now, that said, so do attorneys, flat fee MLS providers like Congress Realty, etc… but to be fair, this at least something Realtors do.
8) Closing Finesse – Ok… now this is just ridiculous / borderline just making things up. I feel confident that homeowners know what condition they are to leave the home in at closing. In addition, I have never met a homeowner who didn’t know when they needed to move out.
Realtors absolutely serve a purpose. Buyer’s agents in particular are worth their weight in gold in many transactions. However, the article above is simply using scare tactics to try and scare a seller into using a traditional listing agent. 7 of the 8 arguments posted simply aren’t true or are greatly exaggerated.