In a National Association of Realtors® survey, only 9% of all transactions were done without the help of a real estate professional. This is a percentage that has been dropping steadily for years. So clearly, completing a Louisville for sale by owner is a tough proposal.
So, what are the issues to consider? Here are the Top 10!
1. Setting the Asking Price
The Internet is now ubiquitous. Except for a small portion of our population, the vast majority of Americans utilize the Internet for everything from emailing photos to loved ones far away, to checking the showtimes for a movie just down the street.
With that said, there is a great deal of information available to real estate professionals that is not readily available to the public. Realtors have the expertise to analyze this data and take advantage of it.
Setting a strong but fair asking price is one of the most important factors when selling a Louisville home. Often homeowners see that a house down the street sold for $XXX,XXX but perhaps don’t know the particulars of the transaction.
For example, it’s not uncommon for a seller to add funds to the sale price in order to pay for the buyers’ closing costs. This makes the true market value of the home lower than the stated sales price. Realtors can conduct research on cases like these to give their clients information that would have been impossible for them to get on their own.
2. Marketing Savvy
No two properties are identical. There’s no such thing as a commodity in real estate. Therefore, promoting a particular property should take into consideration the property’s strengths and weaknesses while keeping an eye on what the Louisville real estate market is doing.
Realtors are professionals in the field of real estate and should be on top of all the latest trends in their home area. What was hot last year may not be highly sought after today. Putting together attractive flyers, Web sites and more are now all part of a top agent’s repertoire.
3. Importance of the MLS & Online Listings
Properties that are not listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) suffer a huge disadvantage to properties that are. This is simply a fact of life.
The MLS is the first place both Louisville homebuyers (on their own) and agents (on behalf of their clients) go to find prospective properties. Discount brokers offer to list properties on the MLS for a fee, which is a great start, but in today’s day and age of increased competition it’s really only the essential first step towards professionally marketing a piece of real estate.
Louisville for sale by owner properties are at a huge disadvantage if their home is not on the MLS which leads to so much exposure.
4. Professional Networking
Because Realtors are focused on real estate day-in and day-out, they have built up a network of clients, partners and vendors who expand the marketing reach of each property.
Here’s a situation that occurs from time to time: a Realtor allows another agent to show Listing A to her client. The client decides this home just isn’t right for her. When the Realtor follows up after the showing to see what the client thought of the visit, he learns more about her tastes and realizes another one of his listings might be a better fit.
When the client gets a chance to see this other listing, she realizes that it’s a perfect fit! There is a great deal of synergy in the world of real estate and a Louisville For Sale By Owner is often on the outside looking in.
5. Legal Aid
While they are certainly not lawyers (or even legal clerks, for that matter), Realtors are well versed in much of the legal dealings in real estate transactions. As our society grows ever more litigious it pays to be protected, especially in a purchase or sale that involves hundreds of thousands of dollars.
When you add the complexities involved with issues like new government regulations, title search clouds, personal safety tests like radon inspections and a host of other legal matters involved in a real estate transaction, buyers and sellers benefit greatly by having a real estate professional on their side.
6. Expertise in Negotiating
Negotiating the sale of an average property involves thousands of dollars, if not tens of thousands. While homeowners are emotionally tied to their homes, the real estate agent typically isn’t. Without the emotional tie, the agent is free to focus on the negotiations of the deal.
An experienced Realtor can also help in the negotiations of requested repairs, which can easily derail a sale. Having an expert on your team alleviates some of the stress involved in negotiations and can often be the difference between a broken deal and the property closing.
7. Personal Security
There are some benefits of having a Realtor that are often missed by Louisville for Sale by Owner properties and increased personal security is one of them. When a Realtor has the property listing, they pre-screen potential buyers to make sure they are legitimate house hunters and not just wasting time.
Then the Realtor accompanies the prospective buyers through the home to make sure the property is kept safe and secure. FSBO owners must show their own properties, which increases the risk of harm coming to themselves or their property.
8. Personal Time
When a homeowner lists their property with a Realtor it gives them more of their own free time to use however they like. This way the Realtor does what he does best and the homeowners can focus on their own areas of expertise. It’s a win-win!
9. Avoiding Risk & Wasting Time
The last thing homeowners want is to be on the wrong end of a bad deal. How do you know if the deal is actually bad, good or fair to both parties? Knowing what other properties are selling for in a given area is a start, but even similar properties aren’t identical.
One survey showed that 83% of all properties that start off as FSBO eventually list and sell with an agent. When a Realtor markets the property through his many channels from the start, that is the optimal way to sell a home quickly at the best price.
10. Best Sale Price
The reason most people choose to go FSBO is to avoid paying a larger commission and hopefully make more money on the sale of their home. (Although the vast majority of FSBO transactions do pay a commission to the buyer’s agent.) But what many do not know is that according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the typical FSBO home sold for $174,900 compared to $215,000 for agent-assisted home sales.
There are several factors at work here. One is that homeowners often don’t price the home appropriately from the start and over time, as they continue to drop the price, it conveys the perception that their house is “unwanted.”
Another big factor to consider is that when a prospective buyer negotiates with a Louisville for Sale by Owner, they often assume they will be able to get a deal on the property because they already know the FSBO isn’t paying a partial commission to a listing party.
Conclusion on the Louisville For Sale by Owner Proposal
At the end of the day, owners looking to sell their property want the best sale price possible, with the least amount of stress, in the fastest time. In order to reach those goals, statistics show that using a Realtor beats going it alone.