Flying Solo The Dangers Of Going FSBO

Dated: 04/22/2019

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If you are currently trying to sell your home without an agent, PLEASE take the time to read this week’s blog. If you are ABOUT to list your home and you plan to take the DIY route - same thing - because this week I want to talk about flying solo - unrepresented sellers! 

I have recently decided to stop using the term “FSBO” ... why give power to the “for sale by owner” term? What we should do is call it like it is: UNREPRESENTED SELLER. 

Would you let a doctor give you advice without a medical license?

Would you let someone drive you around in a semi without a trucking license?

Would you let a home inspector inspect your house without a license?

What about an HVAC technician?

A teacher? An attorney? A plumber? An electrician, or a roofer?

If nearly every single professional you already work with is required to have a license, why on earth would you not hire a professional - with a license - to sell your home?

That’s just my first argument... buckle up! 

  1. Licensing, recourse and attachment issues: The POINT of a real estate license is to ensure that an individual has met the MINIMUM criteria - as decided by the Arkansas Real Estate Commission - to be able to legally represent you in the purchase or sale of your home. They have been tested on state and federal law, are bound to a code of ethics, and they have obtained the necessary level of education that is required to get that license. Of course, not every doctor, lawyer or HVAC technician just like not every Realtor - passes this test because they are an expert in every area and like these other fields there is no follow up exam - only continued education requirements. It is important that whatever your reason is for selling your home yourself - that you take a step back and make sure it is the kind of reason you would be willing to give up recourse over. When you are dealing with a licensed agent, you have recourse! You can follow up with their broker, the Arkansas Real Estate commission, the Arkansas Realtors Association and if necessary, civil court too! The thing with a licensed professional who is a fiduciary to their client is, they can be held accountable. If you mess up, you mess up - and there is not a single person besides you to blame! If you hire an agent and things don’t go right, there are systems, processes and people in place to make certain you are treated fairly, ethically and with professionalism.  What also makes sense with respect to using a licensed professional is, they have studied the subject matter and have the ability to be objective about HOUSES as opposed to just YOUR HOME. More on your attachment issues later.... 

  2. Market value and who cares what your neighbor sold their house for?: Common misconception - the house next door matters. This is NOT ALWAYS THE CASE!  Sometimes, the house next door, across the street, down the road - is entirely too big, new, old, small - too different from your house to be considered a comparable sale or a good indicator of value. Hiring a Realtor, in fact interviewing several Realtors, is a fantastic way to ensure that you are getting involved with someone who has a clear understanding of what your property would sell for, to a willing buyer on the open market in it’s current condition. Remember that another limitation to not using a licensed Realtor is that you can’t have access to the MLS sales that are taking place or that have recently taken place in your neighborhood. This means that you would have to either comb the county public records to see what, when, who or how - all by your lonesome. I hope you have a lot of time on your hands! Knowing what to price your home for and how long the market conditions in your neighborhood warrant a listing being on the market for, in addition to a hundred other factors like location, size, age, utility, condition, ETC ETC ETC - is all KEY to making sure it sells quickly and for the price you need for that net you’re so concerned about. Unless YOU are a market expert - it’s definitely in the best interest of you and your pocketbook to defer to an expert and hire out the hard work. 

  3. Photo, video, marketing, social and of course MLS vs. ZILLOW: Okay so you are a professional photographer and your buddy owns a drone and you have killer photo and video and copy for your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, SnapChat, WhatsApp and whatever else you subscribe to - great! PLUS you can put these on Zillow and Craigs List to sell your house, not to mention Facebook Marketplace!! But WAIT! You forgot - MOST people still use Realtors and MOST properties that have been bought, sold or are currently for sale, can only be found in the local MLS so how do you target MOST people? Oh I know! You hire a Realtor and THEY locate your audience and put out the killer content that you need to sell your home. Like everything else involved, a good agent is able to orchestrate the appointment and snag quality photo and video of your home sweet home and as they list it in the MLS they are able to capture the attention of all the agents who are shopping for their buyers. I hate to break it to you, but those fancy photos will only capture the agents eye on Zillow that uses it to find phone numbers for unrepresented sellers, which brings me to my next point.... 

  4. There is not a SINGLE Realtor in this town that is sitting around waiting on their buyer to walk through the door with a FSBO, unrepresented seller on their list - and if they DID - the agent would NOT be excited. Let me explain... We got LICENSED to be professional Realtors right? So why would we be excited about bringing our clients, whom we have worked hard to procure, who’s trust we have gained and who’s best interest is our priority - and walk them into a situation where the person on the other side has a lack of professional representation and usually, let’s face it, an unreasonable perception of how things work in real estate. I get it, some people have a knack and they can pull it off! Odds are, you’re not “some people” and your house is going to sit, waiting on that elusive unicorn of a Realtor who is waiting anxiously to bring you a buyer. 

So we have covered professionalism & licensing, market value and the importance of understanding it, photos, video, staging (this is actually a really big deal BTW), the lack of motivation for Realtors to sell your unlisted living space and FINALLY - here is the NUMBER ONE REASON NOT TO SELL YOUR HOME ON YOUR OWN: 

The statistics show that nearly 84% of For-Sale-By-Owner properties - unrepresented listings - end up being listed with an agent anyway! Meaning, you have spent your own money and your valuable time, you have exposed your home to the market without proper preparation or professionalism, and you STILL don’t have an offer PLUS you now have to take the time to interview a professional to take over and solve the problem for you. Everyone - especially those of you who own your own business or have a high demand profession - needs their time to be as effective as it can be. There is really nothing as time consuming as the intricate details of a real estate transaction and if you want them handled right, make sure you hire someone who literally spends ALL of their time doing real estate. 

I know a lot of this information may seem like things you “have heard before” or maybe your heels are so far dug into the ground you are only hanging on to see if there is anything actually FREE included. Good job, you did it! There is a FREE home measurement with this issue of the blog as well based on the response of last week! If you need your home measured before you list it, and you wouldn’t mind interviewing yours truly, give me a shout or shoot me an email, text, send a carrier pigeon for all I care - this Bluebird is ready to fly by and lay down some value! 

Thanks for reading our second issue of the Bluebird blog about DIY home sales, be sure and keep your eyes out for the next issue where we dive in and cover all things GROSS LIVING AREA! That’s right, it’s time to constitute what is and IS NOT livable square footage in your home. 

Until next time, 

Jamie 


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Jamie Taylor

My name is Jamie Taylor and I am the Owner and Principal Broker of Bluebird Realty here in Central Arkansas, serving all communities from Conway to Hot Springs! I started in the real estate field righ....

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