Here I sit, after 5:00 and still at my desk trying to decide what I can bring you this week that will spark your interest and maybe give a little insight to help in your home buying or selling experience. This week I’m going to tell you what I hear from buyers and sellers about how they feel about the process and give my perspective…
“Real estate agents- you can’t believe them, they’ll say whatever they think you want to hear!” First, most of the licensees in this area are REALTORS® and subscribe to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and make every effort to be honest and fair in their dealings with clients.
88% of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home.
Sellers who definitely would use same agent again: 65% Source: 2014 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Second- it’s up to YOU to meet, interview and get to know your REALTOR® and establish that trust that goes beyond having seen a name on a sign. Hiring an agent is a serious part of the process and it’s YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to make a good hire based on good information! Then, make it clear what your expectations are- if you find yourself challenging everything your agent tells you from a professional point of view- then perhaps that agent is not the right one for you, because you need to trust their expertise. A good agent can back up his suggestions and analysis with facts and they’re happy to provide that information. Ask for data or information if you deciding value in either a sale or purchase. Every now and then you’ll come across an agent whose communication style leaves you feeling unsure. Keep looking until you find that right fit! Ask for data or information if you deciding value in either a sale or purchase.
“I can save so much money if I sell my home myself. All they do is put the sign in the yard and collect the commission.” Ahhh, where do I begin on this one? The sale of your home is mostly dependent on proper pricing and marketing to the right people. Proper pricing comes from doing a thorough analysis of the recently sold properties similar to yours as well as a comparison to those similar properties currently on the market.
FSBOs accounted for 9% of home sales in 2013. The typical FSBO home sold for $184,000 compared to $230,000 for agent-assisted home sales. Source: 2014 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Access to all this information is hard for the average person to obtain and sort through. And marketing to the right people- the MLS is the first tool your agent uses to advertise your property, REALTOR.com, is another and company websites, print ads, virtual tours, sign recognition, social media and referral networks are all things you just can’t provide for yourself! That doesn’t even cover what it takes to qualify your buyers, schedule and show the house, negotiate the contract, oversee the proper execution of the contract including inspections and other contingencies as well as seeing to it that everything from “contract to closing” goes smoothly. If any one of these parts is not right- you could find yourself still owning your home much longer than you wanted to, or ending up with a deal that falls apart. Is it worth it? Absolutely –YES!
“We should just low-ball every offer until we find the one that they’ll accept.” I completely understand anyone trying to get a home for the best price possible, and actually prefer someone making the low offer as opposed to not making the offer at all. My advice is different for the buyers than the sellers. For the buyers- be careful not to be so low that the offer is offensive to both the seller and their agent. If you waste too much time making offers so low that the people won’t even respond with a counter offer, then you might be creating a reputation for yourself as not being a serious buyer, and in fact, you could lose YOUR agent if your offers are too far out of range. Honestly, after 3-4 offers with no counter offers, I would probably question your strategy and sit down and rethink some of it. At least if you get a counter offer, you are still alive and the seller believes there is a chance of arriving at an agreement.
To the seller- when a low offer comes in- try, try, try not to get mad! It’s just the opening of the conversation, you have all the power to say yes, no- or make a counteroffer. Work the offer until it won’t work anymore! My advice- if you keep getting offers in about the same price range from different people- it’s time to rethink price! The market determines the value and if it keeps coming in at about the same price… well there it is. Sadly, it doesn’t matter how much you paid or how much you have put into your home- it’s all about how much the public is willing to pay.
Peggy R. Smith is the Association Executive for the Old KY Home Board of REALTORS®. The Old Kentucky Home Board of REALTORS® owns and operates the MLS for the Nelson, Washington, Marion, Larue and Hart Counties in Kentucky and is celebrating 50 years serving our local area. Member of Kentucky Association of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®.