Why should you hire a listing agent?
A lot of people call us because they are trying to sell their home on their own. They usually say something like, “We can’t get any offers. We don’t have enough buyers coming through even though I’ve had an open house.”
As agents, we explain to these sellers that it’s incredibly important to have the house on the MLS. It’s also important to market the home to other Realtors so that they can bring buyers to your property.
For Sale By Owner sellers often don’t realize how important marketing is. Most only budget a couple hundred dollars toward marketing their home.
That simply isn’t enough. It’s very important to bring buyers and agents from outside of the area to your property, and listing agents can do that. You don’t want to keep your niche so small that you’re only marketing to your local community. A good listing agent will bring in buyers from out of the area and provide information about your community to them.
A lot of real estate agents see a For Sale By Owner sign and call the seller relentlessly. Many of the FSBO sellers we talk to are frustrated by agents who pester them about their home. They say, “Stop making my phone ring! I’m looking for buyers, not agents.”
There does tend to be a vulture effect on agents when they see a For Sale By Owner sign. They simply must try to get the listing. However, we are not here to take listings; we are here to sell houses for as much money as possible.
We recently had a seller who had previously listed the house as For Sale By Owner on Zillow for over a year without any buyers. They called us, interviewed us, and finally selected us to sell their home. We had a full-price offer within one week. The property closed and everybody was happy.
One of the problems the seller had before they hired us was that the seller disclosure package he had filled out did not meet all of the regulations in California. Had someone made an offer on the property when he was selling it himself, he could have wound up in a lot of legal trouble.
Here in California, we have one-third of the world’s lawyers. FSBO sellers are vulnerable to lawsuits. You may think you are saving money by not paying a real estate agent commission, but you could end up paying even more money in legal fees down the road. A listing agent will make sure that everything is done in accordance with regulations in order to protect you from lawsuits.
Again, the marketing budget is so important when selling your home. Most FSBO sellers only spend a couple hundred dollars and put an ad for the home in the local newspaper. However, the local newspaper is not going to sell your house. In fact, most buyers start their search online anyway.
In order to sell your house, you need to market the home and make sure you have a strong internet presence. It’s also important to reach out to buyers outside of the area and agents who will be comfortable showing your house to their buyers.
We spend $9,000 a month on our marketing to attract buyers to our listings. We target Bay Area buyers who are willing to purchase a home because they know it’s better to make a monthly mortgage payment of $2,500 to $4,000 than to put that money into rent.
Finally, let’s take a look at the numbers. Our houses are selling for 100% to 103% of the listing price. Competing brokers in our area are only selling at 94% to 98% of their listing price, so those numbers really speak for themselves.
If you have been trying to sell on your own or if you have any other questions about putting your house on the market, just give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!