It’s no surprise that the number of listings “for sale by owner” is at a record low in our current real estate market. To some readers, that may sound counterintuitive — why pay a listing commission when it’s so easy to sell a home? But this is precisely when you need professional representation the most.
When it’s “this easy” to sell a home, you still need to price a home just right and then be prepared to handle tons of showings and plenty of offers. Sorry to tell you, but you’re not so well equipped to handle these tasks!
Let’s consider them one at a time. Pricing your home “just right” is not so easy. Maybe you give credence to Zillow’s “Zestimate” of your home’s value, but no Realtor does. Zestimates deserve even less credence than the valuations of county assessors. Like you, Zillow doesn’t have access to the more accurate valuation tools we use.
If your agent is a member of a Realtor association, he or she has access to RPR, which stands for Realtor Property Resource. This valuation tool is only available to listing agents who are Realtors. Except for really unique properties with hardly any comparable sales to cite, I’ve found RPR to be very accurate. Send me an email request and I’ll send you a free RPR report on your home. Don’t be shy about requesting it.
It’s quick, free and I can email it to you. Just click on the Contact Form bar or just give Andrew a call at 720.550.2064
The second valuation tool, which any member of our MLS can access - not just Realtors - is called Realist. When preparing for a listing appointment, I pull a valuation on both RPR and Realist, and often they are close to each other — and far from the Zestimate! I’d be happy to email you both reports, so you can compare them to Zillow’s valuation of your own property.
Let's address the “tons of showings” and “plenty of offers.” When listing without an agent, the seller is really challenged on both counts. One of the most important services you receive from a listing agent is the handling of showings, hopefully by a showing service like Showing Time or Centralized Showing Service.
You can’t hire these services yourself, so how are you going to handle all those showing requests — although you won’t get as many by not listing your home on the MLS? Worse than the showing requests is the flood of solicitations you will get from agents whose primary source of business is prospecting “by owner” listings. There’s only one known cure for this annoyance, since the no-call list doesn’t apply when you advertise your home for sale, and that is to list your home with one of them (or us). Only then will the calls stop!
Back to the value of a showing service. They screen each caller to make sure they are licensed. After calling you to approve the showing (unless you’ve said that’s not necessary), they give the lockbox code and showing instructions to the showing agent, along with your own detailed instructions such as “remove shoes or use booties” or “dog in garage—don’t enter.” Later, the showing service sends multiple email requests for feedback to each agent and forwards responses to your agent and/or you immediately. You need that feedback!
Okay, you’ve listed your home “by owner,” and you have several agents submitting offers. You’re the only party to your transaction without professional representation! How do you negotiate those multiple offers to your advantage? Trust me, having an agent experienced in that process is worth money in your pocket and gray hairs off your head!