Sell It Yourself
Can you explain why it’s smarter for a potential home seller to list with you, a real estate agent, as opposed to attempting a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) deal? Showing the FSBO the value you bring to the transaction may be much easier than you realize.
Many real estate experts thought the Internet would result in more people being able to successfully sell their home without a real estate agent.
The exact opposite has happened. According to research from the National Association of Realtors’ latest Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, FSBOs accounted for 10 percent of sales in 2011, down from 14 percent in 2003 and 2004.
Nearly half of FSBO sales were situations where the sellers already knew the buyers. Only 6 percent of 2011 sales were FSBO transactions in which the seller did not know the buyer.
Here are some of the key factors that deter most homeowners from selling without an agent.
1. The decline of print advertising as a major lead generator
In the past, newspaper ads would produce a fair number of calls on FSBOs. Today, a three-line ad in the local newspaper has little chance of competing with the wide array of information online, including video, color photos, 360-degree virtual tours, and a wealth of community and lifestyle data.
2. Buyers seek rich content
IDX and VOW solutions, Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow provide access to virtually all the listings in most market areas. Most buyers comb these major sites simply because it’s more efficient than searching for single properties.
3. Instant gratification
A third problem for FSBOs is that people who surf the Web usually are seeking instant gratification. In fact, most visitors will only visit a website once and stay for 15-30 seconds. If the FSBO has no strategy for capturing the lead’s contact information or for immediately following up, the lead moves on to the next website. Even if the Web lead does contact the FSBO, unless the buyer gets back to the FSBO quickly, that lead is gone.
4. Buyers want the savings
Even for those who do search for FSBOs, most buyers automatically deduct 6 percent from the sales price because they want the savings in their pockets, not the seller’s. The result is that many FSBOs end up selling for up to 20 percent less on average as compared with sellers who hire a Realtor.
5. The needle-in-the-haystack effect
A major challenge for FSBOs is the needle-in-the-haystack nature of the Web. There are millions of websites including the hundreds of thousands of company and agent sites. Without search engine optimization, meta tags and a host of other branding strategies to achieve high Web placement, the probability of the Web buyer finding the FSBO’s single listing online is small.
Of course, the buyer could post on sites such as ForSalebyOwner.com, ByOwnerMLS, or utilize the “Make Me Move” feature on Zillow. The challenge is that unless the buyer specifically wants to purchase a FSBO, it’s much more efficient to search on the brokerage or MLS sites.
The FSBO could also put his home on Craigslist. There are two challenges, however. First, the FSBO has to repost the ad regularly for it to appear near the top where it can be found. Second, there have been so many rental scams and unsavory people using that site to identify targets for possible criminal activity that listing there could be a major safety issue.
6. Web leads are reluctant to share contact information
Another issue FSBOs must face is that most Web buyers are reluctant to provide contact information to a stranger, especially during the search process. Instead, buyers identify homes they want to see and then normally contact a single agent who can show them everything they want to see, not just a single home.
7. Availability for showings
Because FSBOs don’t have lockboxes, that means the FSBO will need to be present for every showing. There are numerous challenges with this situation, the most important of which is safety. Is the person who wants to see your house legitimate or not? Even if you accept an offer from a potential buyer, how do you know whether the person meets the income and credit requirements to close the deal?
8. The proof is in the pudding
Here’s a great closing question for sellers who believe that becoming a FSBO is a smart move. Did you know that Colby Sambrotto, founder of ForSalebyOwner.com, which is one of the most popular and robust FSBO sites on the Web, ended up listing his home with an agent AND paying a full commission?
If he couldn’t get the job done for himself using his website, how effective do you think this approach will be in getting your home sold for the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time?
The climate has never been better for prospecting FSBOs. If you haven’t considered adding this valuable niche to your business, there’s no better time than right now.
SEE BELOW TO RECEIVE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR FOR SALE BY OWNER PROGRAM
“Adrienne was very in tune to my desires to sell my property. I was losing money on it and even though I didn’t do a short sale, she was very much prepared in advising me of all of my options. We sold the property for what I was hoping to get for it and the process was smooth and as painless as possible. She was always available to answer my questions and I couldn’t have had a more professional team helping me out.”
“Team-Lally Rocks! It’s great to be considered a part of the Team-Lally family! After 13 years away from Hawaii, and looking for a house on the Ewa plain, we hooked up with a Team Lally realtor who was showing a house that we visited. Throughout the buying process, the knowledgeable staff addressed any problems that we encountered and concerns that we raised. We left the process feeling that our interests were properly represented and protected. This is the very thing that we expect from my realtor and weren’t disappointed. Our relationship didn’t end there. Through customer appreciation events (great food and prizes), newsletters and other resources, we stay connected. Also, if we have a question about market trends or need a contact for everything from a mortgage broker for refinancing or a plumber, we send an email or pick up a phone for a quick response—in practice, this team is really a network of businesses that work well together to meet the many needs of the customer. This is what the relationship between customer and realtor should look like, but seldom does. If we buy or sell again, we know who we’re calling—Team Lally! Joe & Tammy Waligura.”
“Last year my wife and I came to Hawaii for a quick to buy a house for our impending move to the islands. Cherrie worked hard and helped us to get under contrsct and then close the deal. Hats off to the Lally Team”
“When my husband and I got transferred here with the Coast Guard we were interested in purchasing our first home. We found Adrianne through other military members that she had helped. Adrianne and her team went above and beyond to help us find our first home. She took out all the stress and helped us every step of the way, from finding a home to finding a lender to get a loan. We found a short sell and she helped us get into our house and close within a month! Adrianne and her team has made us feel like family the way they take the time to call and check on us throughout the years and through their client appreciation events. Thanks again Adrianne and Team Lally!”
“To put it simply…Team Lally never gave up! The short sale of our home was dragging on for more than a year! With Team Lally it was completely over in 4 months. Thank you Team Lally.”
“HANDS DOWN! Team Lally is the best in Hawaii! My experience with Team Lally was amazing! They’ve went beyond my expectations for any realtor. My first visit with Team Lally, they gave me “The Red Carpet Treatment”, they immediately treated me like family and was very supportive every minute I was with them. When Team Lally list your home, they’ll start with being super flexible with your schedule, they’ll recommend on what to do on getting the most out of your home. They then will install their awesome sign in front of your home! After, they’ll have their professional photographer come by to take pictures, who is SUPER NICE and he understands everything you’re going through. Not only does he take pictures, but he takes a VIRTUAL TOUR of your HOME, a luxury feature NO OTHER REALTOR I’VE SEEN PROVIDE!!! They will also keep you in loop by updating you every week once your homes on the market! Like I said Team Lally is the best in Hawaii! I highly recommend all my friends to Team Lally! Thank you!”
“My esperience working with Team Lally was outstanding! The entire team collaborated with me, even though I was 12 time zones away! Working together, we were able to focus my search on the selected properties during my inital 8 day visit to Oahu. Team Lally helped me understand the local market, while listening to, and addressing my concerns all along the way! The outcome was the right house, at a great price! We even closed on the property before my final arrival on island! My thanks to all! Team Lally is truly a customer focused team!”
“Team Lally is awesome!! Without their help we would have never been able to sell our home as fast as we did. Everything went smoothly and better than expected.”
“Adrienne helped my husband and I purchase our first home and we can’t say enough about how wonderful she is! Being first-time homebuyers, we had a lot of questions and Adrienne was there with us through every step of the way. From beginning to end, her advice and expertise was invaluable and we couldn’t be happier with the results. She absolutely has our recommendation!”
“Dealing with team Lally has been a great experience. All of the agents which I encountered were very knowledgeable and courteous. The office which they conducted their business was neat and tidy. The atmosphere was very conducive.”