DIY enthusiasm is huge in today’s world thanks to YouTube tutorials, how-to guides, and shows that hearken back to Bob Vila.
Want to install a sink? Do it yourself!
Need to replace your brakes? Do it yourself!
Building a laptop? Do it yourself!
It’s not that simple when it comes to selling your home, although you might not know it from all of the “self-help” articles out there. There are several hard lessons to learn that will cost you time, money, and energy . . . or you could just read this! Here are three myths and misconceptions about selling your home on your own:
Myth #1: Selling without a Realtor® will save you money.
On its face, this seems reasonable. If you sell it yourself, you won’t have to pay the seller’s commission that a real estate brokerage would charge, saving potentially tens of thousands of dollar, right? Wrong.
Houses sold by owner will sell slower than a house sold by an established brokerage, which means that the market fluctuates, your price will drop, and any savings you might have seen will be eaten up quickly, costing you more money in the long run. This doesn’t even consider the fact that the online valuation tools FSBO sellers use are usually inaccurate, resulting in either pricing your home too low and losing money or too high and losing a potential sale. So, instead of saving tens of thousands of dollars, you’ll have lost both time and money.
Myth #2: It’s easy to market your home for sale.
Everyone has that one house in their neighborhood that has the “For Sale” sign from Home Depot in its front lawn with the phone number scrawled across it desperately in black Sharpie. Ask them how easy it’s been to market their home, and they’ll tell you. Craigslist? Filled with dead ends and people who don’t show up for showings, wasting your time immeasurably. Facebook? Who knows how the algorithm will affect your ability to showcase your home to your 280 friends, none of whom want to buy it anyway?
Not only do real estate agencies have access to databases of homes for sale that target thousands of people who are looking for a home just like yours, but they know how to properly market your home. A qualified broker will take high quality photos, stage your home to appeal to the broadest possible audience, and use resources to which you don’t have access. When your whole job revolves around showing homes to people who want to buy those homes, it’s the real estate agent’s prerogative to be a true expert.
Myth #3: An agent is only out to make as much money as possible for themselves and the other agents.
This might be one of the most frustrating myths out there. The real estate agent’s job is to get you the best deal in the market. Does an agent make money off of a sale? Of course! It’s their job, but they get rewarded the better they do their job. That’s why commissions are a percentage of the final sale price and not a flat fee. Agents are motivated to help you, because helping you helps them.
Beyond that, though, selling your home can be a personal journey. A good Realtor® will be equal parts your agent, your therapist, your friend, and your advisor - you develop a connection with them that means you’ll return to them for future real estate needs. It becomes a mutually beneficial relationship that can last decades, and that goes well beyond something as simple as “making money.”
Real estate is a specialized profession, and those who go through the process to be educated and licensed are experts in the field. Who wouldn’t rely on that expertise to sell their home, getting the best deal, the best marketing, and the best result? (It’s a rhetorical question, but the only answer is obviously someone who doesn’t actually want to get a good price for their home. Obviously.)