Let me preface this by saying that I know I’ll be in hot water with some other Realtors for discussing this topic, but it’s something that I feel strongly about and want to share with those who are outside of the industry.
I’m happy for someone to get a good Realtor to sell their home and save them a lot of stress and effort- but I’m not happy about anyone in my industry using misrepresentations.
Now, when trying to sell your home on your own, the National Association of Realtors has found that incorrect pricing is the biggest obstacle to overcome. That’s because the market is constantly changing and even an active Realtor who sells a half dozen homes in a year will likely have difficulties in correctly pricing a home.
Utah is a non-disclosure state, which means that without professional resources, you don’t know what homes in your area are actually selling for. You can get ballparks and estimates until you’re blue in the face, but you don’t have access to hard, real data on home sales in your neighborhood. If you want to refer to Zillow, they have some of the worst overpricing in the industry.
Let’s say you price your home. It’s very likely you’ll price it too high (which I hear and think, *phew*- you’re safe- because an over-priced home will almost never sell and you’ll be safe from losing money!). There’s also the possibility that you’ll price it too low and miss out on thousands of dollars because someone will be more than happy to snap up an under-priced home in today’s market.
Sadly, their are seminars taught on how to take advantage of for sale by owners who price their homes too low and how to trap them in a contract that will ultimately lose the owner money. They lose money not only in the actual sale of their home, but also with very specifically drawn up contracts that will eventually force the owner to cancel (once they realize that they are priced too low), causing a breech of contract and a payout for the ‘buyer’ since the owner had to cancel.
If you know exactly who you’re selling to and that other party is ready and willing to buy, a for sale by owner may be for you. If you’re just looking to save on paying for an agent, let me assure you that in nearly every home I have sold, my client has walked away with MORE money in their pocket than it cost them to hire me.