DIY Real Estate - Will you take the plunge?

In this age of do-it-yourself renovations and DIY decorating, of course people would think they can do it themselves! For Sale By Owner signs are usually rare, especially in Sarnia & Lambton County. But are you an aspiring For Sale by Owner? Most people are shocked to hear the stats of success with selling your home yourself. Less then 20% of people are successful in selling their homes privately.  And the average months you will have to market your home usually works to be approx 6 months.

Here are the top five questions to ask yourself before you take the plunge into DIY real estate:


1.      What Will Your Marketing Strategy Be?
Putting up a For Sale sign is easy.  How else are you going to market your home?  Advertising on the web? There are very few websites devoted to Private home sales, making it difficult to reach homebuyers. 95% of buyers are looking on the main real estate sites & serious, educated buyers are already working with agents.  5%-10% of buyers may linger to those few private sites but most will not. They leave it to their agent & usually the only reason real estate agents visit 'For Sale by Owner' websites for one try to pick up new listings.. to list YOUR home!  Not looking for their buyers. They have the main websites to view large amounts of inventory for that.
2.      How Did You Get to that Price?
Its a well known fact that most 'For Sale by Owners' over price their homes. Playing a huge part on why the chances of selling is less then 20%.  Do you know how to set a selling price for your house that reflects its fair market value?  A price that will get you the most exposure & the most amount of showings? While you might be able to find out the selling price of a house in your area by a trip to city hall or county courthouse, realtors can access much more detailed information to make price comparisons. Access to numerous websites with a variety of reports.  Besides the selling price, they will know the size & style of home, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, how long it was on the market before it sold and any other information that’s vital to setting the right price for a house.  
3.      How Are You Planning on Showing the Home?
Did you know that buyers find it incredibly awkward & uncomfortable when sellers are present in the home? They can not talk freely to each other about their true feelings of the home & are put in a position of being fake to the home owners about their feelings towards the house. The amount of time the buyers will stay in the home is cut down drastically. My suggestion: At the very minimum greet the buyers at the door, tell them you will give them some privacy & if they have any questions, you will be in the backyard. Absolutely do not follow them around the house. Buyers Hate That! Just like when they Hate when agents follow them around at Open Houses. Give them privacy if you want any chance of an offer.  Will you be able to show your house when viewers request it? What will you do through the day when your at work?  In reality sellers should be catering to the buyers schedule.  Most sellers already have a full time job.  Guess what ? Selling homes is also a full time job!
4.      Can You Be Truly Objective About the Condition of Your Home?  
The minute you decide that you are going to sell your home, you need to stop thinking of it as “your home”.  A home sale can be a tough experience for those with a sentimental attachment to the property. Potential buyers will not have the same emotional investment in your property. Buyers can be downright rude, annoying, stubborn and over-critical. Can you really come to terms with the fact that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.  It is very hard not to take comments and criticisms
personally. It’s not suppose to be personal… It’s business.
5.      What will it really cost you to go it alone ?
Selling a home is a major financial transaction.  You’ll have to negotiate very large amounts of money with the buyer, or  their agent.  YES there is a good chance you'll attract a buyer alright, one with an agent. But thats okay ! An offer is an offer. Yes your trying to save the entire commission of 5%-6% but when an offer comes from a buyer with an agent, most are happy to save half the commission & get the deal done. Not willing to pay half that commission? The agent has plenty of other inventory to show their buyers that will pay it. So don't blow it. Save 50%!   Another cost sellers do not realize is that you will end up paying your lawyer more money because during a 'private sale' the layer is involved so much more. Do you know your lawyers hourly rate?  
6.  Can You Handle the Pressure? Who's going to fill out the paperwork?
     Will the pressure get to you?  What happens if you make a mistake?  Real estate agencies carry liability insurance just in case they make a mistake, you don't. And thats when people get sued afterwards. Buyers also become more confident about taking someone to court vs a large real estate agency.   Who’s going to protect you from you, if you make a mistake?