Author Topic: First Time Home Seller - Advice?  (Read 1579 times)

NotJen

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First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« on: January 15, 2021, 03:30:46 PM »
The time has come, and I am going to sell my first home!  Purchased about 15 years ago as a new build, so I feel like I haven't been through a normal home sale process before.

I'd love to do FSBO, but I feel like I don't have the contacts to pull that off.

My plan is to start interviewing realtors soon.  My expectation from the realtor is that they will help me decide what improvements are necessary before putting it on the market (and possibly recommend companies to contact for the work?), give staging suggestions, provide professional photos, and interact with all the other people involved in the process until I actually have to sign something.  Are there other services I should be expecting to take advantage of?

I have the names of 2 realtors who have very recently sold homes in my neighborhood who I will definitely contact.  I also got a cold-call message from a realtor mentioning how a recent sale got over asking price (it looks like he didn't sell that house, though) - is he worth contacting, or just ignore?

What are good questions to ask - aside from cost and what services they'll provide?

Any other tips?

franklin4

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2021, 04:05:01 PM »
Just because an agent recently sold a house nearby doesn't mean you should use them but sure, give them a call and see what they have to say. Experience and knowledge are most important. Your goal should be to find the most experienced and most knowledgeable agent who can help. Ask how many houses they have sold in the past year, how long they have been an agent, if you can contact past clients to discuss their work. Ask what they think of the market, whether it's best to price low and hope for multiple offers, whether it makes sense to update the house prior to listing. If you know someone who has bought or sold multiple times ask if they'd recommend their agent. Many agents spend more time/effort marketing themselves than helping clients so if you can find someone who has enough business they don't need to do much marketing that could be a good sign.

Good luck!

Mrs. Sloth

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2021, 04:55:07 PM »
Depending on how hot the market is in your area, sometimes everything in a certain price range (the affordable homes) flies off the self just because there is so much demand. In those cases, I would say the house sells itself and I would recommend a realtor who has experience but charges the lowest/lower seller's commission  fees be the one chosen. I don't know if Redfin is in your area, but they only charge 1.5% for the seller's commission (lower if you are selling and buying with them within a year). I have used Redfin to buy and had a good experience but no experience selling through them (yet).

NotJen

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2021, 07:09:12 AM »
Just because an agent recently sold a house nearby doesn't mean you should use them but sure, give them a call and see what they have to say. Experience and knowledge are most important. Your goal should be to find the most experienced and most knowledgeable agent who can help. Ask how many houses they have sold in the past year, how long they have been an agent, if you can contact past clients to discuss their work. Ask what they think of the market, whether it's best to price low and hope for multiple offers, whether it makes sense to update the house prior to listing. If you know someone who has bought or sold multiple times ask if they'd recommend their agent. Many agents spend more time/effort marketing themselves than helping clients so if you can find someone who has enough business they don't need to do much marketing that could be a good sign.

Good luck!

I saw that advice here in older threads to go with agents who have sold homes in your neighborhood.  I like that at least it gives me a starting point.

I don't know anyone who has sold recently, but I'll ask around.  I have several friends who will recommend the same person who I already know I don't want to use, so that lowers my pool of people to get recs from.

Depending on how hot the market is in your area, sometimes everything in a certain price range (the affordable homes) flies off the self just because there is so much demand. In those cases, I would say the house sells itself and I would recommend a realtor who has experience but charges the lowest/lower seller's commission  fees be the one chosen. I don't know if Redfin is in your area, but they only charge 1.5% for the seller's commission (lower if you are selling and buying with them within a year). I have used Redfin to buy and had a good experience but no experience selling through them (yet).

Three houses on my street have sold within days recently (though I guess they're technically still pending).  Good point that lowest fees might be the most important factor if things are selling fast.  I'll look into Redfin.

Fishindude

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2021, 08:58:53 AM »
In some markets all you need to do is stick a for sale sign in the front yard and homes sell pretty quickly.
If you are in one of those locations, I'd definitely sell it myself to save the realtor fees. 

Probably don't have to do any improvements, just clean the place up real good before showing it.

Your local title company can handle the complete transaction and legal work.

Dicey

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2021, 09:38:02 AM »
It's a known phenomenon that when one house in an area sells, more will come on the market. The phone caller was just using that knowledge to try to get a listing. As least they're hustling. It could also have been someone who was paid to generate leads. In the last two days, I've had two of those "Do you want to sell your house?" phone calls and neither of them were Realtors.

I haven't used Redfin yet, but we met a few agents when we sold out last flip. They also have a great website, so I wouldn't hesitate to consider them and save a few bucks.

Under no circumstances would I DIY my first home sale. There are too many potential pitfalls, including becoming the target of scammers. An ace Realtor should be able to get you more money than you could on your own.

Here's a novel idea. On Redfin's site, their agents can post tour notes. My friend's daughter was selling her house in an area I'm unfamiliar with (Dicey waves to exflyboy). They had fallen for the trick of choosing the agent who claimed they could get an insanely high price. I was following the listing, because I could see what had happened, but all I could do was watch. I noticed that a Redfin agent had posted an insightful, candid review. Out of curiosity, because I'm a real estate geek, I checked out his other listings, reviews, etc. I even sent him an email, complimenting him on his candor. If ever I wanted to buy or sell in that area, I'd totally choose that guy.

Because of the pandemic, there are fewer reviews being posted, but I'd still sign up for Redfin and start looking at the reviews for everything that's sold in your area. At the very least, you'll learn a lot.

There's a shyster realtor flipping a house in my neighborhood. He's doing a shitty job, like hiding obvious non-cosmetic foundation damage. In researching him, I found out a lot by looking at his other current and sold listings, his website, and by reading the reviews on Yelp. I even reached out to the realtors of the people who wrote the bad reviews to confirm their accuracy. So if you have someone in mind, be sure to check their reviews.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2021, 08:39:15 AM by Dicey »

FINate

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2021, 10:31:38 AM »
Do not sell it yourself unless you are completely familiar and comfortable with the end to end process. Real estate is a large transaction, don't be penny wise and pound foolish.

Most important two questions for realtors: What is their percentage? And what do you get in return?

In most markets 6% is the norm, but in some HCOL areas its typically 5%. Honest realtors will tell you up front that 5% is the going rate, whereas others will try to spin it as giving you a special rate.

When we evaluated realtors we found a large variation in both the quantity and quality of services. Some did full marketing plans, with a thorough online presence, 3D virtual tours, very good high quality professional photos, did the actual staging, etc. Whereas others did just a basic "we put photos up on the agency website" approach, and reasonably good photos but not great. Totally different levels of service for the same fees.

Spend a good amount of time looking at each agent's current and past listings. Photos should be clean, well composed, in focus, good lighting, free of distortion, nothing awkward or distracting. Homes should be properly staged, not too much furniture or personal items, and clean. Written property descriptions should be descriptive and emotive and free from grammatical/spelling errors.

I would ask how they feel about seller and agent disclosures. By this I mean disclosing issues to prospective buyers. Are they okay with, or even encourage, sellers to pay for an inspection? When selling a property I want to thoroughly disclose every possible issue. This may seem counterintuitive, but it makes a ton of sense. Getting as much info to potential buyers as possible limits the potential for contingencies popping up while under contract. It also limits your liability after the sale completes. Avoid agents that are bothered by detailed disclosures and/or are not completely forthcoming with their listings.

Finally, you don't necessarily need to do a bunch of work to fix up your house. Cosmetic things like paint and floors *may* be worth the expense because these make the house show so much better. Same with getting rid of junk and simple landscaping. But for most other things, just disclose it and let the buyers deal with it.

PMJL34

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2021, 11:58:48 AM »
OP,

Use a realtor to sell your home.

Redfin in my area charges 1.5% listing fee + buyer's commission.

Dicey

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2021, 08:40:09 AM »
Great advice from FINate!

iluvzbeach

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2021, 10:59:11 AM »
Totally agree with almost all of the advice from FINate. Not sure that a seller’s inspection is necessary, unless properties are moving slowly in your market.

If your market & price point are “hot” right now, don’t worry about updates or cosmetic stuff. Buyers will generally want to make it “their own” (whatever the hell that actually means.) Definitely hire a Realtor and the advice FINate gave around professional photos and listing remarks was spot on. This cannot be overemphasized enough. Potential buyers do a lot of their searching through online sites and photos alone, along with well-written marketing remarks, will generate interest to view the property.

Cb1234567

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2021, 06:36:52 AM »
For you, the sellers -
1. Clean like crazy. Wipe baseboards, wash glass shades, nooks, crannies, corners. You lived there over a decade - you do not see the dirt. Do this before the realtor sees the house.

2. Box up 1/3 to 1/2 of your stuff, and put in the basement or garage. No pictures, calendars, clothes, stuff on the refrigerator...Organize the rest so it looks like fake people live there. :) Buyers are busy, they do not want to have to imagine how your house would look without the clutter. They have their own 🙈

3. Home condition
a. Do not get a home inspection- all inspectors find different things, so “yours” won’t necessarily be the be-all-end-all. You are on the hook to declare Everything they find, or declare and fix. Not good. Ignorance is bliss, assuming your home is in decent repair (nobody gets 100% on inspections, and there is no “pass” or “fail”). I realize some people want the confidence of having the inspection ahead of time. We prefer not. Inspectors can really suck - and now I have to explain why I disagree with a comment on the report. No thanks.

b. Do not do any updates or major changes. Now is not the time to put major money into your property, unless there is a really strong reason for it. The only exception is paint, if an area really is dingy (painting is cleaning).

c. Do complete pending maintenance and small repairs so that your house is in good, working order (clear the slow bathroom drain, soap the sticky window or door, clean the gutters...). It will show that the home is well cared for.

4. Get a routine for showings such as: toilets clean, seats down, shower toiletries hidden, kids toys in bins, pets out, pet stuff hidden (dog beds, litter box), clear off bathroom & kitchen counters - only pump soap/hand sanitizer allowed, used towels put up. Lights on. No strong smells - good or bad.

For finding a realtor -
1. Know your own numbers first. Look up the listings in your close area to see Sold prices, list prices and days on the market (DOM). Get a feel for how fast are things selling and list vs sold price (you won’t be able to see seller concessions). Your goal is two-fold. First, to know enough to decide if your agent is blowing smoke or not. Second, to decide what amount you want from your house (see below, closing costs).

2. Your realtor is not your friend. His/her objective is to sell the house, at which point payment of commission occurs. Expect that, even with the very best of intentions, your objectives and your agent’s WILL diverge. You have 1 chicken to watch that you care immensely about. They have many.

3. Expect professionalism, an office team to divide the workload, and prompt responses (within minutes if not hours-same day unless really late in p.m.). A good agent is ALWAYS responsive. Any failure in this realm **before** getting the listing is an instant disqualification.

4. Ask questions specific to your area, neighborhood, market. Your goal is to decide how knowledgeable they are, how they communicate, how much “in the loop” locally, do you like the answers, and do they match your own gut feelings/research...

Ultimately, did they come prepared? (Already looked up your property records, neighborhood inform and know the market? Or are they walking around with a tape measure to get room sizes for house square footage and asking you how many bedrooms- I.e. not good).

General Questions: what is the average DOM? List vs sell price? Buyers expectations? How many listings do they have right now? (You should already have looked) Ask why one (of their own, preferably) listing isn’t selling. What is an unusual situation you had lately, and how did you fix it?

Specific to Us questions: Who do you see buying this house? (define the buyer - once you list the house, this is who you target; you will ignore the other naysayers...they’re not your buyer, so it does not matter what they think)
What list price range do you suggest?
How do you decide on price drops?
What do you think it should sell for, and how much do we clear in the end? ( expect to see a form listing your closing costs for “X” sale price - the ONLY #s we care about are A) how much you clear in the end, and B) how long it takes to get there.
Ask how they market your home and how differs from other realtors.
Ask if they use a pro photographer, look for see through windows and a house that looks stellar in their current listings - especially with covid - most people shop online.

5. Commission is 5 (FIVE) %. If their standard is 6, they will do 5. They will. 5 is more than 0, which is what they get if they do not have the listing.

6. DO NOT tell your agent anything that you do not want them to share with the buyers’ agent. Be honest, but please, keep your cards close.

7. Aim for an agent at an active brokerage. They should have lots of listings, selling several a month(I usually look for about 10, with rare exception). You are hiring the agent AND the brokerage plus the office team.

8. Do not sign a 1 year contract. Ignore what they say is standard. Yes, you can fire them, but it is disruptive and not a slam dunk always. Do 3 months. 6 at most. A good realtor will be confident they can find you a buyer.

9. READ everything before you sign. You sign it, it’s on you. Make sure you know your outs and the buyers’, when you receive an offer.  Also, aim to find the buyer who “wants in” and can get to the closing table. No wish-washy, no nitpicking, no questionable finances. It’s Ok to pushback on your agent at any time...you and they agent both want to get to the closing table.

10. Plan your move out so your options are kept open. (Whatever that means for your situation) You’ll be able to negotiate better, and hopefully be less stressed.

The real value of a good agent is in being a 3rd party go-between who insulates you from the buyer and buyers agent - AND - in being able to get through sticky situations that occur after an offer is accepted.

Also, expect to “spend” 7-10% getting out of your house, depending on how much diy you do etc etc. Maybe 1% of home price spent on clean up/maintenance/staging and/or storage ( we stage with our own stuff, just rearranged and no clutter). 5% commission. The rest is closing costs, seller’s concessions to buyer or fixing minor inspection items*.
(*do not fix if at all possible- leave it for the buyer)

Disclaimer: we have not and will not ever live in California. CA rules differ. 😇

zoro

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2021, 07:08:46 AM »
This might seem random, but it comes from selling tens of houses and renting literally hundreds of properties over the years. People have a check list in their minds to visualize buying your property. They walk in the bathroom - updated check - They walk in the kitchen - modern enough - check.  You should hit the check marks and there is a ton of stuff on staging, but the odd one is - clean the sink - people walk over and look in it.  It makes a huge difference to the sales conversion rate.
What i do is to clean a stainless steel sink is take polishing compound that you would use on a car, and buff the sink, so that it has a reflective enough surface so the customer can see their face in the metal.  It seems to make a statistical difference in the acceptance rate.

NotJen

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2021, 07:59:08 AM »
Here's a novel idea. On Redfin's site, their agents can post tour notes.

I've been on Redfin's site, but I haven't seen this on any properties.  Is there somewhere special I have to look, or would it just show up under the home details if there were any?

Do not sell it yourself unless you are completely familiar and comfortable with the end to end process. Real estate is a large transaction, don't be penny wise and pound foolish.

My mom thinks I should sell it myself.  A house in the neighborhood just went up FSBO.  I'm going to monitor what's going on with it, but the plan is still to go with a realtor for now.

Totally agree with almost all of the advice from FINate. Not sure that a seller’s inspection is necessary, unless properties are moving slowly in your market.

If your market & price point are “hot” right now, don’t worry about updates or cosmetic stuff. Buyers will generally want to make it “their own” (whatever the hell that actually means.) Definitely hire a Realtor and the advice FINate gave around professional photos and listing remarks was spot on. This cannot be overemphasized enough. Potential buyers do a lot of their searching through online sites and photos alone, along with well-written marketing remarks, will generate interest to view the property.

This is what I want to hear.  I need interior paint and new floors in some rooms, but I really don't want to do it.  I'd rather offer an allowance for that stuff.

For you, the sellers -
...

Seller singular, just me.  Good advice - I'm doing most of it right now - getting rid of stuff, cleaning, making minor repairs.  Waited for the cat to die so that I got rid of all that stuff and (hopefully) have dealt with the associated smells.

Thanks for the realtor questions.

I'm really flexible on everything, so hopefully that will work to my advantage.

This might seem random, but it comes from selling tens of houses and renting literally hundreds of properties over the years. People have a check list in their minds to visualize buying your property. They walk in the bathroom - updated check - They walk in the kitchen - modern enough - check.  You should hit the check marks and there is a ton of stuff on staging, but the odd one is - clean the sink - people walk over and look in it.  It makes a huge difference to the sales conversion rate.
What i do is to clean a stainless steel sink is take polishing compound that you would use on a car, and buff the sink, so that it has a reflective enough surface so the customer can see their face in the metal.  It seems to make a statistical difference in the acceptance rate.

Good tip on the kitchen sink - that's part of the plan to keep everything super clean while it's on the market.

Dicey

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2021, 06:34:24 PM »
Hi Not Jen, I sent you a message and a couple of links.

So I'm going to vent a bit lot here. There is a flip house in my area that is a total shit job. Serious things, like horizontal foundation cracks, have been covered up and shoddy workmanship prevails. I have been making it a point to saunter by when people are looking at and asking if I can answer any questions. I am very, very careful to stick to the facts. I suggest they look at the house on Google Maps and read the realtor's reviews. People have been incredibly thankful and positive in their responses to me. Today, there was someone at the house so I ambled over. I asked her if she had any questions for a friendly neighbor. She flat out told me not to tell her anything. ANYTHING. She said she was waiting for her clients and if she had any questions, she would talk to the seller. Oh boy, is she in trouble. For one, she doesn't even realize that the seller is the agent and the owner and the one who is promoting his lipstick on a teardown as a "complete rebuild".  I looked her square in the eye and said, "In that case. I wish you the best of luck." I cannot fathom why an agent would stick her head so firmly up her own ass. I feel awful for her clients. She only wants to make a sale. I hope she carries really good E&O Insurance, because if her clients buy it, she's gonna need it. I didn't get her card, but of course she has vanity plates...

Nobody, but nobody deserves to buy a house where problems have been masked, not corrected. I'd have no problem if someone knew what they were getting into, but this guy is trying to get top dollar and we don't want some unsuspecting young family to get stuck with it.

The point of my story (please don't quote, as I may remove) is that this is exactly the kind of agent you don't want. Do your research and be diligent in finding a great one. They are out there.

NotJen

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2021, 08:09:37 AM »
Yes, I'll definitely steer clear of anyone who suggests coverups or doesn't want to hear about any known issues.

My parents are extremely anti-realtor, and growing up with that attitude has definitely affected my views - for better or worse.  Definitely hoping to meet a good one in this process.

Malcat

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2021, 08:25:58 AM »
I don't know if other people agree with this, but I know that for me, moving out before selling was a godsend.

Our market is hot, so we were only listed for a week, but I would have never been able to live there for that week and stayed sane. We had multiple showings a day, some as late as 10pm. We left some furniture for staging, but it was otherwise spotless and showed beautifully any time of day.

We didn't plan it that way, but it was a very civilized selling experience.

NotJen

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2021, 08:32:51 AM »
I don't know if other people agree with this, but I know that for me, moving out before selling was a godsend.

Our market is hot, so we were only listed for a week, but I would have never been able to live there for that week and stayed sane. We had multiple showings a day, some as late as 10pm. We left some furniture for staging, but it was otherwise spotless and showed beautifully any time of day.

We didn't plan it that way, but it was a very civilized selling experience.

Most of the homes that have sold recently in my neighborhood have been empty; I don't know if that's a factor in them selling quickly.

I really want to stay here as long as possible, but I can also move out/partially move out if I need to.

Jon Bon

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2021, 08:38:05 AM »
Ok, Ill bite.

My personal opinion is in most situations realtors add zero value to the deal, they simply take/destroy value.

*All RE is local so your laws/regs likely will be different*

1. All residential RE deals are exactly the same. They use the same document with the same language. They just fill in the blanks, I am 100% serious. Get your hands on your areas RE offer sheet and see if you are comfortable reading/negotiating based on that. You will realize realtors don't actually do much.
2. Flat fee listings exists - pay $500 a get on the MLS like everyone else. You take the pictures and write the description it's not hard.
3. Zillow exists, you could publish your own listing that would be in front of 90% of the market population is like 10 mins. Zillow has not so publicly said that they are going to destroy the MLS/realtor monopoly.
4. FSBO is old school, 2 and 3 are still gives off the professional vibe without looking like the  "I know what I got" type.

Now there is lots of practical advice that you gotten from others as well.

1. Declutter
2. Clean like hell
3. Price accordingly - pay for appraisal if you want to be sure, show appraisal to potential sellers

Note you might still have to pay the buyers agent, why people who know the city and neighbor still need a buyers agent is beyond me. But to each their own I guess.

Good luck out there!






Malcat

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2021, 08:40:49 AM »
I don't know if other people agree with this, but I know that for me, moving out before selling was a godsend.

Our market is hot, so we were only listed for a week, but I would have never been able to live there for that week and stayed sane. We had multiple showings a day, some as late as 10pm. We left some furniture for staging, but it was otherwise spotless and showed beautifully any time of day.

We didn't plan it that way, but it was a very civilized selling experience.

Most of the homes that have sold recently in my neighborhood have been empty; I don't know if that's a factor in them selling quickly.

I really want to stay here as long as possible, but I can also move out/partially move out if I need to.

How quickly you sell is more a function of your market.
Most people don't move out early because of the carrying costs. We had already moved out, so it didn't matter.

Once you start showing and selling though, your will likely stop feeling like your home anyway. The main reason to stay put before closing is financial.

Dicey

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2021, 08:58:30 AM »
I don't know if other people agree with this, but I know that for me, moving out before selling was a godsend.

Our market is hot, so we were only listed for a week, but I would have never been able to live there for that week and stayed sane. We had multiple showings a day, some as late as 10pm. We left some furniture for staging, but it was otherwise spotless and showed beautifully any time of day.

We didn't plan it that way, but it was a very civilized selling experience.
I hadn't thought of this, but the last four homes we've sold were the same way and it did make things much easier. All sold quickly and for over asking.

NotJen

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2021, 09:01:11 AM »
Ok, Ill bite.

My personal opinion is in most situations realtors add zero value to the deal, they simply take/destroy value.

*All RE is local so your laws/regs likely will be different*

1. All residential RE deals are exactly the same. They use the same document with the same language. They just fill in the blanks, I am 100% serious. Get your hands on your areas RE offer sheet and see if you are comfortable reading/negotiating based on that. You will realize realtors don't actually do much.
2. Flat fee listings exists - pay $500 a get on the MLS like everyone else. You take the pictures and write the description it's not hard.
3. Zillow exists, you could publish your own listing that would be in front of 90% of the market population is like 10 mins. Zillow has not so publicly said that they are going to destroy the MLS/realtor monopoly.
4. FSBO is old school, 2 and 3 are still gives off the professional vibe without looking like the  "I know what I got" type.

The contract itself isn't the part I'm concerned about.  I do know that I cannot take good pictures of my home (I've tried), so I would hire this done.  My big reason for using a realtor would be to have some insulation from potential buyers.  Is that worth $4k-7k?  Maybe?

Note you might still have to pay the buyers agent, why people who know the city and neighbor still need a buyers agent is beyond me. But to each their own I guess.

I'm assuming I'll have to pay a buyer's agent.  I live in a market with LOTS of transplants.  I expect the kind of person who will buy my home will be completely new to the area.  Or a first-time buyer looking to get out of an apartment.  Either could buy on their own, but I'm betting they use a realtor.

Mrs. Sloth

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2021, 09:04:17 AM »
Ok, Ill bite.

My personal opinion is in most situations realtors add zero value to the deal, they simply take/destroy value.


I agree. The last time we sold a house, the only thing the realtor did was pressure us to drop the price because she wanted it to sell after the 1st week! Then she tried to be the buyer's agent too to a party we know to triple her commission (seller's and buyer's commission from us and seller's commission for the buyers who would sell their house). She tried to convince us to take that contingent offer and we flat out told her that made us uncomfortable in her representing this party as well. I was soooo pissed.

Mrs. Sloth

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2021, 09:10:23 AM »
I forgot to say the exception...that is a good realtor for rental properties makes a difference.

FINate

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2021, 09:43:27 AM »
If you've only had bad experiences with realtors then perhaps you're not selecting/filtering correctly. We've only had wonderful experiences with agents that have worked their butts off, often very odd hours, and with all sorts of interesting problems... seems like random stuff starts breaking when you go to sell a house.

Jon Bon

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2021, 10:46:05 AM »
Sure, a buyers agent can be useful. New state? sure.  City to rural, suburban to mountain town? . I would use a buyers agent in all of these situations. All RE is local.

A sellers agent:

1. Lists a house
2. Accepts the first reasonable offer.

How involved both those things can vary. But I promise you they don't care about your house and $ as much as you do.

Insulation from buyers is a thing. However it also leads to principal agent problems as well. How "much" insulation do you think they would do? 4-7 hours of work? At damn near $1000 an hour? I would do many annoying, terrible, gross things for $1000 an hour....

It sounds like you have some experience and knowledge in this. To me it comes down to 1. saving money, and 2. Trust. I don't believe that using a realtor helps in either of those situations for my RE transactions.  I almost think you should just list on Zillow just to see what happens. it is such a sellers market I cant believe you will have a hard time.

Let us know what you decide!




Mrs. Sloth

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2021, 10:54:51 AM »
The agent we used to list our house mentioned in my posting above we have actually used before as our agent to buy multiple times and she has glowing reviews but the selling experience still turned out horrible. She didnt do shit IMO except hire a photographer and forward the offer and coordinate a few things.

I am not 100% sure whether I will use an agent to sell our primary home the next time bc fear of the unknowns but will seriously consider selling it ourselves.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2021, 11:06:51 AM by Mrs. Sloth »

NotJen

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2021, 02:30:47 PM »
I've now met with three realtors to satisfy the feeling that I did my "due diligence".  Glad that's over with.

Two are giving me a quite high listing/sell range, and they are both focused on the price per square foot, and pointing out that homes like mine aren't currently available in my area (true based on my research).  One is giving me a range that was in line with what I was expecting before talking to anyone, but leaving out recent sales in my neighborhood as comps (because they're all smaller).

The two 'standard' realtors are asking for 6% in fees; 3% selling agent, 3% buying agent.  When I mentioned that I was interviewing other realtors in part to get the best deal on fees, one guy said "well, if I couldn't negotiate my fee how could I negotiate your house".  Ok, you just "negotiated" yourself out of the listing.

Redfin is charging 1.5%, and telling me I can offer the buyer's agent any % I want, but 2.5% is standard here, and I could possibly negotiate 2%.

I plan to go with Redfin, though I am a little concerned their suggested listing price is too high.  I'm going to wait until at least tomorrow afternoon to start contacting everyone.

FINate

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2021, 02:51:46 PM »
When I mentioned that I was interviewing other realtors in part to get the best deal on fees, one guy said "well, if I couldn't negotiate my fee how could I negotiate your house".  Ok, you just "negotiated" yourself out of the listing.

Hah! That's a stupid retort from the realtor. In a strong seller's market with low inventory realtors should expect fierce competition for the privilege of selling your home. It'll likely sell quickly, which means less work for them and a quicker commission. Guess he doesn't really understand how negotiations work :)

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2021, 10:34:47 PM »
My tips:
1.  Use a realtor.  FINate is right.
2.  Don't overthink it.  Ignore the cold-calling guy, but ask a few friends and find a realtor who someone recommends who's knowledgeable.  Know that you're walking into a hard-sales pitch if your market is hot (like most) and you have a home to sell right now.  It's a guaranteed quick commission for a hungry realtor.
3.  Sell soon.  Don't wait.  This market is red-hot.  Why wait and chance it dropping?  Do whatever you need to quickly, but I've thought of selling, and I would sell right now while the market is hot, because it's hard to see (1) how it could improve a lot, and (2) how this situation can stay for long.  I could see it getting better for buyers rather than sellers now, since sellers have almost unprecedented leverage right now (low supply, COVID, high demand, etc.). 

Of those, I would make #3 my main concern: sell smartly, but sell right now, before this blitz ends. 

NotJen

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Re: First Time Home Seller - Advice?
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2021, 09:19:55 AM »
My tips:
1.  Use a realtor.  FINate is right.
2.  Don't overthink it.  Ignore the cold-calling guy, but ask a few friends and find a realtor who someone recommends who's knowledgeable.  Know that you're walking into a hard-sales pitch if your market is hot (like most) and you have a home to sell right now.  It's a guaranteed quick commission for a hungry realtor.
3.  Sell soon.  Don't wait.  This market is red-hot.  Why wait and chance it dropping?  Do whatever you need to quickly, but I've thought of selling, and I would sell right now while the market is hot, because it's hard to see (1) how it could improve a lot, and (2) how this situation can stay for long.  I could see it getting better for buyers rather than sellers now, since sellers have almost unprecedented leverage right now (low supply, COVID, high demand, etc.). 

Of those, I would make #3 my main concern: sell smartly, but sell right now, before this blitz ends.

I did ignore the cold-call guy.  I forgot to ask my one friend who might have given me a good rec (oops!), but my other friends would all mention the same person, who I didn't want to work with.

I do intend to get it listed in the next week or two.  I definitely want to take advantage of the low inventory.  There are *2* houses total on the MLS in my ZIP code right now, both at a higher price point.  I should sign a contract with Redfin today.