A question we get from time to time is what are the common pitfalls of selling by owner?  It’s a great question, so let’s dive in.

Common Pitfalls of Selling By Owner

The first pitfall is legal.  Most sellers don’t realize the regulatory pressures they are under, whether they sell by owner or with an agent.  The state has jurisdiction over property, homeowner, and condo disclosures.  The federal government has jurisdiction over issues like lead-based paint disclosures, waterways, docks, etc.  We’re lumping the Army Corps of Engineers in with the federal government.  Missing any one of these important disclosures could cost you a sale, or worse, a lawsuit or fine.

Security is another issue that concerns sellers.  They want to know who is coming into their home.  Sellers are concerned if the prospect is an actual buyer, or someone who is looking over the contents of the home only to come back later and rob the place.

The Buyer’s ability to pay for the home might be one of the largest concerns sellers have.  When selling by owner, asking this question can be tenuous.  The buyer feels like it’s none of your business and their finances are their business.  But it is the seller’s business.  As a Realtor, we can ask those tough questions and demand proof.  It’s what we do, and if a buyer is skittish about answering, it bears more questions.  Realtors with experience can read more into what’s being said and uncover more facts.  Red flags should never be ignored.  Newer agents, and For Sale By Owners don’t always see the red flags, and when they do, they don’t know how to handle them.

Marketing is critical to getting top dollar.  It doesn’t do much good to save a commission and lose money at the same time.  I’ve seen 3 studies that show For Sale By Owners sell for 6%-16% less than using a real estate agent.  Essentially it costs you nothing to use an agent but could cost you thousands not to.  Placing your home online in a few places isn’t marketing.  It’s simply listing it in a directory.  A few buyers might notice it, but you’re not getting it out to the masses.

Sure, you’ll get some calls from people looking to flip homes and unqualified buyers, but nothing that is going to close or gain you top dollar.  If you doubt us, just try it and see how you fare.  Then call us after a few weeks and we can change that for you.

All Realtors are not the same.  If some Realtors have a hard time marketing a home, imagine how hard it is for a For Sale By Owner.  Again, just placing it in MLS and putting a sign up is not marketing.  You need much more than that to get the word out.  If all you attract are unqualified buyers and just a small percent of the market, you’re not attracting top dollar.

Imagine putting an item for sale in an online auction.  If you had one bidder, you might sell it.  If you had 10 bidders, it’d probably go for more money.  If you had 1,000 bidders, it would sell for more than if you had just one bidder.  Full market exposure equals Top Dollar.  Less than that equals less than Top Dollar.

The Agent You Hire Matters.  The Ellis Team markets your home for all it’s worth.  We shoot for Top Dollar.  Why be satisfied with one buyer when you could have several to choose from? Our marketing generates lots of buyers.  We can bring all the buyers you’ll ever need, but if the home is not priced correctly, they’ll just go buy something else.

Check out www.swflhomevalues.com to get an idea of what your home may be worth.  Or you can Search the MLS like a pro at www.LeeCountyOnline.com

If you have a home to sell Always Call the Ellis Team, your Top Dollar Realtor!  239-489-4042 Ext 4  ask for Sande or Brett.  We’re here to help.

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San Carlos Park Home Ellis Team Featured Property
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Cape Coral

2709 SW 12th Ave Cape Coral

Cape Coral Pool Home Open House

We get calls all the time from discouraged sellers asking for our help.  They placed their home on the market with another agent and it didn’t sell.  They just can’t understand why their home wasn’t liked enough by a buyer to make an offer.  We tell them there are 3 reasons why homes fail to sell.

3 Reasons Why Homes Fail to Sell

  1. A home must be marketed everywhere to attract top dollar.  Simply placing it in MLS or adding a few yard signs may not get the job done.  Even though your home is on MLS, it’s not reaching the whole market.  It also doesn’t stand out.  Buyers have choices, and if you’re just on a list, your home better stand out as a bargain or offer something they really want.  Getting your home out to the right people at the right time in their buying cycle is key.  We can’t tell you how many times a buyer has said we wished we’d known about this other home when we were buying.  It was on MLS, but it didn’t stand out.  It was just a home on a list.
  2. So, you’ve got your home on the MLS.  Does the description make the buyer want to call and ask more questions?  Are all the fields perfect in MLS.  If a Realtor, or buyer for that matter, is searching for a particular field and yours is missing, your home is invisible in that search.  Do you have all the required documents uploaded into MLS at time of listing?  This isn’t the time to be lazy.  Many times, buyers have questions about the HOA, the rules, the finances, etc. and they like to see the answers immediately. If they’re absent, they move on and you lost your chance.
  3. Your home must be priced at market. If it is over the market, it’s not really on the market.  Finding the true market price can be tricky, we get it.  It takes years of experience and studying the market daily as the market is always in flux. We tell sellers we should receive an offer about every 4-5 showings.  If we’re not getting offers, something is wrong.  If we’re not getting showings at all, something bigger is wrong.  We’ve either got an error in the details, or our price is off more than originally thought.  If you’d like to get a pretty good ball park idea of your home’s worth, go to www.swflhomevalues.com It is a computer and does a pretty good job, but it’s no substitute for us looking at your property.

Many people say it’s not price, it’s the condition or the location.  It’s true, you can’t change the location.  You’re locked in by location, and if you’ve got a neighbor that isn’t keeping up their property, it could affect your value.

If your condition isn’t up to par, it too could affect your value. Notice the key words here?  Your value.  Value is determined by the market.  You set the price, the market determines the value.  If your price isn’t at value, it will sit.  You can improve your condition, and that may help.  You may not get dollar for dollar back on improvements, but they may help protect your downside if your home has some objections from buyers.

It pays to hire a professional.  Failing at any one of these 3 critical components can kill a sale, or worse, cause you to sell it for less than it’s worth.  Why reach 1 buyer when you can reach hundreds? A Realtor with years of experience can help you price it properly, market it for all it’s worth, and handle all the details so you have a smooth move.

If you’re thinking of selling, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042 Ext 4  ask for Sande or Brett.  If your home failed to sell the first time, we can help fix that and get you on your way.  Good luck and Happy Selling!

If you’re buying, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  We’ve got all the homes for sale in MLS, and it’s updated instantly.  No more looking at homes that aren’t really on the market anymore.

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Reflection Lakes 5 Bedroom 3 Bath Pool Home on Lake

Reflection lakes Pool Home

13994 Reflection Lakes Dr

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Daniel’s Park 4 Bedroom 3 Bath Home With 3 Car Garage

Daniel’s Park 4 Bedroom 3 Bath Home With 3 Car Garage

14077 Danpark Loop

 

 

The month’s supply of SW Florida real estate inventory supply declined in July from April levels.  There are many reasons for this which we’ll go into detail.

Sellers are listening.  Buyers’ motivation topped out about 9 months ago and sales suffered.  We’ve seen instances in the past where buyers were at one level, and sellers were at another level, and there was a standstill.  The longer the standstill, the longer homes sit on the market and inventory grows.

SW Florida Real Estate Inventory Supply Declined in July

This time around, word got out and sellers didn’t want to be caught holding the bag.  They made the adjustments quicker, and it’s paid off.  Sure, nobody is happy to reduce their asking price.  Without movement, nothing would happen.  If a seller’s true desire is to sell, then you’ve got to find that price point where price equals value in the market’s eye.  It looks like sellers have been doing that.

For the most part, inventory has declined, and sales have increased.  Inventory declined in all price ranges in Lee County Florida.  Closed sales increased in all price ranges except the less than $100k and $100-150k ranges.  This decline could simply be a matter of not as much inventory to sell, therefore not as many closed sales.  With months supply of 1.25 months or less, it’s hardly worth mentioning except to be factual.

Buyers should take note.  You’re no longer in the driver’s seat.  With 4.57 months’ supply of overall inventory we’re back to a seller’s market, statistically speaking.  Sellers, don’t get too excited either.  It really depends on which price range your home is located.  Once your home crosses that $300,000 threshold you enter neutral to buyers’ market territory.  If you’ve got a home that’s been on the market awhile, it’s probably time to adjust to where the buyers are.

If you’re a seller priced under $300k and your home is not selling, there is a problem.  An immediate adjustment may be in order.  If it is priced correctly, it should be getting action.  We tell sellers we should be getting offers about every 4-5 showings.  If we’re getting showings and no offers, the marketing is working.  The price or condition isn’t.  If a seller isn’t getting showings, it’s either the price or the marketing.  It could be both.

As a seller, you’re really in charge of two things.  Setting the correct price and selecting the best agent.  Mistakes in the MLS, bad photos, or lack of marketing muscle can be a turnoff to buyers or make your listing invisible.  We’ve seen lack of good marketing cost sellers a sale, or thousands in their pocket at closing because they didn’t attract the highest and best buyers for their home.

If your home is overpriced, you’re just adding to the marketing time and kidding yourself.  Typically, in the end you’ll end up taking a lower price than you otherwise would have had you priced it correctly upfront.  If your agent recommends taking action on price, listen.  If you aren’t having that conversation with your agent, perhaps it’s time to be proactive.  Perhaps your agent recommended a lower price at tie of listing, but you were stubborn or convinced it should be higher.  Perhaps your agent has recommended price adjustments and you’ve declined.  Whatever the case, ultimately, it’s on you as the seller.

If you decline your doctor’s advice, the results are on you as the patient.  If you decline your attorney’s advice, the results are on you as the client.  The same is true in real estate.  It’s your home.  If you’re OK with owning it and not selling, then that’s fine.  If you’re not OK and would like to move on, it’s time to adjust.  It’s either the marketing or the price.

If your home has expired, or if you’re considering putting your home on the market, perhaps it’s time to get a 2nd opinion.  Always Call the Ellis Team.  We specialize in getting homes sold the 1st time.  We’d be happy to look at your home and figure out what we can do to sell it.  239-489-4042 Ext 4 or www.LeeCountyOnline.com  Ask for Sande or Brett Ellis.

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Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

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