Don’t be a FSBO - An Ode to Billy Joe.
Hot real estate markets like this may lend to not so hot ideas! Having a misguided impression that houses for sale are flying off the shelf is causing many to think they can sell their family home quickly and easily without representation and enter into a binding legal contract as “For Sale By Owner”..........Here’s 8 reasons why you should not jump off that bridge!
#1 Market Watch - Real estate professionals have their fingers on the pulse of the market. Realtors exercise daily in the hub of a trade association of local professionals where market inventory is the operating tool. Like stock trade professionals, the market watch involves a daily evaluation. Office tours are a professional courtesy. On a weekly basis, fellow associates will share their opinion of value based on their feel for the market equipping the listing agent’s seller with educated analysis of where their property would range in today’s market. This pre-market evaluation lends huge advantage to a seller.
#2 Days on Market - Truth is, houses are not flying off the market. The average days on market in San Luis Obispo County before getting into contract is currently 28 days. Pricing is everything! If you have overpriced the market you can extend those days on market to add a week or two with every price reduction needed. If your property slips undetected by a large percentage of the active buyers on the market, double or triple your days on market. Keep in mind that this waiting period puts your plans in limbo. Without a bird in hand, you may be jeopardizing your plans for that perfect replacement property.
#3 Don’t Narrow the Playing Field - By not exposing your property to a multiple listing service, you are marketing your property to less than 100% of the Active market. You may be cheating yourself out of the most competitive offer(s). There are currently 77 homes for sale in San Luis Obispo; 48 of those 77 priced over $1,000,000 all competing for that perfect buyer. A seller needs to be proactively marketing their home with the highest exposure rather than passively hoping that what they are doing is enough to be discovered. When sellers have broker representation, their home is previewed by the broker office and again opened to a caravan of all brokers touring homes with their buyers in mind. The Multiple Listing Service is a membership driven service where private offers of cooperation and compensation from broker to broker is exchanged.Syndications to databases such as Trulia, Zillow, and Realtor.com are picked up from the MLS platform. Realtors pay subscription dues and local association dues for this information and access to the IDX. Social media ads and other local newspaper and magazine advertising can be costly additional expenses incurred, along with the usage of professional photos, possibly drone footage or videography.
#4 The Host of Your Own Open House - Buyers need to be afforded the ability to preview a house and picture themselves in it. When a homeowner hosts their own open house, the buyer feels the pressure of knowing that you are emotionally invested in the home and is not afforded to ability to imagine the house as their next family home and not the sellers. They need to relax, stay awhile, and entertain the vision.
#5 Time is of the Essence - There are deadlines within a purchase agreement included to insure accountability and contractual performance guaranteeing a timely close of escrow. Within a legally binding contract, neglect to perform to these contingencies could leave your contract subject to cancellation. These technicalities become extremely important factors in a California court of law!
#6 Disclosures by Law - California is King for frivolous lawsuits and this year is on target to be the highest. The following verbiage taken from the Disclosure Information Advisory, C.A.R. Form DIA: “All sellers in California are required to provide various disclosures in real property transactions. Among the disclosure requirements, sellers have an affirmative duty to disclose to buyers all material conditions, defects and/or issues known to them that might impact the value or desirability of the Property.” California Association of Realtor forms are used in conjunction with one another to help the seller carry out their obligation to these disclosures and to meet the obligation to fair housing and discrimination laws. Legal full disclosure is required so that sellers provide buyers with as much information as possible as to the who, what, when, where and hows of the property or surrounding neighborhood; local city or county ordinances may even exist for your community and are in place to protect buyers and sellers. It is “important to address all aspects and provide precise detail.” “Failing to provide those disclosures may lead to a claim or lawsuit against you.” Each C.A.R. disclosure form has been implemented in response to judgements, civil laws and codes established as a result of some lawsuit. Licensed Realtors are required to pay annual and quarterly association dues and are also obligated to continued education in maintaining a professional level of knowledge of ever developing laws that govern every transfer of real estate in the state of California.
#7 No Room for Hot Heads - Negotiations within contract, as responsive to inspection revelations, requests for repairs needed or appraisal valuation, are not uncommon within contracts. There are customary expectations within the industry that are considered reasonable and justified and then there are opportunistic requests made when buyers have nothing to lose and sellers have everything to lose. Sometimes weeks into a transaction with a lot of time on market already invested in the buyer at hand, sellers may feel pressured to entertain these requests to keep buyers appeased and moving forward in the sale. There is a huge benefit to having third party handlers to address delicate topics and issues insuring emotions are managed outside of the negotiations. It’s just a good idea!
#8 Those Limited Liability Companies that advertise assist to sell are willing to provide a seller with minimal assurance in transacting “For Sale by Owner”. They are willing to take your money at a discount while the level of knowledge, professionalism, and surety they provide is gravely discounted. They swim in dangerous waters and because of this, they register as Limited Liability Corporations to absolve themselves from suit; sellers are left to sink or swim after being lead into unchartered waters. Unlike LLCs, Full-service brokers are required to hold policies of Error and Omissions insurance on every transaction.
A real estate office is Grand Central Station of information gathered and shared where connections happen to and from. Networks operate within, connecting agent to agent, transferors with transferees, borrowers with lenders, inspectors, appraisers, contractors, agents of title and escrow and industry professionals alike. All members of the real estate society work fervently together forging partnerships of professional obligation and accountability, each bound by a code of ethics in service of the members of their communities. The family home for many is our most valuable possession and should be considered and cared for with the highest regard. Let San Luis Obispo Realty help you navigate and negotiate the highest and best offer for your home!