Driving down the streets in town it’s a rare occasion that I don’t see a “For Sale by Owner” sign in a yard as I travel to my destination. I’ve never stopped, but I often wonder if I should stop and offer my real estate services. I worry that the seller may be doing themselves a disservice by attempting to market their own home. Pricing your own home can be a real hazard.
Several times in my career as a realtor, I’ve met owners that price their property so low that they’re not getting all the value out of their real estate investment that they could. Of course, there’s no one that’s going to tell them that they’re asking too low a price. One gentleman once told me, “I sold my cabin within the first day!” followed by, “Maybe I didn’t ask enough.” In reality, he probably did price it too low. People who have owned their property for many years aren’t aware of the real estate market. If this gentleman had hired a REALTOR®, even with the price of commission, he may have made more money in the long run and avoided any issues that go along with the transfer of real estate from one owner to the next.
The other side of the coin is the owner that overprices their home. Scanning local sales prices, this owner assumes their property is the same value as other houses selling in the neighborhood. What this owner doesn’t realize is that the other homes have been updated while their home hasn’t been in the last 10-15 years! (Wall paper may be in style again, but not flocked!) They’ve gotten used to the functional, yet dated, style of their home over the years. “The faucets still work, the carpet is still in good shape, there’s nothing wrong with our light fixtures!”
Emotions also factor into overpricing. We all have fond memories of life in our homes. Sometimes those emotional attachments block the reality of the business transaction and cause sellers to price their homes too high. Overpriced homes tend to linger on the market, effectively costing the seller more money in the long run. A REALTOR®, on the other hand can provide you with an impartial opinion of the true market value of your home.
REALTORS® are in business to effectively price homes to sell, help you understand the process and expenses of selling or buying a home, and walk you through all of the steps that it takes to pass the keys to the new owners. Before you decide to try it alone, talk to a REALTOR® to clarify what to expect before you open your house to complete strangers.
Sherryl Longacres is a REALTOR® with Don Peterson & Associates. She can be reached at 402-719-4176 or firstname.lastname@example.org