by TJ AndersonThis prediction from Dwell magazine, from late last year, just made its way into my Facebook feed: “Step Aside, Subway Tile — Penny Tile Is the New Classic.” Penny tile,
Simple And Practical Reasons Why Selling A Nashville Home With A REALTOR® Beats FSBO
by TJ Anderson
So I’ll just say, for starters: Even if you don’t call me, I hope you’ll call a Nashville Realtor before you sell your Nashville home, for a slew of reasons — some of which comes in the form of basic data.
Like this, from a recent Realtor magazine story about “The Cost of Selling Without a Real Estate Agent”: “FSBOs earn an average of $60,000 to $90,000 less on the sale of their home than sellers who work with a real estate agent.”
The current median selling price nationwide, with agent-assisted homes, was $250,000, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS. For for-sale-by-owner homes: $190,000. Those cases where a seller hands the home over to someone they know: $160,300.
The dollars difference is stark, and significant. But I completely get the desire to wring the most money possible out of your home sale, and I get how nixing a Realtor commission seems logical. The data just doesn’t bear out the dollars-and-cents benefits, though, and ultimately, sellers across the U.S. are seeing that (which is part of why last year, FSBOs were at an all-time low, with eight percent of total sellers going that route, down from 14 percent in 2004).
I can (and will) argue, though, that money is just one of the many considerations. Realtors help with a whole lot more than setting a market-appropriate price for your home. Realtors help make your home sale run smoothly, and take a whole lot of time off your schedule weight off your shoulders.
Your responsibilities with an FSBO sale
Here, just a few of the things FSBO sellers have to take on:
You have to know how to prep your place
Not such a big deal for handy sellers who are really into home design. But for the rest of us, knowing what kinds of deferred maintenance absolutely need to be dealt with, what upgrades are necessary and just how deep to go — all that stuff is a balancing act of doing what’s best to attract and keep buyers without spending more time and money than you’ll get back. Realtors who’ve been dealing with home sales in your area for years have the experience to help guide your decisions, and they have the instincts to see where your home’s problem areas are.
You have to find your own qualified, serious buyers
Being in a “seller’s market” can make it feel like perfect buyers are just winging through town like summer-night fireflies. The reality, though, is much more complicated. Before buyers agents start showing homes, we work with our buyers to make sure their budget is on point and they can secure financing. When you work with a good listing agent, they’re getting your home on the MLS, and they’re actively marketing your property to other agents, on social media, through their own marketing lists and networks. Your Realtor is connected and determined, and you’re benefiting from that. On your own, the likelihood of meeting a lot of unqualified buyers and tire-kickers — or worse, crickets — is a whole lot higher.
You have to do and/or schedule showings yourself
A listing agent will schedule and host open houses, field requests and vet them before bringing them to you, juggle your schedule and preferences and organize showings accordingly… Ultimately, they’ll shoulder the practicalities. Going it alone, you’re doing all that wrangling — and if you choose not to work with buyers who have agents (which dramatically reduces your buyer pool), you’re also showing your own place, which can be time-consuming, complicated and fantastically awkward.
You have to negotiate directly
Hate confrontation? Boy will you love negotiating a home sale. I’ve found with a lot of onetime FSBO-ers, this was the most painful experience — made that much harder by personal attachment. A Realtor can advise you, inform you and carry the weight of negotiations. It can be a tough process, made a lot easier by having someone who’s done it hundreds of times on your side.
You have to sort contracts
Negotiating a home sale, obviously, comes with reams of fun contracts, with contingencies and conditions and time limits and lots of other helpful details. A Realtor runs point on all of this, advising you, providing you with all the proper paperwork, and helping you move forward. With an FSBO, you can hire an attorney, you can work with the buyer’s agent as a transactional agent — but ultimately, the ball’s in your court for moving everything through and keeping on top of the details. Some sellers are wired for this, and excited by it. Some thoroughly and completely aren’t. It’s another thing to weigh out when you’re wondering whether working with a Realtor is the right fit.
I could go on, but you get where I’m coming from — my admittedly biased experience is that working with a Realtor pays for itself and then some, between selling price, the time and headaches removed and on and on.
I think it’s the most effective way to go if you’re looking to sell a home in Nashville, and I say that whether you choose to work with TJ Anderson Homes or not. It’s just my professionally and personally inspired, neighborly advice.
If you do need a Realtor to help you list and sell your home, though: Obviously, I’m always here to help. You can check out an estimate of your Nashville home’s value here, and call or email TJ Anderson Homes to dig deeper, and move forward.
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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