The high cost of cheap.

Judge a man by the quality of his questions, rather than by his answers – Voltaire

We’re living in an age now where quality and service are being valued much less than the “sticker price” of what we buy. We seem ready to ignore the longer-term cost over the full course of ownership, and in our haste to “find the best deal” we tend not to consider “other costs”. Real Estate is no exception.

There are more people willing to jump on the “sell it yourself” bandwagon, or at least list with a “discounted commission” broker. Why? To save money, of course. Are you really saving money in the end? I will submit that in Real Estate, as with many of your purchase decisions, there is a high cost of cheap.

Questions you might ask yourself:

Will you get the same exposure? 

It stands to reason that whenever you sell anything, you would like to get the highest price possible. Logic follows that you will have a better chance at this objective if it is exposed to as many people as possible. Will you be able to market your home to as many potential buyers people as a REALTOR® – a REALTOR® that belongs to multiple boards and is associated with a national firm? Will you actually have the time to personally show your home to as many potential buyers as dozens of agents in the marketplace will? Will you have the time for Open Houses, and to follow up with potential buyers?

Is it the right exposure? 

Good REALTORS® make listings pop. Have you included in your cost of listing a professional photographer that specializes in homes? A professional home-stager? How about a videographer? Are the costs of colour brochures and/or a web page included with your savings? Forget about the costs associated with all this… do you have the time to do it? What dollar value am I placing on my time? Private sellers have shown us their houses (on behalf of our buyer clients) over the years and they inevitably say way too much of what they shouldn’t and not enough of what they should.  Are all the features that matter to potential buyers (not you!) listed? Have you disclosed everything you need to in order to protect yourself?

Can you negotiate the best deal for your home? 

First off, is it the right price? A simple fact is most sellers overvalue their property. Guess what, buyers know that. In fact, buyers are a lot more educated in the marketplace because they’ve been looking around for a long time. Sellers are working with rumours of what Sally and Jim got for their house (across town, two years ago, and they had a swimming pool!) and their own intrinsic tastes that determine the value for them. Here’s another News Flash: Buyer’s don’t care about what’s important to you. Let’s talk market value shall we? Do you know it? Do you know how to negotiate for it? REALTORS® have an agency relationship with you, that means they work in your best interest only.

Will you work with a co-operating REALTOR®

This of course, is important. As we have already pointed out, to get the most for your house, you want as many potential buyers to see it as possible so, considering the vast majority of potential buyers are working with REALTORS®, it would be silly to exclude them. And yet so many private sellers do. Why? Well, same reason – to save money. The fact is, most buyers want representation when they purchase a home, and if the seller isn’t going to compensate the REALTOR®, then the buyer will have to pay the REALTOR®, which makes your home you’re trying to sell a lot less attractive. Generally, REALTORS® are not that crazy about spending their time, and usually plenty of it, working with buyers just for the fun of it. It’s our livelihood.

In Summary:

So instead of asking the question “how much commission am I saving by selling my house myself”? The better question might be “how much will I net after commissions have been paid”? I humbly submit you will be left with much more, with more time and less stress.

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