The Sequim real estate market is a tough real estate market, but I have been observing a consistent pattern for three decades now. I periodically get questions from homeowners who want to sell their homes, or from FSBOs (For-Sale-By-Owners) who are trying to sell their own homes. I have learned so much about the mindset of homeowners in this market, and I’m surprised at some of the misconceptions owners have about selling homes. I fully realize that some homeowners will not necessarily believe what I will share, but I swear everything I have experienced on this subject for three decades has been consistently true about FSBOs. I did not write this article just to get FSBOs to list with me. Anyone who reads my blog knows that I share everything I know, and I always tell the truth even if it is uncomfortable. Let me share more about seller misconceptions beginning with an analogy.
Sequim Real Estate Market
Imagine a gentleman who had a successful career as a biology teacher, and his primary hobby is bird watching and photography. He is passionate about his work and his hobby, and he’s good at what he does. He married the love of his life, who also had a successful career as a dental assistant. They retire and live happily ever after. Well, almost. They decide to sell their home. They’re intelligent and mature people, and people of good honest character. Now they have decided to sell their home, and here’s where the misconceptions start. I mean no disrespect at all when I suggest that there is a lot more to selling a home than they think they know. Selling a half million dollar home is not like having a garage sale, putting some plywood on some saw horses, laying out books and jeans and dishes neatly on the tables, and making some price tags. As comedian Dennis Miller often says in his act, “I don’t want to get on a rant here,” but I see homeowners and FSBOs make many mistakes. It’s unfortunate, because they cost themselves a lot of money and time and stress . . . unnecessarily.
Here are a few articles I’ve written about these very issues in this Sequim real estate market. I can almost guarantee that a good, honest homeowner who wants to sell his own home will not have a lifetime of experience to do that job as he needs it done. Many think they do, but I’m not entirely sure why they think they can do something so important without the education and experience. I don’t work on my own car’s electronic ignition system. I don’t try to do my own electrical work. I’d probably get electrocuted.
There is too much to know and too much at risk when it comes to selling a home. My point is best made by reading all of the following articles. If you’re a FSBO or thinking about selling your home, I strongly urge you to take all these articles seriously, because I promise what I have written is true and accurate. I don’t care if you list your property with me, but ignore three decades in real estate and 20 as a real estate lawyer if you want to. I have no dog in this fight when it comes to your decision to sell your own home and how much you make or loose on the sale. I am honest and sometimes blunt when it comes to the truth. If you find what I write helpful to you, then great. If you’re offended by the truths I share here, I make no apology.
Sequim FSBO and What it Takes to Sell a Home Part 1
Sequim For Sale by Owner Part 2
Why the FSBO is so Hard to Sell
Why Can’t I Just Sell My Own Home?
Sequim Real Estate Market Due Diligence
I find it fascinating that buyers are the ones doing so much research on the Internet and doing their due diligence on areas, houses, and agents. Sellers generally are not. Buyers not only do extensive online research before they arrive to look at homes, but then they look at many homes in person to complete their knowledge of home values and features. Sellers neither do online research to find comparables, nor do sellers spend time viewing dozens of home currently on the market. Instead, sellers simply call an agent and rely on the agent to tell them what their home is worth and trust that their agent has a great marketing system. Sellers do not do their due diligence on their agents either. Buyers do extensive research on their buyer’s agent in the Sequim real estate market.
From 85% to 95% of FSBOs never get their homes sold themselves, but end up listing with an agent after many months of lost market time and a lot of frustration. Of the remaining 5% to 15%, only one or two actually get their homes sold. That’s one or two homes out of a hundred, and that may after be one or two years on the market. And the price they end up selling for is typically far less than they would have gotten with a professional, even with the commission. These numbers come from extensive national statistics and 37 years in the business. [The one success story of someone who got lucky and sold their own home in two weeks circulates for years, but someone also won the lottery last month.] The Sequim real estate market is not different than other markets in this respect.
One very important reality for FSBOs to realize is that qualified buyers are not looking for FSBOs. They just aren’t. I ask all my clients how they search for homes, and they:
- Do not search FSBO sites,
- Do not find FSBO’s turning up in the search engines,
- Have often had bad experiences dealing with a FSBO in the past who did not know how to handle paperwork and transaction details,
- Have told me that in their experience FSBOs want too much for their homes (statistically this is true), and
- Qualified intelligent buyers are hiring a buyer’s agent who knows the local market and the local real estate issues of concern, knows prices, and know how to negotiate and handle the transaction details professionally.
This means FSBOs are off the radar screen for 99% of the buyers. Like it or not, this is true. If you’re expecting a buyer will see your For Sale sign, good luck, because the odds of that happening are extremely small, and the best most qualified buyer for your home at your price is most likely searching the Internet.
This Sequim real estate market is not the time or place for a homeowner to learn by trial and error how to sell a home.
Last Updated on September 4, 2011 by Chuck Marunde