Monday, March 12, 2007

For Sale By Unrepresented Seller

While I was out this week with a client looking at homes, we passed a few homes being sold by unrepresented sellers (click to view my earlier post).  I am not opposed to helping my clients find every possible home that fits his/her criteria, so I picked up a brochure and we perused it.  To our amazement, this unrepresented seller was offering his property for $330,000.00.  Now, let me describe some key points of this home.  It was located in an older subdivision in Glendale, it only had a 2 car garage - although it did offer an rv gate with the ability to park an rv (no HOA) – and had nice curb appeal.  But we had viewed another home in the same neighborhood that had a 3 car garage, a pool, rv gate and parking as well, and it was priced at $289,000.  Now, I know what you're thinking... this home was priced low to sell quickly... actually, the home had been on the market for nearly 6 months, was originally priced at $299,000, and ended up selling for only $285,000.  When I checked the sales over the last year in that neighborhood, I noticed that the most expensive sale was a home that was slightly larger in square footage, it was on a much larger lot - a difference of approximately 3,000 sq ft. – and its sale price was $305,000.  The next closest sale in price was $280,000.  Nothing about the unrepresented seller’s home would substantiate an asking price of $330,000.  Yet, he was bold enough to print it on his brochure.

Now, I am not against owners selling their own home without a realtor.  There are several reasons why an owner might want/need to sell his home without representation.  But, when the decision comes to price your home, do yourself a favor and research the market in your neighborhood.  You can do this several ways (such as requesting a title company to give you the prices of recently sold homes in your neighborhood, checking the county assessor's website, attending open houses, or requesting a FREE comparative market analysis from a REALTOR).  There are so many things that go into considering an asking price, and you really are best off asking a realtor for his/her professional advice.  I offer a detailed market analysis at no cost or obligation to you.  Contact me if you would like my professional opinion.  But here are a few tips to consider to give you a general idea of how to price your home:  

  1. Price your home at a competitive price for what you are offering – if you have any combination of formica countertops, flat panel 36” cabinets, non-upgraded or original appliances (even if they look brand new) you must take a deduction.

  2. How's your carpet/flooring?  (If it looks worn or dated take another deduction).

  3. How about parking?  If you're in a neighborhood that offers 2 and 3 car garages, but your home only has 2... take another deduction.

  4. If your home is not one of the nicest homes available in the neighborhood, you will not receive the highest price… so don’t even ask it!  You may even drive off someone who may have considered offering a lower price, because they think you are unreasonable.

  5. If the homes available in your neighborhood have been available for a long time with no offers, don’t price yours in their range.

  6. Look at homes currently for sale to help get an idea of what needs to be done in order to achieve top dollar.

  7. Don't fool yourself... a pool is not an investment!  You put it in for your enjoyment, and the opportunity of having your kids have their friends over to play instead of always going to someone else's home.  The return on a pool is not anywhere near as much as you will pay for one.

If you are an unrepresented seller and you seriously expect to sell your home (your attitude is NOT "let's just see what happens"), you must be willing to spend the time, money, & effort to do the work that an agent would do to promote your home.  Buyers have way too many options available to call/consider something that might not be worth their time.  Chances are if your home is for sale... so is at least 1 more on your block!  What are you going to do to make yours a buyer's top choice? 

On a side-note, the Butterworth Group has a program designed just for you with NO COMMISSION!  We can help you along the way with any questions you might have.  Give anyone of us a call to find out more details!  Click here to view a postcard highlighting the key points!