Getting Your House Ready to Sell Series: Why Use a Broker to List your Home in a Down Market

Many of us feel like our home equity has been 'taken away' from us as the value of our homes have declined.  When you recognize that you stand to see a reduced profit from the sale of your home, you may be tempted to do it yourself.  Here are some things to think about before you make that decision:

  1. Information Accessibility: With so much information available on line, you may think that you can do your own pricing research pretty easily, and that is true--to a degree.  Only Realtors have access to the real-time information about recent settlements. These recent settlements are the ones that matter, not the ones that happened last year, or even 6 months ago. Tax information is often lagging behind by several months.  Realtors use both Tax information and information from the local multiple list system to set pricing. They are also out there every day talking to buyers and getting a feel for what a buyer would realistically be willing to spend. Remember, pricing has NOTHING to do with what you want for your home and everything to do with what a buyer is willing to pay for your home.
  2. Mass Distribution: As a Realtor I am eager to show my buyer clients every home that is available. This includes New construction and For Sale By Owner properties. Unfortunately, the information on these homes is not easy for me to find quickly.  When I use the MLS, I bring up all of the homes that meet their criteria without having to manually sort through them.  If we get through all of these properties without finding their dream home, I begin looking on-line and in advertisements for other homes that meet their needs. I almost never get to this point. The reason I proceed in this order is that the on-line information posted by owners and the ads are often out-dated and the homes are often no longer available. It is not the best use of my time on their behalf.
  3. Marketing: In this instance I don't mean where you advertise, but what you emphasize and how it is presented.  I work with both buyers and sellers. This means that I understand what they are both looking for.  Sometimes things that seem a waste of money to you, as a seller, are things that are fully expected by both consumers and other agents.
  4. Security: When I put your house on a lock-box, I get a listing of every agent who has been in your home. These agents have established a relationship with the buyer and in most cases these buyers have already applied for a mortgage--in other words their identity has been confirmed by multiple people. When you list your house, you get phone calls from strangers and no one vouching that they are who they say they are. And then you let them in to your house...
  5. Home Preparation: Don't underestimate this! I spend weeks (and sometimes months) working with my clients to present their home in the most favorable light. Remember the old adage--you never get a second chance to make a first impression!

I am not saying you should not try to market your home yourself, if you think you want to do that. In fact, I often encourage my clients who express an interest in this to give it a shot. I believe you should not have regrets--go ahead and give it a try it may work out well for you. But give yourself a reasonable amount of time, maybe 2 or 3 weeks, and be willing to reevaluate your strategy and price!  There is a reason that many of your neighbors have used me, or another qualified Realtor, to sell their homes...because we get it done!


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 Momentum Realty

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Comment balloon 0 commentsHolly Weatherwax • February 02 2008 12:51PM


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