Like with anything there are pros and cons to a For Sale by Owner website. The most popular is comFree and you have likely seen those green signs up in you neighborhood or around town. People want to save money and that is understandable. Before you jump into listing with a commission free website or a Barrie Realtor, it is always recommended to check out what all you are getting for your money.
1. comFree is not “free” to list
You do have to pay for their website’s services and you have a choice of packages. The packages start at $499 for Classic, a Premium package is $699 and Prestige will run you $899. You can check out what you get with each package on their website. I don’t really think the Classic package will get you much bang for your buck based on the high quality photos alone (you only get 6), you may as well hire a professional Real Estate Photographer (we use the talented Home Shots Photography). That will be another added cost that most Realtor’s include in their commission.
The additional costs include listing on MLS Listings which is $299 and selling with a Realtor (offerAssist) which will cost you $1299. The redeeming quality with offerAssist is that you only pay this price when you home is sold.
I think the worst part about the fact that it isn’t free to list is when a home does not sell and people end up using a Realtor anyways. This can make the decision to use a commission free site in the first place a bit of a kick in the pants.
2. Realtor’s do not charge up front
The commission are based on the sale of your home. It is even more “free” to buy with an agent, you don’t have to shell out anything. Their commission is based on a portion of the selling agent’s commission and it’s not always guaranteed. It is up to the discretion of the selling agent.
3. A Realtor Cares
It is their business, their reputation, and their livelihood on the line. They work hard for their commissions, often for month at a time for one home. Their job always includes evenings and weekends. They make themselves available to you in such a ways that you could never get using a website. It is their panache, their personality and personal touch that gets a home sold. They invest in themselves through upgrading and have to work hard to be (and stay) licensed.
If you don’t get that personal touch from a Realtor, it may be time to move on.
4. For sale by owner doesn’t have the “removed” feeling
Selling homes is a business, you are advertising for a business transaction to take place and that is what a Realtor facilitates. It can be awfully awkward when the owner who is selling a home is there for a showing and then you have to hash out a deal. If you want to negotiate with the owner, it can be even more uncomfortable.
Third parties are amazing for this, they are a voice of reason and calm. They give suggestions based on facts and figures. No emotion, no hard feelings, they will keep a business deal professional.
5. Security with a Realtor
There can be risks with strangers coming to view your home, as a homeowner you would want to be home when people view to ensure people will not steal from you. Through an agent, a viewing is set up through a brokerage. A brokerage will only release keys as long as the brokerage is 100% certain that person booking is a licensed Realtor. When things go awry, the Realtor is liable and they will carry insurance to deal with potential lawsuits.
Only licensed Realtors are permitted to view a home listed through a another Real Estate Agent. Having a Realtor walk through with a potential buyer works to the seller’s benefit based on their experience. What a buyer may think is a problem, a Realtor will be able to reassure that it is only an issue of aesthetics and not a costly endeavor.
There are plenty of reasons to go with a Realtor and really only one reason to go the For Sale by Owner route and that is money. If you have questions about listing your home, don’t be shy and give Christie or John a call at 1-800-367-2037 to set up a free home evaluation.