There is a lot of talk among real estate agents recently. Lots of concern about companies that are offering home owner’s CONVENIENCE. We are a society of convenience, we value and are willing to pay more for convenience in so many circumstances. I pay for convenience all of the time, life is busy, sometimes overwhelming. If one thing can be done more easily, often times it worth paying a little more.
Selling your house SUCKS
I have written about how much it sucks to sell your house, HERE. I have written tips about how to get your home ready for sale, HERE. I have written how YOU can accidentally sabotage your OWN sale, HERE. Not once have I told you it is an easy thing to do…because I don’t put lipstick on a pig. I want to prepare you, and your home, to net you the most money possible…and sometimes those ways just downright suck.
When you are getting ready to move it might be because you are bursting out of your current home, maybe you were relocated with your job, maybe you are ready for a new adventure in a new place….so many reasons create the same problem, the need to sell your home. My kids are getting old, and going off to college. I have been toying with the idea of relocating, or getting something smaller for myself and my dog Daisy. But I still need to replace my countertops in the kitchen, and I still don’t know what color I should go with. I also should repair the screen door where the tortoise plowed through it all those years ago. And what will I do with Daisy during showings? I learned she isn’t too keen on people she doesn’t know entering her home when I had the secondary bathroom remodeled. This also means I need to clean out the garage, and either sell the stuff I’m not using or give it away….which charity doesn’t pay their CEO millions???
I teach people and help people sell their homes for a living, but it still feels overwhelming to me to go through the steps to do it. You know what else? It makes me sad. Sad that my kids are older and moving out, even though I know they usually move back in after college. Sad that this phase of my life is ending, and a new one is starting that I haven’t really been looking forward to, the empty nest phase. It makes me feel old, which I also don’t enjoy. I’m also sad to leave this home that I raised them in for so long, leave all the memories created here.
Why not make it easier?
So, how do I and my fellow real estate agents compete with the services like Opendoor and Offerpad? Moving and selling your home is stressful and difficult. If asked to make repairs and updates to your home before putting it on the market that makes it feel just totally overwhelming. Do businesses like Offerpad and Opendoor that will just buy your home, for cash, and make their own repairs and you don’t have to show your home, and you can pick the closing date…just make sense? Sometimes. When it really is just too much, it does make sense to use company like that.
It doesn’t make sense though if you are buying a new home and need a down payment. Or if you plan on living for a while after you retire. Or if you aren’t independently wealthy. Why? Because those companies charge A LOT for that convenience. A LOT. Many agents will charge 6% of the sale price of your home to sell your home. That 6% includes both agent commissions. On top of that you will have to pay title and escrow fees, plus any unpaid property tax, and maybe a home warranty for the buyer. Often times buyers ask for help with their closing costs from the seller, so you may be asked to do that as well. Opendoor and Offerpad may seem like they don’t charge much more than that…but when it comes to cash in hand, cash in your pocket ….the difference is HUGE.
A Good Agent vs. Convenience
A good agent will get you top dollar for your house. Top dollar for the market. A good agent will have pictures and videos done that showcase all of the best features of your home, and your neighborhood. A good agent will be able to highlight the very things you loved when you bought the home, and the improvements you’ve made. Top dollar for the market and what those companies will tell you market value is are two very different numbers, often as much as 5% different. In a $350,000 home that is a $17,500 difference in what you are told market value is.
A good agent will inform you of what could make that top dollar amount go up, and help you if you decide to make the changes to push that number up. If she suggests putting granite or quartz in your kitchen, or painting the peach walls she will have suggestions of fairly priced, honest and good contractors for you to hire. She won’t tell you to do anything that won’t pay for itself several times over in the value of your home.
A good agent will negotiate repairs with the buyer’s agent. If the buyer asks for a million little things and some big things that are ridiculous, the a good agent will help negotiate those to something reasonable. A convenience company doesn’t negotiate on repairs, you pay for them.
A good agent will also be able to sell your house quickly, without doing any improvements. You will have to price it under top dollar, but lots of buyers will want a “deal” on a house and won’t mind doing the improvements themselves. The number an agent can get you on the open market vs a convenience company is still FAR MORE. The convenience company will also discount what they are willing to pay for your house for the improvements it needs.
What if you need to pick your closing date, want a cash sale, and no hassle? A good agent will also have a list of investors that will do just that. And this list of investors will still pay more than a convenience company. Which means more money in YOUR pocket.
A good agent will help you with all of the challenges of selling your home. She will know which charities pick up from your home, she will give you a list of utilities to turn off and on, she will help you find moving boxes, and movers, and contractors for your old home, or the new one you’re moving into. A good agent will understand the stress you’re under, and will do what she can to help you manage that stress.
A good real estate agent, actually any real estate agent, has a fiduciary duty to the person they represent. It isn’t ethical for a real estate agent to act in a way that isn’t in the seller’s best interest. If it is in the best interest of the seller to sell quickly, they can help that happen, but if the seller would like to net the most amount of money, they will help make that happen as well. When working with a convenience company you are working with a company that represents themselves, and no one is looking out for YOUR interests. They are professionals, and chances are you don’t work professionally in real estate.
The Cost might be too High
The ease and convenience of selling your home to a company is tempting. Even though I just listed all of the reasons to NOT do it, I still understand the reasons to do it. Americans today don’t have the savings and investments that our parents and grandparents did. For many of us the bulk of our wealth is in our homes. We work hard for our money, and we should try to keep as much of it as possible as life marches forward and we have to face each hurdle in our way. Find an agent that will help you through the challenges of the sale and who cares about YOU and your wallet.
If you are curious about the current market value of your home, and what improvements would help it sell for TOP DOLLAR, please click HERE and I’ll be happy to offer you a FREE no strings attached market valuation.