The Art of Marketing your Property

In the current economic climate, home prices in many areas have "adjusted" - that is to say the heady days of annual double-digit gains on home values are over and may be over for some time to come.  Some home values have declined.  But you want to sell your home.  The motivation to sell your home may come from a number of factors:

-  A need to downsize:    "The kids are gone and I don't like yard work anymore."
                                   or:    "This ARM is killing us three years later - we may need to sell and consider a lower-priced home or renting for a while."

-  A desire to move up:   "This house was fine three years ago, but we have child #__ on the way and there just isn't going to be enough room."
                                   or:    "We've saved enough for our dream house, prices are level, and rates are low."

-  Relocation:                     for work or retirement

-  Other factors:               divorce or the death or illness of a spouse

Whatever your motivation may be to sell, every Seller desires certain outcomes:

1.  The prompt sale of the home - normally, the sooner the better
2.  An "acceptable" price paid for the home
3.  No legal issues either prior to or after the sale
4.  Net as much money from the sale as possible

Given the current information available online and through printed materials the question is often asked:

Why Don't I Just Do It Myself?

If you took a poll of homeowners who have done a FSBO (or For Sale By Owner, "fizbow"), a hefty percentage (statistics say 80%+) would admit that after weeks or months of attempting to market and sell their property themselves, they decided to accept the additional expense and hire a Realtor® to assist them.  This is not because they didn't have the Internet or listing services to help them market.  It is due in whole or in part to one or more of the following:

-   They were not skilled in marketing a property
-   They did not know how to prepare or stage their property for sale
-   They did not know the legal requirements for the sale of their property - i.e. disclosure, fair housing, municipal inspection requirements, etc...
-   They met a Realtor® who enlightened them and negotiated a commission which met their needs

Reason Number One for going it alone and doing a FSBO:  MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.   I have never met a FSBO Seller who wasn't concerned about the expense of paying a commission to sell their property.  They usually aren't doing it because they believe they are particularly skilled or educated in real estate matters.  They have earned equity through years of home ownership and want to transform that equity into hard cash in their pocket at closing.  There is nothing wrong with that!

But what are the real costs of selling it yourself? 

Will you get a "prompt sale"?  The likelihood in the current market of a FSBO pricing correctly, negotiating offers skillfully, and getting a market-level price or more for your property is low.

Will you get "an acceptable price"?  Again, is the Seller a skilled negotiator?  Have they priced correctly and adjusted when necessary?  Have they staged and prepped properly?  Chances are, the answers are no.

Will there be any legal issues?  This is based on the Seller's knowledge of the laws governing the sale of property in the state, county, and municipality.  Are there encroachments?  Wells or septic systems?  Disclosure requirements have gone through a number of recent changes - has the Seller disclosed everything which is required?  What is the cost of having a sale evaporate at or prior to closing?  How about the expense of going to court or arbitration?  Was it still a good deal to be the only one in the room who is looking out for YOUR interests?

Will you net more money on the sale?  The proceeds from your sale will likely be reduced by the commission paid to the Broker who has a contract with your Buyer.  At the present time the average commission paid to a Buyer's broker in Minnesota is 2.5-3.5 percent of the sale price of the property.  If you choose, instead, to list your property with a Realtor, the additional cost would be approx 2.5-3.5%.  Note:  All commissions are negotiable - there is no set or "standard" percentage.  So is having someone who represents only YOUR interests and assists you in every aspect of one of the largest financial transactions in your lifetime worth the price?

But - could you save money by NOT hiring a Realtor® to represent you?  Sure. 

It's all about Risk Management:

    Can you risk not being able to sell your home right now?  Is it worth spending your time and effort if you have a low probability of selling?
    Can you risk not getting full price?  How much of your equity can you afford to lose in the sale?
    Can you risk a lawsuit or damages because of something you just didn't know about?

Margo and I ask:

1.  If you are thinking about selling your home by yourself, please give us a call first!  We will be able to craft a plan for the sale of your home which has a much higher likelihood of getting what you want out of the transaction - a prompt sale, an acceptable price, and no legal issues after the sale.

2.  If you have chosen to sell your property as a FSBO, and you were unsuccessful in that endeavor, please give us a call!   We offer a number of commission options to meet a variety of client needs.  We would be happy to discuss what we can offer you and at what price, to find a solution which accomplishes the goal of selling your property without costing you a fortune! 

We look forward to hearing from you.




Dan Swanson, Broker/Owner

Segue Realty LLC

(952) 707-1941  Office

(612) 325-4194  Cell


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