For Sale by Owner – Realtor Secrets 101 For FSBOs

It’s no secret that today’s real estate market is tough.  Worried sellers are trying to sell their homes themselves.  Home property values are down, and they desperately want to save the cost of a real estate commission, so they try to market their properties as FSBOs (for sale by owner sellers).  Makes sense, right?

Yes, “if.”

If you are accustomed to taking responsibility for yourself, have some business sense, have bought and sold homes before, have some time and money to invest in the project, and know and can use the tools and techniques that good Realtors use, then the answer is an unqualified and resounding, “Yes!”   You have the right mind set and the ability to actually earn the Realtor’s commission.  Either the whole commission, or just the part the selling agent would have gotten.  Earn is the operative word here.

So how do good Realtors do it?

Good Realtors start with the basics and work through a systematic, well designed and thought out, integrated, multi-media marketing plan.

Property Condition

At the risk of alienating new listing clients, good Realtors tell it like it is when it comes to getting a home into shape to show well.  If you plan to be a successful FSBO seller, you need to do this for yourself.  Do one or more rooms need to be painted?  Do carpets need to be shampooed?  Are all door knobs and locks tight, and in good working order?  Does it have “curb appeal?”  Is it clean, tidy, uncluttered?  Are closets jam packed, or tidy?  Have any burned out lights been replaced?  If you are smart, you’ll take care of these sorts of items before your property goes on the market, and keep them in good order.

Price

Realtors who continue to earn a living in down markets are very good at getting their listing clients set realistic asking prices for their properties.  A Realtor friend of mine often asks her clients, “Do you want to list your property, or do you want to sell your property?”  Price can make a huge difference in the outcome, and my friend knows that.  A person can put property on the market at any price.  It will not sell unless the price is realistic.

Buyers are out there even in a slow market, but they are VERY price conscious.  In areas where the market is weak, it’s generally effective to be priced just under the list price of any comparable home that’s for sale in your neighborhood AND a bit lower than the recent “sold and settled” comparable properties in the neighborhood.  Time and again, I’ve seen people make the mistake of coming in with a price above those things.  The property lingers on the market.  They lower the price again and again, but if they’re just behind neighborhood prices and the market prices continue to go down, they “follow the market down” without making a sale even though they’re lower than what would have sold a few weeks or months ago.  Try not to let that happen to you.

Internet Marketing

Realtors put information about the homes they hope to sell in their local, Realtor multiple listing service (MLS), and on the Internet.  The best ones see to it that full information about price, number of bedrooms, number of baths, number of garage spaces, size and location of lot, plus interior and exterior photos, and what makes the property attractive appear on the Internet.  You need to do the same.  There are several really good online MLSs for FSBO sellers and buyers.  Use one or more of these sites, and take advantage of all the bells and whistles (many photos, captions under the photos, a place for descriptive text, map to your property, hit counters, a unique web address for your property, etc.) they offer.  Today, approximately 70% of home buyers begin their search online. 

This is just getting started.  In “Realtor Secrets 201,” we’ll discuss the next steps.   

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For Sale By Owner Websites Offer Many Options

With the recent despair in the housing market, house values are dropping substantially throughout the US. Homeowners are researching ways to recoup some of their losses by selling their homes on their own.

Hiring a real estate agent to sell your home has always perplexed me. I have sold numerous homes over the years and the listing agent never actually sold my home. In one case I even sold my own home when someone knocked on my door after seeing my sign. I negotiated a price then and there and shook hands on it without the real estate agent. The sad part of the matter was that he made 6% on my home sale ($16,000) without doing anything. I remember asking him if he could give me a break in the commission price since I sold the home. In a rude manner he said that it was his sign in front of my house that sold the home, not me.

According to 2006 National Association of Realtor statistics, 13% of all homes were sold without a real estate agent. 90% of FSBO (For Sale By Owner) sellers end up going to realtors in the end. Be that as it may, I decided to check in to some of these websites and the options they offer.

I started my research by searching on Google. I found a list of National For Sale By Owner websites. Here is a quick overview of my search results.

1. HomesByOwner.com: You can list your home for free. You can upload 1 photo in the free section. If you would like to add more photos, it will cost you.

2. BuyOwner.com: They do not have a price listed on their website, they recommend that you call them. They offer great Virtual Tours. BuyOwner sends people out to your home to take these Virtual Images. I am not sure on the price, but I had a friend who used their service and spent $2,300. Contact BuyOwner.com for more details.

3. Owners.com: They provide a free listing service. They also offer a $377 MLS listing fee to add your property in to the Multiple Listing Service. If an agent shows up and sells your home, you would only pay the 3% to them as opposed to paying the full 6% if you hired a agent as I have in the past.

4. ForSaleOwnerHomes.com: They also offer a free listing service. These free websites like ForSaleOwnerhomes.com make their money through things like Google ads, that is why they can keep their listing services for free.

5. ForSaleByOwner.com: Fee for a listing is $89.95 a month or a flat fee of $199 to be listed until your property is sold.

There are more websites, but you get the general idea of what is out there. If you are planning on selling your home, I recommend you go through the same research I did and list on as many free websites as possible. If you hit it and sell your home, you will only have more money in your pocket in the end.

Tips for Making Your Neighborhood More Eco-Friendly

It’s not just your house that you should be concerned enough to turning green. After exerting efforts to make your place as sustainable and as eco-friendly as possible, why don’t you do homework together with your neighbors and turn your neighborhood into one that is eco-friendly too. Here are some tips.

Sharing garden space. Why would I share my garden with my neighbors? There are various benefits you can get from this act. First, your unused garden can be a space that supports plant and flower life. It can be turned into one that yields fruits and vegetables. There are organizations that are willing to give seeds in return of the favor of using your garden for their activities.

Establishing neighborhood cooperatives. A lot of success stories have been told about the establishment of neighborhood cooperatives. These can range from types that support the collection of recyclable wastes from the neighborhood and turning them over to larger recycling facilities in exchange for cash. The recyclers can often drop by at your designated place in specific intervals to pick up what you have collected. This is an efficient way of teaching your neighbors the importance of solid waste reduction.

Neighborhood coops can also be the types that produce processed or bottled foods, baked goodies, and other small scale profitable ventures.

Encourage the holding of swap days. It takes a lot of energy to make new things. It will also involve raw materials which are mainly coming from nature to make some of the thing you usually like. Taking inspiration from the old barter system of our ancestors, why don’t you initiate the staging of swap days among your neighbors every weekend.

This is a great opportunity not only to score the stuff you like but to also make friends with your neighbors. It will strengthen cooperation among neighbors while allowing each and everyone in your community to partake in conservation efforts.

If you’re good at baking, why not bring in some of your goodies. Who knows you can exchange it for a vase that is very fit for your center table. There are a lot of possible trades that can happen. You can even make it a swap party anchored with a weekly theme so things for swaps will have some variety.

Making your neighborhood an eco-friendly one can also be a goal towards developing a place that is harmonious and where people are always willing to exert an extra dose of helpfulness.

For other real estate concerns, your local real estate agent is just a call away. He or she has expert advises that can be helpful in owning an eco-friendly house.

Why Real Estate Agents Need to Stay Motivated and on Top of Their Market

Why real estate agents need to stay motivated and on top of their market

Real estate is sales. No more and no less. You can go for months without selling anything and, naturally, be discouraged that you’ll ever succeed. Feast and famine is the order of the industry. So it is crucial that you break through this feeling to land your million dollar deal for the year. To land those deals you have to BELIEVE that you can do it – and that is why motivation is so important!

Motivation is also important for the following reasons:

a. Personality makes the sale!

Motivating yourself is essential because in real estate it is your personality, almost more than anything else, that counts. Reputation travels fast. Your success will hinge on word of mouth. Make a good impression and many more clients will want you to service them. That is why it is crucial that you feel on top of your field and that you remain confident in your abilities and skills, even when things don’t go as planned. Real estate can be hugely stressful – both for you and for your client. If a client leaves unhappy, whether it was due to your efforts or not, word-of-mouth spreads quickly and can affect your referral network and, ultimately, your bottom-line. Remain motivated!

b. Motivation gives you momentum!

Motivation pumps you up. Real estate is a feast and famine phenomenon. The famine part may be harder to sustain your energy for the feast. But the feast will come if you’re primed for it. That is why it is so important to retain your motivation so that you keep on enhancing your skills and so that you, somehow or other, manage to maintain your relish for your work. Motivated agents are more inclined to go the extra mile for their leads and clients, and the extra mile is always worth it.

c. You are self-employed

At the end of the day, you are running your own business – and that is precisely why motivation matters! As agent, you may work under a broker and the broker may provide you with marketing tools, education and mentoring, but, ultimately, you are responsible for your own results. It will be largely up to you to find the leads, manage them and close the deals. In short, you as agent are a business-person, an entrepreneur, self-employed and, like any self-employed individual, you will have to motivate yourself to keep your business going. In other words, the drive, determination, and self-discipline, must ultimately come from the agents themselves. And that is why it is so important for you to be self-motivated!

d. Motivation is one of the two most important skills!

Real estate hinges on knowledge. You’ll need to know your geographic locality inside out as well as going property prices and industry regulations. But, otherwise, the two most important factors are your personality and motivation. As regards personality, you’ll need to be gregarious, likeable, and you’ll need to possess excellent people skills. You’ll also need to have empathy in order to understand people’s situations and needs, so as to serve them best. Otherwise a positive attitude is crucial. Without that, you are at risk of defaulting on the first particularly since you’ll, likely, find the labor uphill work for you (especially in the beginning) and tend to be disheartened or frustrated. In that way, motivation underlies anything to do with real estate and is basically the corner-stone of your success.

Says Zurple, the real estate lead generation agency: Success in real estate relies on two main things – a great business strategy and a strong drive to succeed. If you’re missing one or the other, you will struggle. And if you have both – your’e on your way to success.

The bottom line is this…

Success in business, especially the real estate industry isn’t the 100 meter dash – it is a marathon. Maintaining a steady level of motion can be tricky, but it’s your main – if not your only – way to success.

Here are three tips that can help you:

  1. Recognize your progress: Take it slow and pat yourself on the back for those minor victories. Congratulate yourself for staying on task and for completing all those incremental steps that were so necessary for closing the deal.
  2. Find yourself a successful mentor: In the cutthroat industry of real estate finding someone excellent to help you can be laborious. Avoid brokers who are ready to hire you for fees. Take your time in finding someone who is a good match for you, who is honest and who has your best interests in mind so that he. or she, will give you the time and guidance that you need.
  3. Organize your time well: Set aside time to speak to clients, review industry reports and statistics, attend meetings, and see to all the other variables that go into the real estate schedule. Improve your skills as you go. Don’t avoid tasks that you don’t like. Be self-disciplined. Look to the future – don’t dwell on your failures; learn from them.

And one more thing…

Get and stay motivated!