Saving When Selling: Why Budget Real Estate Services Just Won’t Cut It
Looking to cut costs when selling your home? Who doesn’t love a good bargain? It’s the job of any Real Estate Team worth its salt to help both those looking to buy and sell make the best financial decisions for their families and their futures – and that means getting them a great deal. Something we’ve all learned the hard way at some point in our lives is that just because something costs less up front, doesn’t make it a budget savvy option. This is doubly true in the world of real estate where you’re making some of the biggest investment decisions of your life. There are three main tiers of real estate services: FSBO, 1% real estate firms, and full-service teams. What does each tier offer? How does it work? Here’s the skinny as well as why shelling out a bit more for excellent service will not only save you time, money, and a headache, but will actually net you more in the end.
For Sale By Owner (FSBO)
FSBO listings are homes that are put up for sale independently by the owner. On the surface, this approach holds some appeal to homeowners because it means you avoid paying commission. However, the downside of putting your home on the market as an FSBO listing means you’re going through the selling process alone, which exposes you to several risks and creates unnecessary work in areas where most people don’t have expertise.
Consider all the moving parts involved in selling a home; from staging and organizing, to open houses, to scheduling appointments, to marketing, going the FSBO route means having to handle both mundane and critical tasks yourself without the input of real estate and other subject matter experts. This is especially risky when it comes to closing and legal paperwork; mistakes in these areas will certainly cost you time and money and could potentially lead to a void contract or worse, a lawsuit.
There’s also the critical issue of exposure. Realtors can list your home on the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) so that active buyers across the country have access to your listing. Many real estate teams also invest in listing on both the Toronto Real Estate Board and the Barrie & District Association of Realtors board, ensuring exposure to your target audience.
You also run the significant risk of not getting the most for your home simply by not understanding the market. According to a HomeLight.com survey, 70% of real estate agents said that overpricing is the top mistake that sellers make. Why? Because overpriced homes lead to longer days on market and reduced sale price, so what you’re saving in fees, you’re losing on the final amount you’ll net. Despite their best efforts, it’s pretty tough for an FSBO seller to compete with all this plus professional, targeted online marketing campaigns geared toward selling your home for top dollar.
1% or Budget Real Estate Firms
Okay, so maybe listing your home independently isn’t the right move when looking to sell – what about a budget real estate firm? In this industry, as in so many areas in life, you get what you pay for. Teams working for a 1% commission undercharge for a reason.
While working with real estate professionals is certainly a step up from an FSBO listing, several crucial aspects of the selling process are overlooked on a budgeted plan. Many 1% firms will not include or charge extra for: staging and home preparation, photography and videography, appointment booking, or any marketing beyond listing on the MLS and a sign. Then there’s the issue of quality. In a sea of comparable listings, you want yours to stand out – particularly in a market that is starting to slow down. Everything from your sign to your photography and videography should be telling a story, helping your home attract a buyer and achieve the highest possible selling price. Before you decide which route to take, explore the marketing offered by a discount real estate team and a full-service team to see the difference for yourself. These oversights often result in a lower selling price as well as a less positive selling experience for both you and the buyer.
Notably, the 1% figure often doesn’t include the commission going to the buyer’s agent, raising your total commission up to 3.5%. It’s also worth asking how hard your 1% Realtor will be fighting for you when it comes to the negotiation, what kind of experience he or she has, and if they are full or part-time. A lack of experience in this area could cost you thousands as a homeowner. The combined commission plus the additional expenses not covered by a budget firm mean you’re essentially paying the same amount of money for a significant decrease in both service and quite possibly revenue.
The Benefits of a Full-Service Real Estate Team
What difference does home staging and marketing make anyway? Can you forgo professional photography and videography when selling your home? The data points to a clear, resounding “no.”
Listings with high-quality photographs and aerial footage sell 68% faster than houses without, and 88% of Realtors agree that professional photos increase online views and showings.
Homes with professional images receive a 47% higher offer per square foot – so unless you want to earn less than your home’s market value, photography should be a part of your plan to sell. Plus, in the age of the internet, you’ll need a social media-centric marketing strategy, which would be best handled by a high-quality real estate team’s marketing experts.
The importance of staging is also reflected in real estate sales numbers: staged homes sell 73% faster than their non-stages counterparts, and can increase a home’s sale price by up to 5% – around the average price of a standard Realtor’s commission. These statistics are especially relevant in today’s cooling market, where buyers are beginning to have an edge in the market. Finally, with a reputable real estate team, you can rest easy knowing that all of your ducks are in a row, from home inspections to legal paperwork. You’ll always have a market expert in your corner ready to negotiate on your behalf and take care of every part of the process – and while we like to believe that excellent customer service is priceless, in this case it will save you money in a literal sense.
Ready to work with an industry-leading team of real estate experts? We’ve got your back. Reach out today and let’s get started on getting your home sold.