Just because you sell without a Realtor doesn’t mean you are saving money. In many cases you are giving money away in the form of a lower price to the buyer. The unfortunate fact is that people who try to sell on their own not only miss most of the active buyers in the market place but often are not well informed about what their home is worth. In the last few months I have come across three families that decided to sell without a realtor in order to save the commission and actually totally underpriced their home in what is an increasingly strong market here in Astoria. One family probably lost about $100,000 in value. When I spoke with the sellers they felt reassured by the fact that they had had the house appraised prior to contract and their sales price was in line with that value. They were surprised when I explained what he could have gotten but the contract was already fully executed so there was no way to make an adjustment. What the seller missed is the fact the appraisals are extremely subjective and right now appraisals are still very conservative. As prices have gone up, many appraisals are lower then they should be because the sales data can be as many as six months old. In this particular case the family was also selling an unusually large building for the area but with comparable sales only available in average size properties, he missed taking advantage of the buildings sales potential.
For sale by owners should ask themselves not only if they can sell it, but are they actually getting what they house is worth? It doesn’t take expertise to give the house away. Meet with a reputable Realtor before you make this mistake.