Some Folks Just Don't Get It

Posted by Joe Manausa on Thursday, May 6th, 2010 at 11:08am.

For Sale By Owners should know that 3 out of 4 home owners who thought they were going to sell their home failed to sell in the past year; they need a great plan.

Choosing to sell a home "For Sale By Owner" is not working very well these days. I certainly understand wanting to save money. This is a very tough economy and every dollar matters to most families, so don't for a second think that I don't understand why somebody would try to sell a home without having to pay for a REALTOR. I get it. I understand.

Trying to save money is wise, knowing how to do it might be a whole bunch tougher than some people might think. For our regular visitors here at the Tallahassee Real Estate Web Site, it is known that currently 73% of the homes that were listed for sale last year failed to sell. That's right, 3 out of 4 home owners who thought they were going to sell their home ended up going the whole term of their listing agreement and failed to get a contract. Why could that be?

Home Sales Image

Home Sellers Currently Outnumber Home Buyers

The fact is, home sellers currently outnumber home buyers. It is a very competitive market for home sellers, and only the very well informed and prepared are finding success. Knowing how to get it done using the internet is critical (to which 73% can sadly attest). But most our readers already know this, so what prompted me to write on this topic today?

I received the following "marketing" material yesterday from a "For Sale By Owner." Sadly, this is so flawed, in so many ways, that I felt it would provide for solid educational material for people considering selling a home in Tallahassee.

Hi I am a home owner trying to sell my house located at PROPERTY ADDRESS. The property is located at PROPERTY ADDRESS. The Open House is on 16th and 23 rd May from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Info about the house along with pictures can be found at

Link to property listing on an aggregate site

If any of your clients wants to buy a house please bring them by, I will pay 2% at closing.

Thanks Seller Name Seller Phone Number

Doesn't that great piece of marketing make you want to find out more? I guess I was "targeted" because the seller got my email address from the Tallahassee Board Of REALTORS. Needless to say, this is not very good. In fact, this bit of "For sale by owner" spam was so poor that it did nothing to help sell the home. By the numbers, let's see where this seller missed it:

  1. Mass spamming REALTORS is a good way to get solicited by people wanting your business (they want to list your home), but they are not going to buy it.
  2. There is no compelling message about the property here. Why would I want to know more?
  3. This message is all about the seller, where is the benefit to me or a buyer? Good marketing is based upon reader benefits, not writer benefits.
  4. The closing line is the best. This seller is telling me that there are 5,400 homes in the MLS that will pay a higher commission than he will pay.

Some Folks Just Don't Get It

The year is 2010, and people are not standing in line to buy a home. Sure, five years ago a sign in the yard was all it took, but .... that was five years ago.

Because I decided to use this spam as my focal point today, I went ahead and clicked through to check out the house. Again, the "For Sale by Owner" put himself at a gross disadvantage in this very tough market. What did I find?

  • The home was over-priced by more than 20% (we've seen average declines of over 20% ... more if the home was new when purchased last time like this one)
  • There was no compelling reasons listed to purchase the home. The market was Joe Friday "just the facts ma'am."
  • There was no virtual tour, which we know increases views on the aggregate sites that this is listed on.
  • Most "For Sale By Owners" are overpriced because the real estate agents they spoke to wouldn't put the home on the market at that price ... because buyers won't buy at that price!

Don't let this be you! If you are highly motivated in needing to sell your home, sit down with an expert in the housing market and do what it takes to sell your home. If you are not highly motivated, stay out of the market so that we can find balance between supply and demand. With 73% of sellers failing to sell their home, we really don't need 1 more home owner testing the market!

One thing you need to understand right up front is that the only differences between you and a real estate professional or another “For Sale By Owner” are knowledge and experience. Experience is tough to gain but knowledge is available here and at other sources. Tell us to whom and where to send our 59 page resource book below, and we'll help you get started gaining the knowledge.

 

Joe Manausa, MBA is a 26 year veteran of real estate brokerage in Tallahassee, Florida and has owned and managed his own company since 1992. He is a daily blogger with content that focuses on real estate analytics and providing his clients with a tactical advantage in today's challenging market.

3 Responses to "Some Folks Just Don't Get It"

chris johansen wrote: I don't see any difference in their marketing efforts compared to 95% of the realtors out their taughting their "marketing plans"..... throw it on the MLS, place a few ads in the local paper that nobody reads anymore, host an open house that nobody attends and then suggest we "lower the price". You may be the odd man out and if so that's great but in general realtors don't have a clue either, they'll take overpriced listings just to "get" the listing. ... by the way virtual tours are so outdated and a waste of time, buy a "flip" and get creative!

Posted on Sunday, May 9th, 2010 at 11:47am.

Joe Manausa, MBA wrote: I agree Chris. That is why the failure rate is so high. The fact is, the internet has changed the way we successfully market properties. Being on the internet has no value. Being at the right place, and at the right time, makes all the difference in the world.

Posted on Sunday, May 9th, 2010 at 7:41pm.

Melanie wrote: I really enjoy the blog, Joe. Keep up the good work!
This was an interesting article. I understand the value that a realtor brings but sometimes there is a place for the do-it-yourselfer. I think you recognize that too. I recently sold my house "by owner" in about two months. I think it sold because of it's location and unique character, which is why we decided not to use a professional in our marketing efforts. We were told repeatedly by multiple realtors that we would have to cut the price $30k or more or we would never sell. This was not the case and we were able to get our asking price. I think a big cause for the friction between realtors and homeowners is the commission inflexibility. Some realtors are willing to be flexible in this regard but most are not. Not every home selling situation needs (or gets) a lot of money and time invested on the realtors part.
A friend recently sold her home to a family member who was trying to help after the home was listed for 12 months with no offers. The realtor demanded her commission because, "times are tough." A coworker sold her home recently listed by a realtor in a few days...only soon to find out afterwards that it was priced too low for the market. No wonder it sold so quickly! When confronted about the pricing advice, the realtor acknoledged she underestimated the market but wouldn't budge on her full commission.
It seems to me that most professionals tend to be more flexible in setting their fees/commission in order to win the business or to fit the business situation. The perception with realtors is that they tend to be less flexible. (I realize that the opposite occurs and people abuse realtors too)
Maybe the above incidents are isolated and the realtors mentioned above are the exception. But a little flexibility would go a long way in bringing perception and reality more in line. It's hard to think of a professional service industry that hasn't had to cut their commission/fees to suit business conditions over the past few years.

Posted on Monday, May 17th, 2010 at 7:15pm.

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