First, let me begin this with saying I am not “anti-FSBO” (For Sale By Owner) or anti-limited service brokerage. Yeah, I’m a real estate broker and of course I’d prefer you enlist me to help you sell your home. But if you really know what you are doing, and you have the time, and you want to sell your home yourself, go for it. Knock yourself out. There is clearly no shortage of homes for me to help sell.
But, if you are going to go FSBO, or go with a limited service agency (basically a real estate brokerage that you pay to put your home in the Multiple Listing Service while you do all the remainder of the work) then at least make sure you are spending your time, money and effort wisely. Let’s face it. Some marketing methods work, some may work, and some just flat-out don’t work — or the probability of them procuring a buyer are so remote that they aren’t worth the effort.
Here’s an example in the latter category received yesterday via email (names and MLS# obscured to protect the ignorant):
What you see above is the email in its entirety. That’s it, no attachments, no phone number, no nothing. Let me explain why this is a complete waste of time, and is not “marketing” your home effectively:
- If I had a buyer interested in your home, I would know it’s available the second it went into the MLS. Therein lies the power of the MLS. I don’t really need an email asking me if I have a buyer. I know my buyers, and what they are looking for. Heck, my buyer had your listing before you sent this email if it was of interest to them.
- But let’s say I am one of the lazy agents that doesn’t know how to set up good searches in the MLS to meet my clients needs. Then maybe an email asking me if I have a buyer for your home could be effective. However, consider this: If I am too lazy to set up a search, won’t I be too lazy to open up the MLS, log in, copy and paste the MLS number you provided into the system, and pull up the particulars on your home?
You see, your email that cluttered up my inbox (along with several others that day from actual agents who email flyers to hundreds if not thousands of agents in one fell spamming swoop) tells me nothing. Absolutely nothing. Do I have a buyer for your home? I don’t know. Where is it? How big is it? How much are you asking for it? Yes, I understand all that info is in the MLS, but if you are going to butt into my inbox, at least make it so I don’t have to stop what I’m doing, log into a system, and look it all up.
Normally, I would have clicked DELETE as swiftly as possible. But for the purposes of this post, I went into the MLS just to see what the deal was with this particular listing.
So now you’re going to get Jay’s bonus tips on ways not to sell your home!
Photos: Photos are important. Really important. These photos do nothing to help sell your home. Let’s face it, orange trees and cactus grow like weeds around here. If your landscaping is compelling, by all means showcase it. A photo of part of a tree (that needs pruning BTW) and a cactus are not compelling.
And then there is . . .
Pricing: Listing a home for $270,000 that comps at $200,000 (on a good day) is not conducive to selling your home. That foreclosure across the street? You may not like it, but it is your competition.
Again, there is nothing wrong with selling your own home. If you’re willing to take the time, understand marketing and want to take on the legal liability, go for it. But keep in mind, the Phoenix real estate market (and many other markets across the country) are not in the best of shape right now. If you really have no clue how to sell a home (and clearly some don’t) then you may want to leave it to someone that does this for a living. Will it cost you? Sure. But what is it costing you if you can’t sell your home?