A Thought Before Selling Your Home For Sale By Owner

Dated: 07/09/2017

Views: 249


A Thought Before Selling Your Home For Sale By Owner

As is the case most weekends, when I am out and about, I have the local talk radio station playing in the car.  Weekend programming on big market talk stations like the one I listen to out of Washington, DC are often talk programs, whose hosts pay for the privilege of reaching so many ears.  Not sure if these two pay for their spots, but my favorite weekend hosts are Ric Edelman and Winter Troxel.  They are the financial gurus.  Ric is general investment and financial planning.  Ric's book The Truth About Money is one every should own, and his blog by the same name is brilliant.  Winter, on the other hand, is a federal benefits expert.  While I don't have a federal pension or TSP, listening to Winter helps me understand the decisions that many of my buyers and sellers who ARE federal employees are facing.  

Now back to me driving in the car, listening to Ric Edelman on the way to a listing appointment Saturday morning.  Ric was taking calls and a very hesitant, unsure older lady facing retirement in ten years was on the line.  She had cashed out of the stock market entirely about ten years previous.  After doing so, she put her money in money market accounts and CDs.  Shortly after cashing out, the stock market showed more gains before the crash.  Now it was at an even higher mark and she wanted to know if she should get back in.

Ric got down to the nitty gritty with this caller quickly.  He stated, based on her move of cashing out entirely, her decision was based on emotion...more specifically fear.  And that her emotions had no place in making financial decisions, which needed to be more analytical and based on data.  While Ric already knew the answer, he asked the caller if she had a financial planner.  Her answer was something like, "No.  I have never trusted anyone with my personal wealth and I never liked the idea that I was one of hundreds of clients."  Ric fired right back, and (paraphrasing here) said, "Whether you realize it or not you did have a financial adviser.  YOU were your financial adviser." 

At this point, Ric clarified whether she had any formal training in finance or had any clients that trusted her with her money.  Of course, the answer to both was no.  Then he made the most profound statement that stuck with me.  Again, going from memory here.

"So you, with no formal financial training and experience at this, who no one else would dare hire with such an important task, hired you to manage your money.  If no one else would hire you to do this, what made you think it was a good idea to hire someone no one else would?"  

Does this apply to someone who is about to sell their own home without an agent?  You bet your life it does.  Heck, the more I think about it, the more I think it applies to just about any DIY project out there.  And the more expensive the consequences, the more heavily that idea should weight on people.  If you screw up planting a tree for the first time (as I once did) the fix is the cost of another tree and a landscaper to pick out the right tree and plant it 
properly.  If you screw up putting in a fence around a small back yard, the cost is greater, but you have a second shot at that.  Screw up selling your own home, leaving thousands on the table...well, you don't get a second chance to recover that.

Over and over, when I bring buyer-clients to sellers who think they are doing themselves a favor by saving as listing commission by going FSBO, I see these sellers screw themselves at every turn for the same reason that caller to the financial show made wrong decision after wrong decision.  They are going based on emotion.  And fear is an emotion that drives a lot of bad decisions.  For Sale By Owners are afraid they will lose the deal, and say yes to just about anything.  After all, in their minds they are smart for not hiring an agent to represent them, thus saving themselves thousands.  They can't dare lose this buyer.

If no one else would hire you to sell their house, why in the world are willing to hire you?  Of course, not all listing agents are the same, but that's where you interview them and, with the help of the Internet, look at their marketing, reviews and even see how many homes they have sold in their careers.  A good listing agent is like a good financial adviser.  They are trained to look at data and work in your best interests.  They take the emotion out it, and keep logic at the forefront.  Hiring professionals when it comes to big dollar transactions is essential.  Or you could go it alone and hire the person no one else would dare hire.  It's up to you.

Jeremy Letzelter

I have worked in sales for over 13 years. I have purchased and sold investment properties for the past 10 years. I'm looking forward to helping people acquire the American dream of home ownership. Whe....

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