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The Homeowner Who Represents Himself is Dumb and …

With the housing market beginning to heat up, we are afraid some sellers may consider trying to sell their house as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO). This week we will be posting on the reasons that we believe trying to sell on your own may be a mistake. – KCM Crew

crazy1A well-known legal profession axiom:

“The attorney who represents himself is dumb and has a fool as a client.”

We believe this also applies if you attempt to sell your own home as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). In today’s volatile market, you need an experienced professional!

You and your family need a skilled negotiator

In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. Each step of the way – from the original offer, to the possible re-negotiation of that off after a home inspection, to the possible cancellation of the deal based on a troubled appraisal – you need someone who can keep the deal together until it closes.

Here is a list of some of the people with whom your agent will potentially negotiate on your behalf:

  • The buyer
  • The buyer’s agent
  • The buyer’s attorney
  • The home inspection company
  • The termite company
  • The buyer’s lender
  • The appraiser
  • The title company
  • The town or municipality
  • The buyer’s buyer
  • Your bank (in the case of a short sale)

How do you know if an agent negotiates well?

Realize that when an agent is negotiating their commission with you, they are negotiating their own salary; the salary that keeps a roof over their family’s head; the salary that puts food on their family’s table. If they are quick to take less when negotiating for themselves and their families, what makes you think they will not act the same way when negotiating for you and your family? If they were Clark Kent when negotiating with you, they will not turn into Superman when negotiating with the buyer in your deal.

Bottom Line

You need a great negotiator. We believe that famous sayings become famous because they are true. You get what you pay for. Just like a good accountant or a good attorney, a good agent will save you money…not cost you money.

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4 replies
  1. Jonathan O'Connor
    Jonathan O'Connor says:

    What is the greatest service you can count on from an agent who discounts their commission? The DISCOUNT. Some split the discounted commission and share the misery, guaranteeing that the showings will decrease by 99% on day 1 due to the decreased buyer broker commission. Let’s see… I have a Buyer Broker Agreement where my people have instructed me to show them nothing that pays me less than 3%…. naturally, I am rushing to show them your 2.5% listing. That is even more brilliant than taking the discount. Actually they never even see your listing. I have set their search to exclude your listing.

    • Danielle Cheatle DeWitt
      Danielle Cheatle DeWitt says:

      Do you think that is ethical? If you are suppose to do your very best to help your client make the best/most informed decision, you would really conceal that property from your client? Over .5%?
      Wow. I’d love to hear what a client would think about that. If the extra half of a percent means so much to you, show the clients the property with the understanding they will need to make up the difference in your commission, but don’t leave them in the dark about potential opportunities.

      • Aimee Derylo
        Aimee Derylo says:

        While I don’t work that way either, Danielle, I think it would be perfectly ethical to do so if it is by request of your client. If you have a buyer agency agreement with them stating you’ll make no less than 3%, and they cannot (or simply do not want to) make up the difference, you just ask them whether they would prefer to even see those listings. Some will say yes, at which point you would be sure to disclose the potential shortfall with those properties. Some clients will say don’t even send them. No secrecy or leaving in the dark required.

      • Jonathan O'Connor
        Jonathan O'Connor says:

        1. The STANDARD BUYER BROKER that prints out of my MLS has a place for the BUYER to REQUEST that I not show them anything that pays me less than 3%. I hope that is OK with you. There are 5,000 agents in my MLS who print out the same form.
        2. How would I PROPERLY EXECUTE the Buyer Broker without explaining it to them?
        3. In VA, we MUST discuss Customer vs Client(Buyer Broker) and have them choose IN WRITING. Based on FULL agent services versus Ministerial Duties, nobody ever picks Customer. I hope it is OK if I remain in compliance with the Laws of the Commonwealth of VA.
        4. After I tell my Buyers the ramifications of how that extra 0.5% is going to be made up, they seem to pick the “don’t show me anything that pays you less than 3%”box on the form. I hope that is OK with you.
        5. My company, the largest in the area, as a matter of company policy, will NEVER give away less than 3 % to the Buyer’s Agent when we take a listing, PERIOD. I hope that is also OK with you.
        5. Are you a REALTOR? Ever read Article 15-2 and 15-3 Code of Ethics? How we doing on Ethics?


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