REALTORS® serving Calgary and area

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Aug. 25, 2021 | Geoff Geddes

Why do-it-yourself homes sales are a major "don't"

Some projects lend themselves to a DIY approach, but others, like open heart surgery and selling your house, are better left to the pros.

Though the thought of saving a few dollars might be tempting, many people do not understand the time and effort required go the for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) route.

One reason for this lack of understanding is that the right REALTOR® can make the process of selling a home feel effortless – largely, because they are putting in the hard work behind the scenes.

"When selling a house, I start with a walkthrough and then compare it to similar properties in setting the right price," said Viki Fairbairn, a Realtor and agent with Royal LePage Benchmark in Calgary. "I then work at positioning it on the market, followed by getting professional measurements and photographs for the listing."

From there, the focus turns to marketing, as Fairbairn plans open houses, promotes the home on social media and spreads the word to her numerous industry contacts. Then she applies her interior design skills to stage the home, so it looks its best for showings.
"Especially in a buyers' market, people will move on to the next property in a heartbeat, so dealing with a professional can make all the difference." - Viki Fairbairn, Royal LePage Benchmark

She also makes sure to qualify potential buyers, as many purchasers will submit offers higher than they can qualify for, causing the deal to collapse and putting the seller back at square one.

"A Realtor is able to call on their network of professionals, such as real estate lawyers, inspectors and builders, to facilitate the process," said Mary Ann Turrie, global real estate advisor with Engel & Volkers Calgary. "With their experience and knowledge of the market, they can also negotiate to maximize the seller's profit."

Another reason to avoid the FSBO route is the supposed cost savings, which are frequently exaggerated. Often lost in the rush to be your own agent is the fact that you must still pay the buyer's agent their commission, and foot the cost of professional photos and an MLS System® listing. The headaches don't end there, either.

"You should be aware that many people who view your home might just be out for a lark and wasting your time," said Fairbairn. "Then there are all the questions you must ask around the pandemic and ensuring the buyer has signed the proper COVID-19 forms before seeing the property."

Even for those willing to expend the effort required to do it themselves, a lack of specialized real estate knowledge often leads to selling the property short.

"Even with those who have bought and sold many homes on their own, they don't have the expertise to position the house properly," said Fairbairn.

"Maybe they are willing to make the house look nice, negotiate themselves and be there for showings, but do they really get as much out of the sale as they can? Especially in a buyers' market, people will move on to the next property in a heartbeat, so dealing with a professional can make all the difference."

Tagged: advice | Agent | buyer | Calgary | Calgary Real Estate | Calgary Real Estate News | COVID-19 | DIY | Engel & Völkers | Feature | How To | Listing | MLS® System | price | REALTOR | REALTORS | Royal LePage Benchmark | seller

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