The Stress of Selling a Home
To most people, the thought of selling their family house is one of life’s major events that they dread. I can assure you that the dread or anxiety is from one of many sources that the experts believe is tied to the fear of the unknown, the fear of loss and sometimes the fear of failure? Selling a home can be all encompassing and for many homeowners it turns their family’s lives and budgets completely upside down.
In my experience, the preparedness of the seller makes all of the difference in the world. Outcomes are never guaranteed, but being prepared with an understanding of the process and the potential pitfalls can lessen the stress and anxiety of the unknown, in advance. All too often we prepare for the best outcomes and sometimes we really need to look at our Plan B or Plan C.
Some say the that the stress of selling a house is equal to a divorce or a death in the family. I am not sure about those analogies, but I have seen enough sales to know that the stress is real and never leaves until that check hits the bank account and the title company calls and says “we’re on Record”. Selling your house is not a one and done process, it takes an ongoing focus and for most sellers going the conventional route of hiring a real estate agent is a big commitment to a process that is by design for an unknown period of time.
My advice to sellers… “Don’t just settle for the knee jerk reaction and cave to the conventional wisdom”. Don’t make the same mistake that most sellers do and believe the marketing hype from the real estate industry. Hiring a real estate agent takes work. If you are going to hire an agent do so for the right reasons and hire the BEST. Do your research and come up with your plan. If your objective is to spend as little money as possible and pocket the most amount of cash when your house sells, then you need to know all of your options and hiring a real estate agent may not be in your best interest. That is why it’s important to understand all of the numbers before you sell.
Certainly there are all kinds of compelling reasons to sell a house, but remember that each reason comes with a set of challenges, circumstances and objectives and sometimes they have nothing to do with the actual sale of the house. Most of the time, the challenges surrounding the sale of the house are an issue of the houses ability to compete coupled with the sellers preparedness.
I know that most of you are reading this and saying what the heck is he talking about? But after 11 years I know the difference between collapsing the events that make selling a necessity and the circumstances that challenge the sale of the house. They are two separate and distinct issues no matter how they are linked by the seller and for some houses they spell disaster if the seller insists on selling conventionally with a real estate agent.
What I have found is that most of life’s major events have one path and when they are combined with the sale of a house the solution just requires us to get out of our own way to move forward. In those circumstances, most people just feel unprepared to deal with the sale of their house and everything that comes up appears as an obstacle and precludes them from executing their plan…
I have been on every side of the buying and selling equation and when I hear about the years of experience that real estate agents have representing their clients, rest assured, not one transaction as an agent representing a seller or buyer can compare to the emotional turmoil that an owner faces every day that their house sits on the market or in escrow.
It is pretty easy to be cavalier about the sale of someone else’s house when you have only an opportunity at risk. Sellers have much more at stake and that is the bargaining chip that you have with everyone looking at your house.
Real Estate Agents By The Numbers
In real estate the numbers don’t lie and if you pay attention like I do, you can keep yourself out of a lot of trouble. The problem is that everyone has their own set of numbers, but when it comes to selling houses there are a few of them that are really telling and if you are “hell bent” on hiring a real estate agent then you should only hire the best.
- The best and the worst real estate agents get paid the same commission amount
- 87% of all real estate agents wash out within the first five years (is your agent in their first or last month)
- 13% of all real estate agents make it beyond 5 years
- Only the top 5% of all real estate agents can claim to sell houses for more money
- 78% of all sellers just hire the first real estate agent they talk to without knowing whether they are in their first month or last month
- From March of 2018 through February 2019 there were 3,099 houses sold in Stockton
- There are 3,563 real estate agents active in Stockton
- Is your real estate agent any good?
The House Needs to Be Able to Compete
What I have also learned that some houses will never get top dollar based on their location, age, amenities, layout and condition. What happens all too often is that the owners have this unrealistic expectation, usually fanned by some desperate real estate agent hungry for a listing and the die is cast. Sellers markets, promises of higher prices and it’s easy for a homeowner to overspend on a house that will always be relegated to a D type property.
Why are sellers Anxious?
It’s not just the investment of time and money, it’s the anxiety of knowing that 98% of buyers want inspections and repairs. It’s that banks require appraisals and have conditions. It’s the anxiety of knowing that buyers and their agents will be invading their privacy at a moments notice. It’s knowing that most of them are tire kickers and that buyers and their agents are not always the most forthright or accommodating or tactful. It’s knowing they open drawers, look in closets and sometimes just show up at a moments notice. Finally, its coming to grips with the fact that nearly 40% of all listings expire without a sale.
There is really no easy way to aleve that burden or anxiety from the seller because for all intents and purposes they are the only one with real risk or have any skin in the game until the final closing. The problem is that most sellers really dont understand the complete risk and the cost that are always born by the seller and regardless of the agents empathy, it is the seller that pays for every one else’s opportunity and mistakes.
So why am I going on about the inherent pitfalls of the conventional wisdom within the residential real estate market? Why am I so hard on the rank and file real estate agents and why do I spend so much time and energy at my keyboard to uncover the way that things have always been done that just are not productive?
Because I have insight from a very unique perspective and I know that if I can impart just a little common sense to the seller about how they hire and who they hire maybe they can alter the strategy for the sale of their house and they can assemble a team that will ensure the least stressful experience possible.
I have become an expert in the buying and selling of houses by listening to others and watching their mistakes. I research and and read and then I apply what I have learned and along the way . That continues as a daily endeavor for me. I write my blog post hoping that I can connect with homeowners and sellers of distressed properties by becoming the local expert in all matters of real estate. Through my articles I get to flush out ideas and positions that allow me to remain a leader locally and beyond. I can discuss the strategies and the marketing of the bottom 40% of the houses in the real estate market that are genuinely forgotten.
What I have found is that the effort is daily, my marketing is silent until the next homeowner that needs help stumbles across my articles. I have learned that there is more than one way to sell your Stockton house! So many people get hung up in the idea of listing with a real estate agent that they don’t think to explore all of the ways a home can be sold. Many people miss out on saving time and/or money by using the only solution they know how. I want to alter that paradigme.
There are 3 Ways to Sell My House in Stockton.
In this article, we will break down the pros and cons of each so you can make the best and well-informed decision about how you wish to sell your house in Stockton!
Pros of Selling a House Directly to a Stockton Cash Home Buyer:
There are so many benefits of selling to a cash home buyer that transcend the conventional thinking in real estate. If anything has changed in the past 10 years its that selling real estate is no longer a one size fits all strategy. If it were the statistics would be different regarding the sales of all houses. Most sellers just dont understand the numbers. Why should they? How Can They? The numbers are obscured by the industries powerful marketing and the only way anyone ever reads anything different is by venturing out looking for more information.
A direct sale offers many benefits that people will often overlook. It can save you a lot of time. Many people who make direct offers are paying in cash, so there is no waiting on the banks to secure the loan. This means there are no inspections or appraisals and you can sell your home in as little as a week! A quick sale will immediately end your financial obligations to the home such as mortgages, insurance, utilities, and taxes.
In addition, if there is NO agent, you will be able to save a lot of money on commissions, agent fees, and listing costs. Direct offers often will NOT require any cleaning, repairs or upgrades be done to the home. A direct sale will let you get a great price for your home, without having to wait. You can start planning your future now because you will know how much you are getting for your home and when.
Cons of Direct Sale a House:
People often confuse the sales price of a house with the amount of money that the seller ends up with at closing. That is a huge mistake. While the final sale price on a cash sale may be lower than a retail buyer transaction, the amount of money that you actually receive at closing is very similar. Remember in a direct sale to a cash home buyer you are not paying real estate commissions, closing costs, repairs and re-inspections, or giving closing credits or down payment assistance. There are no delays caused by absent real estate agents and there is a lot less paperwork. etc. Your cost are fixed and the local real estate investor is generally paying for all of those cost.
Pros of Selling Yourself:
It is a double edged sword, but the resources are there. If you believe the real estate industry…. you are on your own, but in reality you are in control of everything and quite frankly that is the way it should be. Because you are in control of everything, you are dealing with the title company directly (you would have to anyway). Remember, the title company is the independent third party that makes sure the buyer and the seller are following the letter of the agreement. You will have all the power and be able to decide your best course of action without the interference or delays waiting for areal estate agent to respond to something that is better handled by the title company. Most people dont realize it but the title company is actually the 3rd party independent resource that understands the nuts an bolts of the real estate agreement. They are a much better resource than a real estate agent because they deal with closings and real estate contracts every day… 365 days a year. Remember that most real estate agents make less than 3 sales per year and they’re expertise is not at closing or enforcing agreements.
Cons of Selling Your House By Yourself:
You are in control of everything. You have to do all the work! You are in charge of advertising, dealing with potential buyers and their agents, reviewing contracts, handling negotiations and dealing with title companies. For some that are not committed to the result, it can be a huge headache especially if you aren’t committed to becoming familiar with the process. And because it is your house, you should be in charge. Remember it is your equity and no real estate agent is going to protect that cash as much as you. While many sellers are emotional about their houses, you cannot afford to become offended by low offers, or overprice the house when you know it isn’t worth what you are asking.
Pros of Working With an Agent:
A Great agent will market the house and have it sold for at or near asking price as fast as possible. You need to remember that your agent can only act as fast as the buyers and their offer. I have witnessed great agents drop the ball because of scheduling conflicts, personal matters and forgetfulness. They are a resource but the are not the responsible party. Don’t confuse their expertise with that with taking care of the sale on your behalf. A Great agent will go above and beyond, and explain everything during the process, but very few are there at every step of the way. Regardless, your agent should make the time to sit down with you and review all offers, but, by law they cannot negotiate the sale for you unless you give them a power of attorney to do so. You are paying them the high commissions to market the house so it sells quickly for the highest possible dollar.
Cons of Working With An Agent:
There is a bit of a fallacy when it comes to understanding what most listing agents do. I know we have all been conditioned to think that the good real estate agents will take care of the sale on your behalf, but dont be fooled. Listing agents are not great marketeers, or superior negotiators. We all want to believe that they are but it is just not true. The numbers just dont bear that out.
If you sell with an agent, you will be responsible to pay 100% of the commission on both sides of the transaction. This is typically about 6% of your final sale price. In addition, you will be paying about 2% of the final sale price, toward closing costs. You will also have to pay up front to get the house ready for listing. This includes a professional cleaning, making repairs and cleaning done on an ongoing basis. There are also no guarantees on when it will sell. You will not know how much you are getting or when you are closing until the title company issues its closing disclosure outlining all of the cost.
There are many ways to sell your Stockton house. Before you do anything else, make sure you fully research the options available to you. Don’t settle for one option until you learn what other selling methods will mean for you!