Study: FSBOs Don’t Save Real Estate Commission
One of the main reasons why For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) don’t use a real estate agent is because they believe they will save the commission an agent charges for getting their house on the market and selling it. A new study by Collateral Analytics, however, reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save anything, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent.
In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets in 2016 and the first half of 2017. The data showed that:
“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.” (emphasis added)
Why would FSBOs net less money than if they used an agent?
The study makes several suggestions:
- “There could be systematic bias on the buyer side as well. FSBO sales might attract more strategic buyers than MLS sales, particularly buyers who rationalize lower-priced bids on with the logic that the seller is “saving” a traditional commission. Such buyers might specifically search for and target sellers who are not getting representational assistance from agents.” In other words, ‘bargain lookers’ might shop FSBOs more often.
- “Experienced agents are experts at ‘staging’ homes for sale” which could bring more money for the home.
- “Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.” If more buyers see a home, the greater the chances are that there could be a bidding war for the property.
Three conclusions from the study:
- FSBOs achieve prices significantly lower than those from similar properties sold by Realtors using the MLS.
- The differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales of similar properties is about 5.5%.
- The sales in 2017 suggest the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.
If you are thinking of selling, FSBOing may end up costing you money instead of saving you money.
Closing costs are fees charged by the lender at the closing of a real estate transaction. Closing costs typically add up to thousands of dollars. The good news is that, each year, Bankrate conducts a survey of closing costs in all the states. See what the average fees are for your state.
Click Here For Detailed Information By State
While many people save for and anticipate the costs associated with buying a home, not everyone realizes that selling a house also comes with its share of fees.
In some cases, these fees can account for 10 percent of the sale of the home. While many of these charges are negotiable and can fluctuate depending on the current real estate market, sellers should plan on paying at least some of these expenses.
Understanding the cost to sell a house can help prevent sticker shock when it comes time to close the sale.
The real estate commission is often the largest fee that a seller has to pay. In many cases, these commissions can total 5 percent to 6 percent of the sale cost. This means that a house that sells for $250,000 could end up costing an additional $15,000 in commission fees.
The commission fee is split between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent. Many homeowners are attempting to skip these high fees altogether by going the sell-it-yourself route, but if you take this approach be prepared to assume the Realtor’s responsibilities.
These can include negotiations, hiring a contract lawyer and taking care of the transfer of title.
If you’re thinking about selling your home, chances are there are a few repairs that can boost the appeal of your home and even raise its value. If you’ve been putting off painting a bedroom, repairing a staircase or fixing a leaky faucet, now’s the time to make those changes. If you’re paying for repairs or upgrades with a credit card, be sure you’re getting cash back or rewards.
You may spend several hundred dollars on cosmetic fixes on your home, but if the buyer’s home inspection reveals any major problems, you might be responsible for paying to fix them as well.
Major repairs could be a financial setback, so it’s important to be prepared for them before you choose to sell, especially if you anticipate a problem with your home passing inspection.
Buyers like to have a clear picture of what the home will look like with their items in it. If your home is currently vacant or your possessions are outdated, you may want to hire a professional stager who can arrange furniture and accessories.
A 2015 National Association of Realtors study revealed that the median cost for staging was $675.
If you plan to move out before you sell your home, you’ll want to continue to pay for your heat and electricity. A home without heat and lighting can be very difficult to show to buyers. Your current utility bills can give you an idea how much this will cost.
The proceeds of your home will be used to pay off your mortgage, but it is likely that the number on your mortgage statement might be a little less than what you owe.
You’ll likely have to add prorated interest you’ve accrued to the total balance. Additionally, your lender may penalize you for paying early if you have a prepayment penalty associated with your mortgage.
Closing costs and additional fees
While the closing cost to sell a house is typically the responsibility of the buyer, don’t be surprised if you are asked to foot the bill, especially if you are trying to sell your home in a buyer’s market (one which has an influx of homes for sale).
Some of these costs may include HOA (or homeowners association) fees, property taxes, attorney fees, transfer taxes and title insurance. You also may be asked to pay an escrow fee, a brokerage fee and a courier fee. Altogether, closing costs can range from 2 percent to 4 percent of the selling price.
Many of the above fees are negotiable, and it is unlikely that a seller will be responsible for all of these. Still, it helps to be prepared. Knowing how much it will cost to sell a house can help you avoid disappointment when the time comes to put it on the market.
Are you an empty-nester? Do you want to retire where you are, or does a vacation destination sound more your style? Are you close to retirement and not ready to move yet, but living in a home that is too big in size and maintenance needs?
How can you line up your current needs with your goals and dreams for the future? The answer for many might be the equity you have in your house.
According to the latest Equity Report from CoreLogic, the average homeowner in the United States gained $14,000 in equity over the course of the last year. On the West Coast, homeowners gained twice that amount, with homeowners in Washington gaining an average of $38,000!
Do you know how much your home has appreciated over the last year?
Many homeowners would be able to easily sell their current house and use the profits from that sale to purchase a condo nearby in order to continue working while eliminating some of the daily maintenance of owning a house (ex. lawn care, snow removal).
With the additional cash gained from the sale of the home, you could put down a sizeable down payment on a vacation/retirement home in the location that you would like to eventually retire to. While you will not yet be able to live there full-time, you can rent out your property during peak vacation times and pay off your mortgage faster.
Purchasing your retirement home now will allow you to take full advantage of today’s seller’s market, allow you to cash in on the equity you have already built, and take comfort in knowing that a plan is in place for a smooth transition into retirement.
There are many reasons to relocate in retirement, including a change in climate, proximity to family & grandchildren, and so much more. What are the reasons you want to move? Are the reasons to stay more important? Let’s get together to discuss your current equity situation and the options available for you, today!
We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand is high and the supply of that item is limited. Two major reports issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR)revealed information that suggests that now continues to be a great time to sell your house.
Let’s look at the data covered in the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index and Existing Home Sales Report.
REALTORS® CONFIDENCE INDEX
Every month, NAR surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.” This month, the index showed (again) that home-buying demand continued to outpace supply in May.
The map below illustrates buyer demand broken down by state (the darker your state, the stronger the demand is there).
In addition to revealing high demand, the index also mentioned that “compared to conditions in the same month last year, seller traffic conditions were ‘weak’ in 24 states, ‘stable’ in 25 states, and ‘strong’ in D.C and West Virginia.”
Takeaway: Demand for housing continues to be strong throughout 2017, but supply is struggling to keep up, and this trend is likely to continue into 2018.
THE EXISTING HOME SALES REPORT
The most important data revealed in the report was not sales, but was instead the inventory of homes for sale (supply). The report explained:
- Total housing inventory rose 2.1% to 1.96 million homes available for sale
- That represents a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace
- Unsold inventory is 8.4% lower than a year ago, marking the 24th consecutive month with year-over-year declines
According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR:
“Current demand levels indicate sales should be stronger, but it’s clear some would-be buyers are having to delay or postpone their home search because low supply is leading to worsening affordability conditions.”
In real estate, there is a guideline that often applies; when there is less than a 6-month supply of inventory available, we are in a seller’s market and we will see appreciation. Between 6-7 months is a neutral market, where prices will increase at the rate of inflation. More than a 7-month supply means we are in a buyer’s market and should expect depreciation in home values.
As we mentioned before, there is currently a 4.2- month supply, and houses are going under contract fast. The Confidence Index shows that 55% of properties were on the market for less than a month when sold.
In May, properties sold nationally were typically on the market for 27 days. As Yun notes, this will continue, unless more listings come to the market.
“With new and existing supply failing to catch up with demand, several markets this summer will continue to see homes going under contract at this remarkably fast pace of under a month.”
Takeaway: Inventory of homes for sale is still well below the 6-month supply needed for a normal market. And the supply will continue to ‘fail to catch up with demand’ if a ‘sizable’ supply does not enter the market.
If you are going to sell, now may be the time to take advantage of the ready, willing, and able buyers that are still out searching for your house.