Many people believe that selling their house during “the spring buyers’ market” is the best thing to do. Their reasoning is that there will be more buyers than there are during the winter months and, therefore, their house will sell quicker and for a higher price. Historically, this made sense. However, today’s real estate market is not following the rules of the past. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) measures buyer “foot traffic” each month. It receives data on the number of properties shown to a prospective purchaser by a Realtor® (based on the number of lockboxes used). The data reveals the number of buyers out actively looking for a home, not just window shopping on the internet. NAR explains:
“Foot traffic has a strong correlation with future contracts and home sales, so it can be viewed as a peek ahead at sales trends two to three months into the future.”According to the latest Foot Traffic Report, buyer traffic is greater now than it was during this year’s spring market and there are more buyers out now than at any other time in the last five years (March of 2012). The chart below shows that buyer activity over the last three months (blue bars) was greater than it was during this past spring market (green bars).
Bottom LineIf you are waiting for spring to list your home because you think that’s when the buyers will be out in force, perhaps you should reconsider. Buyers are out right now! More buyers are out shopping right now than in the past several years. And with inventory down practically everywhere, there's a buyer's feeding frenzy going on with 5 of my last transactions having gone into contract above full ask price. Looking to buy or sell a home? Call me at 516-429-9399.
There is no doubt that it is easier to sell your house when using the services of a local real estate professional. The agent will provide:
- Greater exposure to more buyers
- The skills of a professional negotiator
- A layer of protection from possible legal liabilities
- Professional guidance in navigating any pitfalls that may arise
- A level of safety while showing the home
“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 on their own 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.