Saturday morning, I had an appointment to meet an appraiser at a listing we have. It was being appraised by the purchaser’s lender and I wanted to make sure the appraiser had good information on recent sales. (It’s what a good listing agent should do for their seller.)
The appraiser mentioned that a good friend’s Mother had owned a home in the Sandy Springs area of Atlanta, and that in average to poor condition it was worth $425,000. It was on an over-sized lot and the land alone was worth this much. Now, remember, the person telling the story assesses property value, for banks, for a living. Well, the Sandy Springs home owner, didn’t think much of realtors and decided to sell the house herself. She complained to her family that she didn’t have time to track down the deed and was irritated trying to get legal work accomplished, but she wanted to save money and was going to do it herself.
The owner sold her home for $299,000 and it took several months to close. So, in an effort to save money, she accepted $126,000 less than the appraiser thought she would easily get for the home, and in addition, she exhausted herself trying to take care of the legal aspects of the sale.
The appraiser went on to say, this sale happened two years ago and the lady still boasts about the great job she did selling her home on her own without a realtor. Had she used a realtor the fees (for both the seller’s and buyer’s agent) would have probably cost $25,500. So, in the end, the lady would have easily taken home an additional $100,500.
This sort of thing happens more frequently than you may think. Unless you sell property day-in and day-out you likely don’t know the nuances of the current market. Some sellers will list property too high, and as their home sits and sits, not selling, the buyer’s perception of it declines. Others, just as this seller, throw away money because they don’t know what they don’t know.
Consult a professional. Selling a big ticket item like a home, deserves professional care. I normally don’t get on a soap box like this, but the appraiser’s message got my attention. Who wouldn’t like an extra 100K in the bank?