BY CONNIE ADAIR
If someone tells you they plan to sell their own house, you no doubt tell them, “Don’t do it!”
For someone trying to sell their own home, it can be an emotionally draining experience. It’s hard for a FSBO to price their home properly and not feel a potential buyer is offering less than it’s worth. It’s hard for a FSBO to be objective about its appearance, and to take negative comments in stride. And sometimes rather than deal with a friend who is selling, a potential buyer may avoid the property and look elsewhere.
So why, then, do Realtors often insist on selling their own homes?
It may be hard, but the best idea is to let a colleague handle the sale for you. “You can’t be emotionally attached to a home and do a good business job,” says Realtor Claire Ann Rose, who handled the sale of colleague Kathy Elliott-Bryden’s home.
“It’s hard to give away some money (to hire someone) because money is money, but it is important,” says Bryden.
Choose a colleague who will look out for your best interests and is someone you trust.
When it’s time to determine an asking price, get the opinion of trusted colleagues.
Remember, when pricing their own home, people put a higher price on emotions, says Rose.
It’s also harder to sell your own home when you’re in the industry. “There’s peer pressure that the home has to be up to Homes and Gardens standards,” says Rose.
Agents feel their self-esteem and reputation with their colleagues is on the line, and it is, says Bryden.
To ready her home, Bryden tried “to do everything that we recommend clients do.”
She hired an interior designer to go through the house and make suggestions about sprucing up the space. She followed a lot of the designer’s advice, and removed and replaced furniture and artwork and had the house painted and cleaned.
“Everything has to look as wonderful as possible — impeccable, clean, landscaped and washed inside and out,” says Bryden, who also filled the home with fresh flowers.
Rose handled the agent open houses so Bryden wouldn’t miss possible purchasers. Some agents feel uncomfortable negotiating down from the asking price on a fellow agent’s own home and might avoid the property all together, says Bryden.
As for public open houses, it’s okay to hold your own, as long as you don’t mind strangers and neighbours looking and commenting about your house.
At the negotiating table, Bryden also enjoyed acting like a vendor and having Rose be her agent. When things got tricky — the purchasers wanted a lower price, lower deposit and different closing date — it was easier not to have to deal with them directly, Bryden says.