Ann Motz
Ann Motz
Ann Motz Realtors
892 Goodman Rd. East Ste. 4
Southaven, MS 38671

Real Estate Agent on the “For Sale by Owner” Route

Even though nearly 9 out of 10 homeowners ultimately enlist a real estate agent to sell their properties, let’s face it: the thought of going it alone does go through many minds. And surveys confirm the primary motivation, which is, of course, saving the agent’s fee. Pocketing that cash would add that much more to the bottom line—that’s just common sense! Isn’t it…?

What makes sense in theory doesn’t always work out that way in the actual marketplace—in fact, the probabilities actually point in the opposite direction. The verified financial analyses tell the tale—the average sales price for real estate agent-assisted sales are so much higher than “For Sale by Owner” sales that the percentages favor the real estate agent choice: last month’s updated statistics listed the difference at more than $40,000.

Going it alone can be even more costly in other ways. Selling a house yourself is a time-consuming affair—particularly if you are having to organize all the processes from the ground up. Not only do you have to do all the initial legwork to create and manage the entire marketing and sales efforts, there winds up being no guarantee of a final sale. To anyone who has ended up after months and months of work with nothing to show for it, the time lost is a major source of dissatisfaction.

However, if you are retired or for any other reason aren’t worried about devoting the needed time to the effort, attempting to sell your home without areal estate agent could be a reasonable option for you…if the next two considerations don’t apply—

a)      Sometimes the most valuable asset areal estate agent conveys is timely, accurate knowledge of the market. Having an asking price that’s too high or low can have a devastating effects on your bottom line. If it’s too high, the property can languish on the market for far too long, losing value and appeal to ensuing waves of prospective buyers. If it’s too low—lower than what would have attracted qualified buyers—you just lost the single reason you chose to do all the work yourself! IOW, if you don’t feel confident about your knowledge of market trends and recent movement, working with an active real estate agent is clearly the prudent choice.

b)      Buyers frequently choose to protect their interests by being represented by a buyers’ agent, in which case the seller is responsible for paying the buyers’ agent a fee. If you are planning to sell the house yourself, make sure you feel comfortable working with the buyer or buyer’s agent and handling negotiations yourself. This requires having working knowledge of real estate contracts and real estate laws (and everything else involved in the sale of a home). If you aren’t inclined to master 50+ pages of paperwork, it’s a pretty good reason why a real estate agent is probably for you!

If you are getting serious about selling your own home this fall, you needn’t have decided to use areal estate agent to give me a call. Whatever your ultimate choice, I guarantee you will benefit from my no-pressure, obligation-free consultation!


When you are selling a home, two underlying unknowns are always present. How long it will take? Is one. The second is what will the final selling price be?

The answer to that second one at least partially depends on actions the person selling the home controls, since performing renovations and add-ons boosts a property’s salability. But which renovations add the most value? Even though considerable study has been given to the issue, for any given home it’s difficult to pin down which are most likely to have the greatest impact.

Even so, some general observations are widely accepted:

ITEM: Some kinds of renovations show a much higher return than others. Replacing a traditional entry door with a steel door, for instance, often generates about a 100% return on the investment. A sunroom addition, on the other hand, is likely to result in closer to a 50% return when the home is sold. The web site presents national averages tabulated each year.

ITEM: The old focus on “location, location, location” applies to improvements, too. Selling a home in different areas of the country can influence how much you can rely on the previous item. For instance, some reports say that a backup generator is one of the worst investments a seller can make if they hope to recoup the add-on cost. Yet in areas where dangerous storms have a history of knocking down the power grid for days on end, a well-integrated generator can prove to be a highly marketable add-on.

ITEM: Some repairs that are not undertaken constitute such red flags that, though minor, they can seriously retard a sale. A broken screen door is a good example of an easy-to-remedy detail that can have a disproportionate effect, drawing prospective buyers’ attention from an otherwise well-maintained property.

ITEM: Some other kinds of repairs are essential for a different reason. A homeowner selling ahome might be tempted to decide that replacing the garage roof, for example, simply isn’t worth the expense. Although it could be true that the garage roofing might not be important to buyers, it could prove vital if it prevents the bank from lending on the property.

So, how can a seller know what to do? Luckily, the answer is simple. Your veteran Realtor® will be able to offer expert advice based on current market experience—to advise you on which repairs or improvements are a good or necessary expense (and which can be tabled for now). If you are thinking of selling your home this fall, do call me to discuss a home improvement strategy that will help maximize your return!