I’m ashamed. I’m ashamed of myself and I’m ashamed of my fellow Realtors. You see, I was at a listing appointment a few days ago and the seller asked, “Hey, when is my house going to on the market?” I told him, “FAST! I’ll have in the MLS TONIGHT!”
“So what’s wrong with that?”, you may ask. Plenty! I just put the MLS on top of the marketing mountain. I just gave that seller the wrong impression. I basically told him the only thing that really matters is me putting his house into the MLS. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ll explain.
To successfully sell a house, you can boil it down to 3 main components:
Just sticking a house in the MLS doesn’t guarantee a sale. Attention needs to be paid to the other 2 main components too. That’s part of my job as an agent, to pay attention for you! To strategize, advise, and counsel my clients. Unfortunately, many times, the other 2 components are completely ignored by sellers – and by other real estate agents.
Anyway, back to why the MLS in Waco (or anywhere for that matter) isn’t the “be all to end all”. If you’ve read some of my blog articles, you know I tend to be a numbers freak, so here goes…
Out of ALL the homes listed last year in the MLS only 37.4% actually sold in 2011. That’s LESS THAN HALF! If the MLS was at the top of the marketing mountain, that number (37.4%) would be a lot higher. Shocked yet? I was when I looked at the data. Wow, for every 100 houses put into the MLS, only 37 will actually sell within that year.
Part of a successful sale MUST include the pricing and appearance components. That’s one area where we come in: 1) To help get the pricing right 2) To inform the client about the current market 3) What’s sold, what’s the competition, etc… 4) To analyze all the data in front of me and to strategize a plan of action. The list actually goes on and on, but I won’t bore you too bad.
There are plenty of websites that promise to put your house in the MLS for a flat fee. Those website operators try to make it sound like the MLS is the answer to all your problems, they couldn’t be more wrong or in my opinion, more deceitful. Of course, as an industry, Realtors have done a horrible job of educating the public about what we actually do (and in many cases, sad to say, some agents do nothing more than throw your listing in the MLS and walk away, hoping that your house is one of the lucky 37).
Here’s a true story:
In January, I got a call from a person wanting to sell their home (they got my name from a past client). I told Eddie (real name), “sure, I can come by your house and go over all the data for the current market.” We set the appointment and I showed up on time (for the first time! haha). Anyway, before the appointment, I did my homework and I was kind of dismayed by what I found:
1) In his neighborhood and immediate area, there were 34 active homes on the market. That is some pretty tough competition.
2) The house next door had been on the market for 4 months when it expired. It was relisted with another agent who had it on the market for another 3 months and 3 weeks before it went under contract. A total of 7 months and 3 weeks!
3) There were brand new homes going for a just a little more per square foot than what he was wanting to ask. It’s really tough to compete with a brand new house that’s only $5K more!
Anyway, I met with the seller and went over all the data and numbers. I strategized with him to come up with the best plan of action. I made sure the appearance (both in person and on the internet) was top notch, plus I had a couple of other tricks up my sleeve. 🙂
The result? We got the house under contract in 12 days and almost got into a competing offer situation. Sure, he could’ve just went with one of those websites that will throw his house up on the MLS for several hundred dollars, but the odds of a successful sale probably would’ve been dramatically reduced, especially since there were 34 other homes on the market in his neighborhood and the adjoining neighborhood!
Oh, I forgot to mention, not only did he get it under contract and sold quickly, but he also sold his house for $12,250 MORE than the house next door (the house next door was only smaller by 32 SQFT. So adjusted for per square foot variance, that would be $9,033.20 MORE). Not to mention the money he saved in taxes and insurance too, buy selling quickly.
I’ve met several people that tried the “only MLS” route without success, only to find themselves listing their house with an agent when it didn’t work out. Not only did they waste hundreds of dollars with those website operators, but it cost them time, interest, insurance, etc…
You see, the MLS is only one part of one component. Before you decide to shell out hard earned money on something that only gives you a 37% chance of success, call us. I’ll be glad to go over the numbers and data with you. We even have a program where you can list your home with us and still have the possibility of not paying any Realtor fees.
If you need to sell your house, get representation and get the deck stacked in your favor. Talk to a Realtor.