Stats don’t include FSBO

Published 12:33 am Saturday, October 25, 2014

Real estate statistics showing $18.8 million in Covington County sales so far in 2014 don’t take into account the number of for sale by owner transactions.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) estimates that 9 percent of sellers “go it alone,” without the help of a Realtor. In approximately 40 percent of the FSBO sales, the buyer and seller had a preexisting relationship.

But NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows that most sellers benefit from the outside help of a knowledgeable advocate when selling their home.

Covington Association of Realtors President Donna Raines said real estate agents can help sellers address issues on the front end of the sales process, and make sure the property is competitively priced.

“The Realtor can help give you a value, based on what other properties have sold for,” Raines said. “They can let you know what you can expect to get and how they will market it for you.”

Sellers should be prepared to get their home in good shape, Raines said.

“In our initial meeting, we will do a walk-through,” she said. “We can advise them how to prepare their homes to make it appeal to buyers.”

Common advice includes removing clutter and personal items.

“It needs to look like a magazine,” Raines said.

For instance, she said, a home might have a nice-sized closet, but if the current occupant has it shoved full, it will appear to prospective buyers that there isn’t enough closet space, she said.

The buyer and Realtor also will agree upon how the home will be marketed.

“Once they do their part, the rest of it is up to us,” Raines said. “We will take over. Our job is to get the property out in front of everybody.”

The first step is showing it to other agents, she said.

Locally, Realtors use the web-based multiple listing service, as well as print advertising and social media.