Selling My Home

Do I Need A Realtor to Sell My Home in the Florida Keys?

Before reading any further, in the spirit of full-disclosure, I am a Florida licensed Real Estate Broker and make a living helping people sell homes. The disclosure now being out of the way, the short answer, the answer you probably didn’t think you would hear from me is, “No, you do not need a Realtor to sell your home.” It is legal in all 50 states, although some states and financial institutions will require an attorney or otherwise licensed company to close the transaction. The process is generally referred to as FSBO, pronounced “fizz-bo,” an acronym meaning “For Sale by Owner”, an acronym dreaded by Realtors.

Here are a few considerations to make before deciding to go the FSBO way:

  1. Do I know the local real estate market well enough to determine a market-based value for my home, not underpricing it, nor setting a price that no one will consider?
  2. How will I market my home, letting the most qualified Buyers know it is for sale?
  3. Am I aware of issues that can put me in legal jeopardy, including property disclosures, fair housing laws, truth in advertising, and unique requirements affecting real estate transactions in my state, locality or association?
  4. Do I have the knowledge or resources to create and review a legally binding agreement and managing the necessary paperwork to complete the transaction?
  5. Will I need professional photography and copy, or is a sign in the yard enough?
  6. What is my sense of urgency? Do I have to sell now, or can I take some time?
  7. Can I remove my emotions from the process, especially when showing the home, holding open houses, and during negotiations?
  8. Am I comfortable with face-to-face price negotiations?

If you can answer favorably to most of the above, then you may be a FSBO candidate, able to save some commission money, and may not need to go any further. ☹

“But wait, before you go, may I ask just two more questions,” added detective Columbo.

First, did you know that according to “Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers” 2021 report by the National Association of Realtors (I know), 90%  of home sellers worked with a real estate agent, and the national median sale price for FSBO homes was 82.0% of agent assisted sales, the difference being significantly greater than the 6% commission charged by many Realtors?

What Will Glenn Hoover Do to Sell Your Home?

Fantastic, you are still here!  First, I want to establish if you really want to sell your home and what is your sense of urgency.  I generally don’t like to hear, “I’ll sell it if I can get my price,” unless of course, your price is reasonable and can be supported by the trending real estate market.

I will preview your home wearing a Buyer’s hat (not literally), identify what I believe are the strengths and weaknesses of the property, listen to why you like your home, suggest items needing attention for your consideration, and prepare a detailed Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) of similar homes that have recently sold and are currently listed for sale.  I will then suggest a list price that I believe will lead to a fair market sales price, based on solid recent sales, market trends and the speed with which you want to sell.

Once we agree on a listing price and strategy, I will prepare for your review and input, a unique marketing plan detailing the actions to be taken to sell the property.  I will explain to you what Florida Statutes dictate are the legal duties I owe you as a Transaction Broker.  If we agree to proceed, I will review with you the Florida Exclusive Listing Agreement, draw up the contract for signature and begin the listing process.

Preparing the listing for entry into the Florida Keys Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the service that notifies all member agents and brokerages that your home is for sale, the service third parties such as Realtor.com and Zillow.com use as their feed for including your home on their website, is a task that too many agents rush.  I will make sure that we have enough time between signing the listing agreement and the start of the listing (it must be in the MLS 3 days from the start listing date) to properly prepare the listing, representing the property at its best from the beginning.

I will write listing copy for your review, not wanting to miss features that you think are important, arrange for professional photography, including aerial photography if beneficial, and prioritize the presentation to gain the interest of potential Buyers as quickly as possible.  You will be given the opportunity to review the completed listing, and suggest any edits, before I activate it.

If permitted by local or community code, with your approval, our “For Sale” sign, or signs, will be posted on the property, and I will begin executing the marketing plan.  I will be present at all showings, preferring not to use a lock box, exceptions to be discussed with you during the presentation of the Listing Agreement.

I will review all offers, making sure they are complete, clearing up any questions with the Buyer or Buyer’s Agent prior to presenting them to you.  After you examine the offer, we will discuss your options: those options normally being to accept, reject or counter.  I will be your voice in negotiations, but the choices must be yours.

When all parties agree to the terms of the sale, I will assist you in keeping track of tasks to be completed by you and the buyer from the effective date (the date when all terms are finalized and signed) and the closing date.  I use a “Critical Dates Check-List,” to keep us all on the proper path.  I will also help to co-ordinate your dealings with the selected closing agent, attorney or other professionals you use to facilitate the transaction, as allowed or needed.

What I Will Not Do to Sell Your Home

It might be best for both of us if we do not agree to enter into a listing agreement: as much as this might be contrary to the purpose of this website. With this thought in mind, here is what I will not do to sell your home.

Truly wanting a relationship that will be mutually beneficial to both, I will not intentionally mislead you. This includes agreeing to a listing price just to get the contract signed, with the intent of then pestering you for weekly price reductions. I normally will not accept a listing at a price I think will not attract attention, unless we agree to future automatic price reductions based on buyer activity.

I will not place an incomplete listing in the MLS for the purpose of getting it online as soon as possible. An MLS listing will get its most looks from fellow Realtor’s and potential buyers when it qualifies as a “New Listing,” and it should be complete, representing your home at its best out of the gate.

I will not go outside of my authority as a Transactional Broker during the process of negotiating or facilitating any sales transaction.

I will not re-negotiate my fees in order to make a sale work, nor will I ask a cooperating agent to do the same, so please don’t ask.  You are probably in a much better position to give a little to make it happen and after all, a deal is a deal.

I will never refuse an offer for cocktails in celebration of a closing, nor refuse a ride in your new boat.