As an active Realtor in this booming Denver real estate market, I decided to take my own advice and list my own home for sale. Of course, my husband and I decided early on that I would naturally be our listing agent.
I didn’t want to make the mistake most “For Sale By Owners” do and be greedy about the price. I put together an objective price analysis. I would handle all of the marketing, negotiating, and paperwork that I typically do when working for a Seller. Makes sense right? No. Wrong.
As anticipated, my home got 20 showings in the first 2 days it went in to the multilist . Then, we received multiple offers. My husband and I were thrilled. We had already found a new home for our growing family and felt confident that everything was moving forward just as it should. Little did I know what lay ahead. As anticipated, my home got 20 showings in the first 2 days and multiple offers! My husband and I were thrilled. We had already found a new home for our growing family and felt confident that everything was moving forward just as it should. Little did I know what lay ahead.
First, consider all the emotions I had a Seller were just like that a Seller who is a For Sale By Owner. When we first decided to list our little house, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I was so sick of the small rooms and the noisy dog next door. Getting the house cleaned and ready for showings, I noted every scuffed corner, creaky floor board, missing outlet cover, etc. You name it and I picked on it.
But, the minute the potential future buyers entered into my house (notice how I call it My House), all those feelings washed away. I could only focus on the kitchen finishes we had so thoughtfully picked out, the paint colors I loved, and the baby nursery where we brought home our first son. But, the second the potential future buyers entered into my house (notice how I call it My House), all those feelings washed away. I could only focus on the kitchen finishes we had so thoughtfully picked out, the paint colors I loved, and the baby nursery where we brought home our first son.
The emotions were so intense that my husband and I didn’t even read the letters from the buyers that they sent along with their offers. I couldn’t bear to hear about someone else picturing themselves in the home that I had so lovingly cared for. I soon realized that with these emotions, I was not the neutral, detached advocate that I needed. It was hard for me to communicate even the simplest correspondence with the Buyers’ agent to my husband. Why not? I normally do that between Sellers and Buyers without being overly sensitive to their requests.
I play the role of mediator and communicator. Unfortunately, when the subject is as personal as my own home, I failed to take on that role and it clouded my judgment in this transaction. It would have been so much easier on me to have my own Realtor who could have allowed me to vent, voice my feelings and concerns and then effectively convey my position to the other broker. It would have saved me a lot of heart ache and sleepless nights in the end.
Then, came the question of details. I often tell my clients that a real estate transaction is a full time job and that’s why you need a 3rd party to handle the details of the transaction. In this case, I was so focused on taking care of my other clients and moving into our new home that I let many details slip between the cracks. In particular, there were some inspection items that I had to pay more for to get them done in a hurry in order to close on time. I procrastinated in a way that untimely cost me extra money to fix disputed inspection items. If I had used another Realtor, she would have kept me and the Buyer on track to make sure these issues didn’t come up at the last minute and possibly interfere with closing.
Hindsight is 20/20. I often sing the praises of hiring a Realtor to represent everybody I know even if if they don’t hire me. If I had I just followed my own advise, I would have saved myself a lot extra money and headaches that I cost myself in the long run. I learned my lesson learned. Next time we move, I am hiring another Realtor who will better protect my interests and not let my own subjectivity get in the way.