If you own real estate, you have probably heard of the MLS. It is a members-only website that is paid by real estate agents in the area. They have a local level, a state level, and a national level. Joining this association designates the agent as a Realtor. Middle Tennessee, Southern Kentucky, and North Alabama use Realtracs for the MLS, Multiple Listing Service.
Why use a realtor to sell your house? Most real estate in Tennessee, like 90%, is sold and bought through real estate agents. So Realtors hold a very important role in buying and selling property. However, if you are thinking “do I need a realtor to sell my house?” then this article will be very helpful to you. We might add, another article beneficial for you is “5 Questions to Ask Yourself if You are Thinking About Selling Your House.“
Picking the Wrong Agent – It Happens
Reason #7 when selling your Middle Tennesse house is you might pick the wrong agent. There are so many agents to choose from, how are you supposed to know who to choose? Do you pick the person with the most ads? Or do you go with the guy your friend recommended, he just sold a house last week? There are over 15,500 ®Realtors in Middle Tennessee and the numbers are growing several hundred every month. More than half of the Realtors have been in business for less than 3 years or are part-time.
Time On the Market
Reason #6 to avoid the MLS when selling your Middle Tennessee house is the time on the market. The MLS, or multiple listing service, keep track of how many days your house has been on the market (Days on Market – DOM).
If your house ends up being on the market for more than 20 days, this is not a good sign to buyers because we are in a hot market in most areas of Middle Tennessee. It may indicate that your house is not as desirable as other properties, or that there might be something wrong with it.
There may not be anything wrong with your property, but this is what potential buyers are thinking. Maybe you haven’t had a full price offer and are holding out. Whatever the reason, the time on the market counter may work against you.
In the real estate business, houses that sit and don’t sell are considered to have a “stigma”. These houses are labeled difficult to sell for whatever reason and become a signal to buyers who will start hounding you with unfair offers. I am working with a client now and we found a house that has been on the market in Middle Tennessee for only 12 days and the price has already been dropped $10,000.
The quickest a house can close is 30 days after listing it. Most houses need 30 to 60 days to go through the full sales process and close. Those houses that have a stigma or maybe just can’t sell quickly may take up to 4 to 6 months and this is unusual! Can you afford to wait this long while making payments, utilities, and repairs in the process?
Highly Qualified Buyers
Reason #5 to avoid the MLS when selling your Middle Tennessee house is qualified buyers. Sure, the MLS may bring you buyers, but a large portion of them will have to depend on financing from a bank, and some of them may not have even been pre-qualified yet.
The majority of the sales on MLS are terminated because of No. 1 inspections and No. 2 the loan can’t be approved! Yes, MLS will reach more buyers than any other system, and the listing will automatically be syndicated to Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com, but you stand a good chance it will not sell on the first offer.
I will add, many contracts are terminated during the inspection period not necessarily because of a bad report but rather people get cold feet and want out. This is their way out and there is nothing you can do about it.
Reason #4 is commission fees. When you list your house on the market, there are commission fees that are expected from the selling agent and the buying agent. This is usually 3% of the final sale price per side, buyer side and listing side or 6%, which can add up to a large amount of money! If you are using a discounted or flat fee agent, you might be able to some money instead of the full 6% commission.
Don’t forget to add broker fees that agents are adding to both buyers and sellers in addition to the commissions. Plus you will have the closing fees that will run 1/2% to 1% or more of the purchase price for your closing costs. Be prepared for many buyers to ask you to pay their closing fees. This happens all the time from Springfield to Spring Hill.
Many buyers are trying to buy more house than they can afford so they ask you the seller to pay part or all of their closing costs on their dream home! This can get expensive when you add in loan origination fee, discount points, appraisal fees, underwriting fees, courier fees, all the pre-paids like insurance and taxes and on and on. We are talking $5,000 to $8,000 on a $300,000 house.
Invasion of Privacy
Reason #3 to avoid the MLS when selling your Shelbyville or Clarksville house is an invasion of privacy. If your house is listed on the MLS, you will be expected to make your house available for showings. This means living in a constant state of clean and organized 24/7 until you move out.
You have to round up the kids and the pets and leave for the showings. You may also be asked to leave your home on extremely short notice for a showing, sometimes immediately, although you can schedule showings for 1 or 2 hours before or even 24 hours in advance. The 24 hours notice will really limit your showings since buyers have only a few hours off to see it or maybe they just found your home on the MLS while they are driving to see other houses.
Are you ready for this?… Open Houses until the house is sold!!! Yikes-
Many buyers search for homes while at work and they see something they want to visit it that day! After work is when they are free and waiting 24 hours may not be acceptable for the impatient buyers in our society today, ie., the Millennials!
Some sellers find it’s easier if they move out of the home when they put their house on the market because of the hassle of showings, but would you want to be responsible for 2 house payments before you can guarantee the sale of your house? Also, vacant homes are harder to sell. Are you willing to pay for staging that is now about $3,000 for the average home?
Signs In The Yard
Reason #2 to avoid the MLS when selling your Middle Tennessee house is a sign in your yard. The yard sign is a standard part of a real estate agents advertising your house, but this also may mean that you may have people knocking on your door unexpectedly because they saw the sign in your yard. This is a huge inconvenience, especially because people may have stopped without an agent present, and who knows if they are qualified buyers? Are you going to allow unscreened strangers into your house? I don’t think so.
House Needs Repairs
Perhaps the No 1 reason why many people avoid MLS when selling is that the house needs too many repairs and is very outdated. Most house buyers cannot afford
to have repairs done or have the knowledge to do the work. The appraisers on standard loans are not qualified to determine the value of a house needing extensive work. These houses tend to be sold to investors anyway.
If you know you do not want to sell your house using a real estate agent or the house has been on the market for a long time and you are not going to renew the agent contract, consider selling to an investor. Local professional real estate investors can buy your house with cash and close quickly in as little as 7 days. This is a huge difference vs using a real estate agent. True, you may not make as much money using an investor, but you will have so much less worry and can be out of your house in a couple of weeks instead of a couple of months or more. You may want to read our article “How to Sell House for Cash in Middle Tennessee – Advantages of Working with Southern Homes Investments“.
Want to sell without a realtor then consider your home sold as-is with Southern Homes Investments. Many homeowners just don’t want to be bothered with an agent and all the strangers coming to their house. We at Southern Homes Investments helps sellers like this as well as those with delinquent house payments or facing foreclosure. Other people we help are those with debt and need out, divorce forced sells, and people who are relocated for a new job and must sell fast.
Give us a call at 615-500-4466 or visit our website at Southern Homes Investments for more information. We would love to hear from you.
David Wright is a licensed real estate agent in Tennessee and this article is not a solicitation to list your house.