Real Estate can be a huge money maker, but it is very hard to understand without lots of experience and help along the way. 3 years ago, I walked into it thinking, no biggy, I can sell our Brooklyn Co-op on Zillow, For Sale by Owner (FSBO for those in the know). Why do I want to spend $30K on commission to realtors!? Am I right? Wrong... I failed. Hired a realtor, and they failed, too (partly because we were both over confident, and also because we didn't follow their suggestions for fixing up the home). Two years later we came into it knowing what we knew, hired a new realtor and finally succeeded in selling it quickly and at a great profit to boot. After all of this, here's what I learned and would like to share with you!
Watch it all in this YouTube video or read it below!
What You Need to Know About FSBO
(For Sale By Owner):
Photography is IMPORTANT!!!
If listing FSBO, you definitely should consider hiring a professional real estate photographer. They know the best angles, how to use wide angle lenses to get the whole room into a shot, how to perfect the lighting, heck they can even edit in blue sky through your windows if it was raining on the shoot day (they did on mine, below right)! HA! Professional photos are almost always covered by the realtor's agency, which is a big plus! I'll show you an example of our home below, with my DIY photos when I did FSBO (on left) vs. the professional photos after decluttering with our realtor (on right). In the 2 years between listings, we replaced the old foggy windows (realtor's suggestion), did a mini kitchen renovation (our choice), put a ton in storage (realtor's suggestion), and removed the gate from our fire escape window (realtor's suggestion). I've seen some listings that were so horribly done, even had dirty dishes or people in the shots!! Just a big no to that guys, no no no!!! First impressions are so important! You don't want to mislead people, which is why I'm not a fan of the virtually staged photos showing what it *could* look like after a renovation, for example, because then they walk into your home and it's a big let down. But you can show it in its best light with great photography, for sure!
My Take on Using a Realtor:
OK there you have it! What I learned from a failed attempt at FSBO, a failed attempt with a realtor, and then finally a great success with a realtor! If you're looking for a great realtor in Brooklyn / NYC, we loved ours - Juliette Pannone, Licensed RE Salesperson with Corcoran, who says "Think of hiring a real estate agent as adding an advocate for yourself to help navigate what is sure to be an emotional, time sensitive, and financially important process."
We're currently renting and will be looking to buy in a couple of years and you can be sure, we'll be using a realtor to help us through that!! If you have any tips or insight, I'd love for you to share via a comment below!!!
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I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!