According to statistics from the US National Association of Realtors and the Canadian Real Estate Association, about 10% of all home sales in North America appear to be done as “For Sale By Owner” or, FSBO for short. However, what the stats don’t tell you is whether the seller got the best price for their home, or how long it took to sell. Collette Gerber, Director of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, says that another stat show that people who sell their homes themselves (without the help of a realtor) tend to underprice their homes by as much as 28%. This means that even though the seller may save themselves money on the realtor commission, which is usually 7% on the first $100,000 and 2.5% on the rest, they are losing thousands more dollars by pricing their home too low. Another danger, though less common, is that the owners who try to sell the property on their own over price their homes. This often means that the property stays on the market a lot longer than a properly priced home would. How do realtors help? A realtor will do their homework on a property that is listed with them. Realtors have access to an enormous amount of data that is not available to the average home owner and thus is able to get a more accurate idea of what the home is worth on the current market. When you come up with the price for your home are you comparing it to your friend’s in Brackendale? or the recent sales in the Highlands? or Valleycliffe? or the Maples? How does your townhome stack up to the new developments that have sprung up in Squamish over the last 10 years? Have you been in these properties, do you know what people are looking for, how to best show your homes features? As well, realtors work to get the home seen. Most FSBO’s rely on the yard sign. A realtor, on the other hand will put ads in newspapers and online, will talk the property up through word of mouth, make sure the home appears on the Multiple Listing System (MLS), and yes, use the yard sign – but only as one of many ways to get a home seen and sold. Getting the home sold also means a lot of work – many FSBO’s drastically underestimate the time it takes to sell a home, and also the number of things that have to be done to complete the sale. Realtors know the work involve and are prepared to hold open houses, oversee home inspections, help with contracts and price negotiations, fill in disclosure statements and help you research the information on your property. Do you know the difference between a latent defect and a patent defect? To get from “For Sale” to “Sold” realtors really are the right way to go, and the Realtors of Black Tusk Royal LePage will get you there.