Questions Before A FSBO Disaster

Don't FSBO
 

Eight soul-searching questions homesellers should ask before going FSBO… 

Inman: Let’s face it, selling a home without a real estate agent is just plain risky.  A FSBO jeopardizes time, money, and most importantly, an advantageous outcome.

But, despite research that shows that shows that FSBO listings sell for about 5.5 percent less than comparable properties sold through the MLS, some sellers still want to go the do-it-yourself route, forgoing the cost of commission and the aid of an agent.

In reality, a listing agent brings more to the table than most homeowners realize. The next time you try to turn a FSBO, point them to these critical questions and remind them of these eight invaluable benefits agents offer.

1. Knowledge

What you don’t know can absolutely hurt you, and it can come back to bite you even worse.

A real estate agent’s knowledge is priceless.

Agents know what the internet doesn’t tell consumers, and they can provide insight that consumers can’t get online.

Agents know how to make sense of the data and the entire selling process so that sellers and their home are fully prepared before hitting the market.

2. Time

Everyone’s time is valuable, but do sellers truly have time to attempt to play the real estate agent role?

Are sellers available to show their home in a safe manner, and is it accessible on a moment’s notice?

How will sellers handle showings when they are on vacation for a week and there are cash buyers in town?

Can you say lost opportunity?

Do sellers have the time to devote to scheduling and managing showing appointments? What about feedback? Do sellers know what questions to ask and the best way to reach agents to elicit a response?

Are they able to aptly respond to agent and buyer questions, concerns and objections in a manner that will help overcome the hesitation to move forward?

Are sellers able to offer solutions to buyer-perceived obstacles with the property? Can they furnish expert resources such as architects, contractors, designers, engineers or other experts?

3. Presentation

Image is everything when it comes to real estate. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and the same goes for putting a property up for sale.

Do sellers know how to properly prepare their home for sale, and do they know what it needs or doesn’t need?

Are they able to stage it or bring in someone who can? What about professional photography, drone, video and 3D? Are they able to orchestrate photo and video shoots with ease and know who to contact? What about photo styling and having an eye for how a space will translate on camera?

4. Marketing

How are sellers going to market their property? Do they know who the buyer demographic is for their home and/or neighborhood? How do sellers reach buyers?

Do sellers have access to predictive analytics or know how to strategically promote the listing to other agents in the community and on social media?

What kind of print media is appropriate for the property, and how will sellers have that created and printed? What agents are most likely to have buyers for the home?

Are they local or regional, or must sellers reach out nationally or internationally?

In real estate, the world doesn’t seem so vast as agent networks are strong, and six degrees of separation often ensues when an agent in New York City reaches out to his or her agent contact in China about a buyer for a property.

5. Negotiation experience

So the sellers received an offer. Now what? How do they respond? What do they look for in that purchase agreement?

In this hot seller’s market that many are experiencing right now, are sellers prepared to take multiple offers and milk a bidding war to get the best deal?

What terms and conditions could be disadvantageous to the sellers? What costs should or shouldn’t they incur? Do they know how to negotiate to keep the buyer in the game versus walking away?

How do they strike a delicate balance between protecting their interests as a seller and working with the buyer toward the goal of putting an agreement together?

Here’s where what sellers don’t know can hurt them the most.

6. Inspection and repair know-how 

This is one of the most difficult parts of a real estate transaction, even for real estate professionals. Do sellers know what inspections they should expect?

How should they handle items that are flagged as needing repair or replacement by an inspector? What kinds of repairs are usually done by a seller?

Do they have a roster of repair people at the ready who can come out on a moment’s notice?

Hint: It’s typically not who you find in the Yellow Pages or by doing a Google search.

If sellers don’t know better, they could find themselves making an improvement, not a repair on their home for a new buyer.

7. Transaction management

So the home is under contract with a buyer. What do sellers do next? Do they know who they need to be in contact with?

Who is going to be handling the closing? What items should they be following up on? How will they handle challenges like the property not appraising for the contract sales price or the deal potentially derailing due to home inspection issues?

What happens if the buyer’s financing is shaky?

8. Closing finesse

Do sellers know what the closing protocol is in their market and what the expectations are? When do sellers have to be completely moved out of the house?

In some markets, that means by the day of closing, and in others, the seller has possession for a few days after closing.

What condition are sellers expected to leave the home in? How do they handle unexpected, last-minute issues that may arise: the movers damage the home when moving belongings out, the air conditioner is on the fritz, or worse yet, the moving crew doesn’t show up when they are supposed to.

Selling a home without an agent is like throwing caution to the wind along with the commission.

The perceived savings can come back to bite sellers in terms of uninformed decisions and costly mistakes that — in the long run — end up costing sellers more money than if they would have used an agent to protect their interests and help them justify their home’s value in the first place.

Thanks to Inman contributor, Cara Ameer a broker associate and Realtor with Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. 

FAA Loosening Up On Drones

FAA, Drones & Real Estate

Those shooting stars could be drones capturing photos, video, or even delivering packages…

Key Takeaways via Britt Chester with Inman:

  1. The FAA no longer requires Section 333 waivers for drones weighing less than 55 lbs.
  2. Flight in the airspace classified G does not require clearance from local air traffic control.
  3. Drone pilot must be at least 16 years old and pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center.

Not sure whether, where and how you can use drones for real estate photography?

Some gray area of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) regulation has been cleared up thanks to Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that it will no longer require a Section 333 waiver — making it much easier for real estate agents to legally fly drones.

The Section 333 waiver was a bottleneck of commercial applications on the FAA website, many of which were targeted toward real estate professionals and production companies working with real estate agents. (The online portal for Section 333 waivers has been shut down on the FAA website.)

Drone photography and video footage has been a game changer in real estate. And the affordability of pro-sumer drones has many people scrambling to get one, especially now.

The new rules take effect August 2016

The last time the FAA issued new regulation on UAVs was in December, although the rules took effect this past March. Many of the same rules still apply, although the biggest one is regarding the non-requirement of a section 333 waiver.

To operate your drone, you must obtain a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating. There are two ways to do this.

  1. You may pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center.
  2. If you already have a Part 61 pilot certificate, other than a student pilot certificate, you must have completed a flight review in the previous 24 months, and you must take a small UAS online training course provided by the FAA.

Drones and the NAR

The first line in Part 107 (after the rule determining 55 lbs. weight max) relates to the visual line of sight (VLOS): The remote pilot in command and drone operator must maintain VLOS. It is required to have a “spotter,” and this rule states that the two people in control of the drone must be able to see it.

Late last year, NAR wrote a letter to Michael Huerta, FAA administrator, requesting a change in the VLOS at it relates to “unusually sized buildings and rural properties.

A source with NAR said that ever since the FAA called out Realtors directly in 2014 regarding drone use, the association has been actively working out how it can help agents who are utilizing aerial photography.

“We’ve worked hard to strike a responsible balance that protects the safety and privacy of individuals, while also ensuring Realtors can put drones to good use,” said Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida., and president of NAR, in a press release.

Specifically, the NAR wants to focus on the category of drones known as micro UAVs. These are drones weighing less than 4 lbs. and, according to the NAR, do not pose the same threat to the safety of the general public as those classified under small UAV.

“Getting here wasn’t easy, and the FAA is to be commended for listening to the concerns of real estate professionals throughout the rule-making process,” Salomone said. “We’re entering a new stage of drone use in real estate, and no doubt there will be additional questions and challenges ahead. NAR will continue educating its members on issues important to the safe, responsible use of drones so they can grow their business and better serve their clients.”

New rules about UAV flying

Operations in Class G airspace are allowed without air traffic control permission. Read more about airspace and the regulations for each in the pilot’s handbook.

  1. You still may not fly your UAV above 400 feet in relation to ground level.
  2. If you are operating your drone above 400 feet, you must remain within 400 feet of a structure.
  3. The UAV must not exceed 100 miles per hour in airspeed.
  4. You must be 16 years of age to operate a drone remotely.

Another change is the inability to fly over groups of people “that are not participating in the operation” outside, within a structure or in a stationary vehicle.

There have also been changes to the use of drones as applies to delivery services.

Drones may transport property for compensation as long as they remain in the VLOS of the pilot in command, and they cannot be operated from a moving vehicle.

Originally posted by Britt Chester with Inman

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