After living at 7303 Coronado Avenue for 16 years, Karen Nealy decided to try and test the waters to see if she was ready to sell her home in Lakewood Hills. She’s been looking to move closer to the lake, perhaps Rockwall, with plenty of room to roam around.
“We almost bought a house yesterday that we really liked,” Nealy said a week or so ago. That’s what prompted her to “test the waters” and put her three-bedroom, two-bath home on the Lakewood Online Yard Sale Facebook page without the help of a Realtor. Since then she’s put it up as For Sale By Owner on Zillow, advertising the 1,504-square-foot traditional for $299,900.
“We know Realtors can get it out there to more people,” Nealy said, but she is doing a more improvisational trial and error approach to selling her home, which she calls a “fixer-upper.” She thinks it’s a fantastic property to add on to, perhaps for a family that wants to be inside the Lakewood Elementary School attendance zone.
Do-it-yourself listings on social media is a growing trend, but will it end up costing sellers in the long run?
We’ve asked many Realtors, and while some of them use Facebook groups to market properties, few, if any bites from those groups actually convert into a sale or lease. Of course, what many Facebook sellers may not realize is that, while they may be saving on a commission by selling their home without a Realtor, many homebuyers hire a Realtor to aid in their search, and those Realtors are using MLS and hip-pocket listings from fellow Realtors.
On the flipside, some homeowners are using Facebook to help limit demand. Take this Park Cities homeowner for example. After one post on the much-written-about Park Cities Online Yard Sale Group, her University Park property was a hot topic, practically swarmed with “wants” and “nexts.” For every one of these listings, though, you’ll see several comments from Realtors telling the homeowner to message them for help. Here’s hoping the homeowner came to their senses about that!
Of course, there are other downsides to marketing your home all by yourself: Inviting a stranger in while showing your home may pose a security risk. Conmen and criminals prey on the unsuspecting homeowner, relieving them of their property and prescription medication, as is the case with alleged thief Stan Tucker. In some cases, though, marketing your property through Facebook is not unlike selling or leasing through Craigslist, though with that particular method, no mutual connections are necessary.
The main benefit to hiring a Realtor is their market knowledge. Realtors sell homes and help buyers for a living, so they know what is going to help a home sell fast and for more money. Besides guiding you through the selling process, a Realtor can see how you can improve how your home shows, from staging to photography.
More than a month after posting her home on the Lakewood Online Yard Sale group, Nealy’s home is still for sale. In that time, though, a Realtor could have helped her turn her fixer-upper into a move-in-ready dream-home.