In this tight economy, home owners are trying to save like everyone else and broker fees are a great way to trim costs in selling a home. Quality real estate photographs of a home though, are essential to offering a proper presentation to prospective buyers. And for the additional expense of a couple of hundred dollars, the benefit will easily pay off in the process.
By Amy Zimmer on March 12, 2014 8:01 am
Samantha Saturn has nothing against real estate brokers, but she doesn't think she needs one to sell her 1,379-square-foot, two-bedroom home.
She created a website for her apartment at 244 North Fifth St. — which she priced at $1.395 million, based on similar sales in the area — and recently began putting the word out through local online parent networks to drum up interest for the first open house, scheduled for March 16.
Armed with a do-it-yourself attitude in a hot sellers' market, a growing number of New Yorkers are opting to list their homes "for sale by owner" — or FSBO (pronounced fizz-bow) as it's called in real estate parlance. The 1,044 New York City FSBO listings on Streeteasy in 2013, for example, represented a 30 percent increase from the previous year, according to data the real estate search site compiled for DNAinfo.
Many homeowners list their homes themselves to avoid brokers' fees, which cost roughly 6 percent, usually split between the owner's and buyer's brokers. Agents, however, caution that knowing how to price an apartment, stage it and manage multiple offers often requires professional expertise. Some agents even get pushy with owners, trying to get their listing, sellers and real estate experts said.
"I think brokers are amazing and I don't deny their value at all," said Saturn, who is limiting any prospective buyer's broker to a 2.5 percent commission. "It's really just a financial decision. The money I need to invest in our relocation is significant at this point. So to save five figures helps. By the end of it, I may see there are skills I need and have to hire a broker."
Saturn has been able to devote time to researching real estate after she left her full-time marketing job in December. While working freelance, she's been preparing for her family's move to Nashville (where's she's originally from) and carting out boxes of stuff that have accumulated during the eight years she's lived in the apartment — especially many of the toys belonging to her 2- and 5-year-olds.
Saturn hired a top-notch professional photographer to shoot the freshly painted home, which is in a five-unit luxury building with an elevator that opens to each apartment.