Tag Archives: realtor

Why use a Realtor to Sell your Home?

Front_Entrance_VThinking of selling your home yourself?  Know the facts before before making that decision.

1)  The median selling price in Texas for homes sold without a Realtor® is 17% lower than homes sold with a Realtor®.  Buyers are knowledgeable and intelligent.  They know they can buy your home for the price you are quoting… less the commission!  Even subtracting a 6% commission, you’re more likely to net more by using a Realtor®.  The result is that you do all the work and end up with the same or even less proceeds than by using an agent.

 2)  Can you market it to the right buyers?  The amount of exposure to buyers is significantly greater when you use an agent.  Advertising your home and getting the word out to the top producing Realtors® in the first two weeks of listing it is crucial to getting the most amount of money for your home.  Selling price inevitably lowers the longer the home sits on the market.  Home sellers don’t have access to all the opportunities that are available to Realtors®.  Did you know that the Travis County MLS system exposes property to 7,000 agents in 11 counties?


 3)  Most homes sold by licensed Realtors® sell quicker. The first two weeks your home is on the market is crucial.  Having it staged correctly and having an effective marketing plan in place can greatly lessen the time the home is on the market. 


Did you know that 90% of “For Sale by Owner” sellers actually end up hiring a Realtor® to sell their home?


 4)  Finding a Realtor® that’s going to give you exceptional service will be invaluable in protecting your interests legally and will save you significant time and energy.  A good agent can help you by answering phone calls, arranging times to show your home, negotiating on your behalf, getting your home ready to show, providing handymen and vendors, and ensuring that your interests are protected.

5)   Many agents steer their home buyers away from For Sale By Owner sellers because they don’t feel comfortable entering their buyers into a transaction in which the sellers may not have the proper representation and knowledge to execute the transaction.

6)  An agent can pre-qualify a buyer thereby saving you the experience of finding out 30 days after you’ve accepted the offer that the buyer doesn’t actually qualify to buy your home.

7)  The typical real estate transaction uses seven (7) forms designed to protect all parties in the transaction.  The correct utilization of these forms is vital to the success of the transaction and your protection.  For Sale by Owner transactions incur a significantly greater amount of lawsuits than Realtor® to Realtor® transactions. 

8)   There’s a lot to coordinate and it’s a big responsibility.   Besides being available to show your home, you’ll need to coordinate home inspections, special repair issues, closing documents, and meetings.  You are also liable if anyone gets hurt while viewing your home.   You may not realize all the nuts and bolts you’ll need to deal with in a sale.   You’ll need the most up-to-date and comprehensive information to shield you from possible litigation.

Maintaining Balance in the World of Real Estate.

doorwayI obtained a Texas Real Estate license a few years ago because income from my Feng Shui consults wasn’t enough to pay my bills.  Wanting to combine Feng Shui, Staging, and my passion of simply looking at houses, I thought that becoming a Realtor® would offer the best of all worlds.  What I’ve found is that being a Realtor® does enable me to see more homes and do more Feng Shui staging which is terrifically fulfilling.   What I didn’t realize was how much real estate transactions deal with people’s core issues of financial insecurity, control, trust, and greediness.  I’ve seen a transaction bring out the worst in people, and sometimes the worst isn’t very bad, but sometimes it’s absolutely draining and frustrating.  And when I become engaged with a client at the level of their ego it often brings out my own fears and insecurities.

Clients that I’ve started working with that seemed balanced, enlightened, and connected to their spiritual nature will frequently disappear and reappear as ego-driven, frightened and not-very-nice people.  I wasn’t prepared for such a challenge to my spiritual balanced-ness.  And because my ego tells me that every client must be pleased with my services, I’ve found myself in grips of “I can’t do this anymore” situations where I feel unappreciated and taken advantage of.  But that’s my stuff.  And that’s the climate of the real estate business, or maybe every business that’s established in the world of form. 

eag at kite festival 2

But I can also say it’s so perfect because it’s allowing me to see how I can step into the ego world, the world of form as Eckhart Tolle eloquently explains.  I then can find my tools to get out of ego and into Spirit and say…oh… it’s not Real(isn’t that ironic that Real Estate isn’t Real)!  What is real is the authentic peace I find in the present moment and in the flow of being.  Being, not doing.  And, I see bits of myself in each client that’s coping with their fear, anxiety, and insecurity.  It’s an unprecedented learning experience I’ve given to myself without knowing I was doing it.

Because people put so much security into their home, both emotionally and financially, it’s very hard to:

  • Convince Home Sellers to lower their sales price based on market conditions;
  • Work with other Realtors that are determined to “one-up” me;
  • Ask clients to create good-will by compromising with the other party;
  • Ensure clients that I’m doing everything I can to: sell their home and create the best outcome for them;
  • Show clients that I actually know more than their personal on-line research.

My mission with Balanced Living Properties is to bring Balance into a client’s life; to match people with homes; and to create transactions grounded on Good Will; and perhaps the most important, is to stay Balanced myself.

Update on Selling our Home.

Our home’s been on the market now for 23 days.  We’ve had five showings – less than we expected – but since our home is located in Southwest Austin, things are not as “hot” as central Austin.   We’re following the advice that we’ve been giving clients for years:

1- Price your home competitively and be ready to lower the price.  There is no stigma attached to lowering the price of your home – as long as you do it without much fanfare.  Make sure to get comments from Realtors® and buyers about the price and any improvements you can make and adjust the price within 10-14 days if this is what the initial feedback says.  And keep adjusting the price every 3 to 4 weeks if you want to sell.

2- Use Feng Shui Staging to ensure your house feels comfortable, attractive, and welcoming.  I’m using every Feng Shui staging technique I’ve been taught to ensure that people have a terrific experience when they view our home.  See if the photos above and below translate into a comfortable, inviting experience for you.


breakfast areamaster bath w orange towelsLiving-Kitchen Top View

3-  Engage all of the buyer’s senses.  I play soft relaxing music, set out snacks and bottled water, spritz the house with a quality air freshener such as cinnamon/ylang-ylang or bake a refrigerated pastry, clean the house well and ensure every detail (down to the crease in the bed-skirt) is in order, place stuffed animals on the bed, soft pillows on the couch, and whimsical accessories here-and-there for people to pick up out of curiosity. 

And probably the most important advice we’ve had to take for ourselves– Disengage from all the things you love about the house and think SHOULD be valuable in a buyer’s eyes and instead look at what John and Sue buyer feel is important — price, location, neighborhood, and how it suits their family, not yours!

My Job is to Help Home Sellers and Now I am One.

Buy our home in Austin!

We decided to be proactive about our finances and decided that selling our home was the best solution to our current economic state.  My partner David never really felt like our three-year old home was “home.”   I did, but I also succumbed to the facts about how much money we were spending versus how much we were earning.  In light of the recent real estate downmarket it seemed like in an instant we went from having lots of business to almost no business.  I’d been hearing about how bad things were in other places and how little business other Realtors®  had but that was not our situation at all until it was our situation.  Along with last year’s dramatic stock market losses we suddenly found ourselves in a pickle neither of us planned for.

It was a  tough two weeks of physical labor and 15-hour days spent decluttering, moving furniture, cleaning, packing, and even holding a garage sale (which I vow never to do again) to ensure that our home was balanced, beautiful, and shining.  As the echo of  the mantra I use with clients rang in my ears….you only have ten seconds to create a great first impression, I looked for every detail in my home that I could improve upon.  Since my job is selling other people’s homes and staging them using Feng Shui, I wanted to use every staging idea I had and implement every Feng Shui treatment I knew.

That part is done.  Our home went on the market four days ago.  I expected to have at least one call by now but it’s been very quiet. Looks like we’ll get to experience first-had what other sellers in Austin and lots of places are seeing which is a scarcity of buyers.  Hmm… maybe tomorrow?  Now my mantra is… it only takes one person to buy your home.   I’ll keep you posted.