Dan, a smart and tech-savvy Cayman homeowner, thought he’d save the agent commission and sell his house himself, seems reasonable.
However, he sold his home in South Sound, Grand Cayman for what he wanted, finally found a buyer after a few people who wasted his time and got his house under contract. It seemed like it was just too easy and it was!
Of course, it was too easy, and he undervalued the property. Now he was in a panic, what should he do? To get out of the contract, it will cost him.
In this business, we are asked what do CIREBA MLS agents do? Are they worth the cost of the commission? Well, I want to share a few things that I have seen Cayman islands homeowners do, and they have been hurt the long run. What does an Engel & Volkers Real Estate Agent do in 4 things Save a homeowner, money, time, liability and hassle?
1. Scams happen
Sam (not a real name) in West Bay, Grand Cayman fell in love with an FSBO home. She thought she was smart by going around the Agent and she paid the homeowner KYD$4,000 in cash for a deposit. However, the homeowner changed their mind; Sam didn't have a contract, so she lost her $4,000. She trusted the homeowner; they seemed nice. Scams happen even in the Cayman Islands where everyone knows each other, and it is not much a buyer or seller can do about it without hiring an attorney and that can get expensive.
2. Paperwork is daunting
No Real Estate agent loves paperwork, in fact, probably one of the least favorite parts of our job, but we understand the paperwork, and we know the details of paperwork can either make or break a deal. We help avoid mistakes on either side by keeping the conditions and paperwork current. Yes, you can download ready-made sales contracts or even get a copy of a sales contract from your friend, but there is much more than to just filling in a blank form. This is the scariest part of selling your own home the legality and paperwork.
3. Sellers can quickly get caught up in a lousy deal by savvy purchasers. Just like Sue who signed a contract without fully knowing all the fine details. Using a trained MLS agent, you can avoid that headache.
4. FSBOs sell for less.
It is a fact when we analyze the data, homes, and condos usually sell for less even factoring the agent commission. In the United States homes sales, in the median selling price range of $210,000, and when a realtor has involved the home sold for $249,000 that is 16 percent lost, this stat was taken from 2015. Why do you ask? Just because a homeowner has a full-time job already, they don't have the time to dedicate to the process, they don't fully understand market trends and reports, and they certainly cannot market their property globally, they stick it on ecaytrade and hope for the best.
5. FSBO property spends more time on the market.
So that cost the homeowner more money. Again just because they cannot set the right selling price and only a few people know the house is actually for sale.
6. For Sale by Owners homes lack representation.
They have no one in their court, guiding them if there is a problem or question which will happen. Unexpected issues always come up; when you have a competent Real Estate Agent or Advisor at Engel & Volkers, they will be able to advise you thru the landline of issue that arises. They are not emotionally involved with the house, and they can calmly look for solutions that work for everyone. The Advisors at Engel & Volkers are the calm in the storm, they have weathered many problems and experienced most all issue that comes up saving the homeowner money in the long run.
7. Inspections can be problematic for the seller.
In Cayman, we recommend that most buyers get an inspection, so they have peace of mind. One example that happened was Jane was buying a house in Rum Point, Grand Cayman's north coast, she hired an inspection company to look at the house she was planning on buying. In the home inspection report, it said the seller had to change the staircase out because the current code had changed and it was now required. Jane was insistent that she was not going to buy the house unless she got a discount or they altered the staircase. However, the inspector didn't realize that these items were code when the house was constructed, so the seller was not responsible for changes. Again, a Real Estate agent could have saved the Seller much money if they had contracted an MLS agent.
8. Marketing is a challenge for FSBO.
In 2015 in the same NAR report it showed that 40 percent relied on a for sale sign in their front yard, 30 percent relied on word of mouth, family, friends, and co-workers and 30 percent on social media such as ecaytrade and easycayman in Cayman. You will not have the power behind CIREBA and the MLS because no agent will bring you a buyer, no matter how beautiful your home is because they won't get paid for their knowledge and work.
9. COST add up.
The whole idea of selling the house yourself is to save money, but have you ever asked what exactly does a Real Estate Agent at Engel & Volkers Cayman do for you. We pay for signage, marketing flyers, photography, MLS listings fees, aerials and drone footage, staging. Marketing is a considerable portion of selling a home, and we make sure to price the property correctly, and then we position the house in as many places as possible. Locally and globally, even putting ads in Financial Times, James Editions and Mansion Global to name a few magazines and websites we have access to. Also, a Chinese site called Juawai, think Zillow in China, which has access to the Chinese market and our Cayman Islands property is showcased there.
10. FSBOS time is valuable.
They usually have a full-time job, children and pets and a life. They say it does not take much time for an agent to sell a house and it is true if you hire an expected MLS agent. However, it will take a homeowner a lot longer for sure. What is their time worth? How much time do they have to run home at a moments notice to show the home to someone who is just curious and doesn't have the budget for the house?
Flat out, homeowners who sell their own home do not have the expertise or access to the resources CIREBA MLS agent have at their fingertips nor the skill, knowledge or staying power to market and sell your home. Call an Engel & Volkers Advisors today on 623-1400 and check out our sales profile and pick an agent you want to work with.
Heidi Kiss, Broker, License Partner and Advisor