A Tale Of Two Townhomes

Dated: 06/16/2016

Views: 144

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I recently saw two townhouses sell In a gated community in Denver.  One was sold by owner without the expertise of a real estate agent, the other was handled by a pro.  Let’s break it down and see how it worked out.


Just to be clear, these are both end units, both have identical square footage, even the same appliances.  The only difference is the back yard (one had grass, the other was completely covered in a deck) and the fact that these two units are mirror images of each other.  Both were well maintained and showed very well.


Let’s start with the For Sale By Owner – “Seller A”.  Some might argue that the deck added value to this place as he had no yard that requires maintenance.  The seller stuck a sign in the yard and ran an online ad asking $218,000.  Nearly 3 months later he sold it for $200,000.  I spoke with him several times during this period, offering advice and listening to him complain about the deals that fell through, the showings that he arranged only to have nobody show up, and the hassles of dealing with all the phone calls.  


“Seller B” hired a real estate professional who listed it on the MLS for $208,000.  Multiple offers were received before the agent could even finish installing the for sale sign.  It sold 2 days after being listed and it sold for well above the asking price at $222,000.  The seller didn't have to deal with any of the details.  All she had to do was keep her place looking great for a few days while people were streaming in to get a look.


So let’s do the math (somewhat simplified) to show the difference.  Seller B most likely paid 6% commission.  $222,000 minus 6% leaves the seller with $208,680.  Seller A got $200,000, right?  Well, not quite. 


Seller A paid no commission and netted only $200,000.  Not only that, because it took so long to sell, he had to continue paying for this home for 3 extra months.  Assuming his mortgage, HOA dues and taxes run around $1,200 per month (in reality it was probably more), he paid around $3,600 to own the townhouse during those 3 months, leaving him with only around $196,400 when it's all done.  In addition he had to show his house himself, hire a lawyer to do the paperwork and put up with several offers that fell through.  In reality my guess is that after legal expenses, advertising and time off from work, he ended up with somewhere near $195,000.  


The fact of the matter is that selling your home is best left to a professional.  We can get a higher price, sell it in less time, and save you all the hassles of trying to learn to do it on your own.  While it’s true in a seller’s market like Denver, pretty much anyone can put a for sale sign in their yard and someone will eventually come along, make an offer, and complete the deal.  The smart money is on avoiding the hassles and letting a pro do his job.


Randy Connell is a Denver, Colorado real estate professional specializing in first time buyers and investors in small multi-family properties. Randy works out of the EXIT Realty Cherry Creek office and is a part of the Colorado Generation Realty team. Randy is an investor as well and has owned multi-family properties since 1984.


If you're interested in buying or selling property in the Denver area please call Randy at (720) 998-4964 or visit www.BuyAndSellDenverProperty.com 

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LaDawn Westbrook

With more than a decade of experience, LaDawn enjoys educating first time home buyers, working with the 55+ community, relocation clients, sellers who want to downsize, step up purchase or anything in....

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