Dear Monty: You wrote an article about technology replacing real estate agents last fall. It was a view of the changes taking place in the industry from 30,000 feet. What would the process look like if we went down to ground level and envisioned a home seller’s role in the transaction? We are planning on selling our home next year. We are curious about what a home seller will have to do if there is no agent to guide us.
Monty’s Answer: You will still have the guide. We build the guide into the online platform. You receive your options in writing before you make decisions instead of reacting to a problem after you own it. Full disclosure: I work in a team currently building the platform that will offer the product described below to real estate customers. As a seasoned career real estate veteran, I believe this is the future of the residential real estate market. The current real estate models are over 100 years old. Their methods are highly inefficient, opaque and obsolete. Technology delivers a superior product at lower costs. Here is the column I believe you referenced.
Home Sellers’ Action Steps
No. 1: Register with a website platform. Registering online will be as easy as signing up at Amazon. According to Zippia, most Americans already know how.
No. 2: Buy the service. Much of your home’s information is already in the public domain. All you will need to do is fill in the blanks and share why you bought the house and why it’s a great place to live.
No. 3: Set your price range. Algorithms will quickly choose the best similar sales in your immediate neighborhood. You set the price based on accurate data.
No. 4: Grant access to vendors. A home inspection and a video put your home ahead of the competition. Home buyers recognize the value of knowing the condition of a home and viewing the interior before they decide to look. The seller avoids the dreaded second negotiation.
No. 5: Speak with potential buyers. You get acquainted before they look.
No. 6: Prep your home for each showing. Houses sell themselves, and a tidy home suggests a well-kept home.
No. 7: Show your home to potential buyers. You know your home better than anyone. Everyone saves time, and the chances of miscommunications plummet.
No. 8: Negotiate price and terms with the buyer. You have been negotiating directly with other people for most of your life. Terms are easy to decide when there is full transparency. Our early transactions suggest the parties reach an agreement easily.
No. 9: Accept the buyer’s offer. The buyer submits their offer directly to the seller; the seller has only three options: accept, reject or make a counterproposal.
No. 10: Send the file to the title company. Upon mutual agreement, email the purchase document to the title company. From this point forward to closing, the transaction is identical to all closings.
No. 11: The title company prepares documents. The contract of sale serves as written instructions to the title company, and they prepare the closing documents.
No. 12: Sign the deed and turn over the keys. Selling a home is not difficult when you correctly set the stage.
No. 13: The buyer receives a deed. The seller gets all their equity. Everyone is happy.
No. 14: Vacate. No one likes moving.