Can You Afford to Be A Real Estate DIYer?

Are you a real estate DIYer?  


We live in the Age of Information, thankfully!  For most, gone are the days that we have to rely solely on libraries and professionals to complete our daily tasks from things as simple as replacing a blown fuse to the more complicated things of building a computer.  Thanks to the plethora of information just a click away through Google, for many, our innate desire to be self-sufficient has flourished and we proudly (and may even pop our collar a little) admit to being a "Do-It-Yourselfer" (DIYer).  Probably like you, I have found online articles and Youtube videos that have helped me fix various items around my home (including repairing my air conditioner unit and replacing the keyboard on my laptop) and learn assorted skill sets.  

But being a DIYer can go amuck!  Last week I replaced a faulty hose on my toilet myself after following the instructions online and from the Lowe's store clerk.  I thought it was a success until a few days later I started to hear the sound of running water... yikes!  It was as if I heard the trumpets of surrender as I dialed the number to the plumber.  My sense of victory (mankind against toilet lol) waned with just a couple of strokes on my phone's keypad.  I was told by the plumber that the model of flusher I had required an additional piece to prevent leaks.  

I learned a valuable lesson in my DIYer attempt: just because I can find general answers to "everything under the sun", it still takes a professional to address the specific issues I may be facing, especially since it is usually down the road that we encounter problems from our inexperienced actions.

Similarly, I have chatted with many homebuyers, home sellers and real estate investors that enjoyed the satisfaction of being DIYers.  I get it.  There is an initial satisfaction in accomplishing a task and seemingly saving a buck.  

One lady in particular proudly told me how she found a bargain priced home in the area that she desired to live in without a real estate agent, which gleefully meant to her that no commission had to be paid (but it was to a professional that would have represented her interests as a homebuyer yikes!).  In her next breath, her countenance saddened as she proceeded to tell me all of the problems she has had with the home in the year that she has been there.  She shared that within just a few weeks of closing on the home, she was not able to get the home insured until the roof was replaced for thousands of dollars.  She discussed how dead trees in the backyard had collapsed and caused property damage.  To top it all off, she has had constant repairs made to the plumbing but may still have to gut it and replace it all!  

I was very sad to hear her predicament and offered information to help from this point onward but I could not help but notice that all her problems began with not using a real estate professional to represent her.  The right, properly-trained real estate agent (what I refer to as an "agent+") would have informed her about the merits of a home inspection (which she did not know) that would have exposed the items in disrepair.  Furthermore, the agent+ would have likely negotiated the repairs noted in the home inspection report to be paid by the Seller or helped the woman find a more suitable home if the Seller was unyielding.

As a DIYer home buyer, home seller or real estate investor, you may unknowingly face issues in your real estate sale or purchase that may not cost you today but may cost you in the long-run.  We may relish in our ability to do-it-ourselves but when we are dealing with transactions that can effect substantial sums of our earnings, savings, investments, etc., maybe just maybe we should involve the proper professionals.  To this point, the founder of ForSaleByOwner.com, a prominent website that encourages real estate DIYers, used a real estate agent to sell his home after unsuccessfully attempting for six months to DIY!  The ForSaleByOwner.com founder's condo sold with the help of a real estate agent for $150,000 MORE than what he attempted as a DIYer.

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