The Pitfalls of For Sale by Owner (FSBO)

Especially in the spring real estate market, selling your home as For Sale By Owner (FSBO) might feel like a no-brainer. Post to Zillow, easily receive an offer, and avoid a REALTOR® commission. What could go wrong?

Actually, quite a few things could go wrong, which is why we recommend starting with a qualified Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Michigan Real Estate REALTOR®. If your home is currently listed FSBO, you might recognize some of the problems below, or if you are thinking about FSBO, here’s the top things to be look out for.

Pricing Your Home Correct for the Market

As a homeowner, you know what you paid for your home, and you might have a small idea, thanks to Instant Home Value tools like Zestimate, of what it could be worth. But all instant home value tools are using historical data, which means you could be getting outdated info. Only a REALTOR® has real-time, live market knowledge to accurately price your home. You could risk over-pricing your home and missing well-qualified buyers, or even worse, you could risk underpricing your home and leave valuable money on the table.

Advertising Your Home

Sure, you can publish your home For Sale By Owner on Zillow. But on average, prospective homebuyers are looking at over 15 sources when house hunting. If you put all of your eggs in one basket, you are hoping buyers will see your home and like it enough to take a gamble. A professional REALTOR® will put together a robust marketing plan for your home, including syndication to the top 40-50 real estate websites in the country, a large network of REALTOR® colleagues (who all have buyers), and will showcase the features of your home that are most likely to get you a favorable result.

Open Houses, Showings and Offers

It is not uncommon in this market for a new home for sale to get outrageous traffic in the first day it is listed. That may sound like a great thing – more eyes = more offers, right? But remember, as a FSBO, you are responsible for scheduling the showings, coordinating with multiple buyer’s agents, accepting and evaluating offers with complicated clauses and addendums. All while likely still trying to work your normal schedule, coordinate family life, or relax in your home. A REALTOR® takes all of those struggles away from a homeowner, making your selling process so much easier and more streamlined.

Negotiations

We hear at least once a week a story about the listing that “got 50 offers in the first 24 hours” – and as a FSBO, all of those offers are coming directly to you. What’s the difference between Offer A and Offer B, both at full price, both with closing costs covered by the seller, both with inspection waived? A REALTOR® will help you evaluate each offer with your end goal in mind, whether that is the offer with the most money at the end of the day, the offer that gets you into your new home the quickest, or whatever your home selling goals may be. And what if you only get a few offers, and they aren’t what you had hoped? A skilled negotiator can help you counter those offers without skipping a beat.

Have we convinced you of the pitfalls you can avoid by using a trusted REALTOR®? Search for a Michigan Real Estate agent here and get started with the process today.


Farmers’ Markets …In the Mitten

 

For this week’s “…In the Mitten” feature, we’re covering Farmers’ Markets! Farmers’ Markets are a summertime staple in Michigan. Professional farmers, home-growers, and often times craft-makers get to show off their skill weekly, and the market is a community hotspot in just about every corner of this awesome state! Here’s our favorite farmers markets that are a must see this summer.

 

Eastern Michigan – Plymouth Community Farmers’ Market

The Gathering – 736 Penniman Ave, Plymouth MI

Photo Credit: Plymouth Township, Michigan

Tucked in the adorable downtown area of Plymouth, MI is the Plymouth Community Farmers’ Market. Held on Saturdays, you can stop by, grab some fresh produce, and have a picnic in Kellogg Park, or stop by any of the other local shops all in walking distance.

Saturdays, 8:00am – 1:00pm

May 4th – October 26th

Website

 

Saginaw Area – Downtown Saginaw Farmers’ Market

203 S. Washington Avenue (M-13), Saginaw, MI

Photo Credit: City of Saginaw MI

Farmers’ Markets have been running for over 100 years in the Saginaw area. The current version features over 50 vendors 4 days per week and offers an awesome place for community engagement in the heart of downtown Saginaw. We love their website too – it features all sorts of great resources and education about fresh food from their vendors.

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:00am – 3:00pm

Saturdays, 9:00am – 1:00pm

May 24th – October 30th

Website

 

Northern Michigan – Cheboygan Farmers’ Market

401 N Main St, Cheboygan, MI

Photo Credit: Cheboygan Farmers Market Facebook

Located at Festival Square in downtown Cheboygan is the Cheboygan Farmers Market. Rain or shine come visit this quaint market featuring 10-20 quality Cheboygan area vendors. You can pick up fresh produce of course, but there are also craft goods like hand spun yarn, jams and jellies, and fresh baked goods.

Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8:00am – 1:00pm

June through October

Website

 

Lansing Area – East Lansing Farmers’ Market

Valley Court Park, 280 Valley Ct, East Lansing, MI

Photo Credit: East Lansing Farmers’ Market Facebook

Steps away from the MSU campus, the East Lansing Farmers’ Market is for growers only – meaning you get some of the best farm grown produce and products that Michigan has to offer! Occasionally, you can also find artisan goods, flowers and more! The market accepts SNAP/Bridge cards, and the Double Up Food Bucks initiative for those that qualify.

Sundays, 10:00am – 2:00pm

June 2nd – October 27th

Website

 

Grand Rapids Area – Fulton Street Farmers’ Market

1145 East Fulton Street, Grand Rapids, MI

Photo Credit: Fulton Street Farmers Market Facebook

The Fulton Street Market is actually one of the few farmers’ markets in Michigan that is open almost year round. Featuring an indoor market and an outdoor market, Fulton Street has dozens of vendors each week offering produce, dairy products, meat and eggs, farm products, baked goods, beverages, artisan products and more!

Main Market: Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 8:00am – 2:00pm

May 4th – October 26th

Artisan Market: Sundays, 11:00am – 3:00pm

June 9th – September 29th

Website

 

Southwestern Michigan – Kalamazoo PFC Farmers’ Market

1204 Bank Street, Kalamazoo, MI,

Photo Credit: Kalamazoo PFC Farmers’ Market

Featuring over 100 businesses each week, the Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market has everything you want. Conveniently located in downtown Kalamazoo near Upjohn Playground, the Farmers’ Market has a central pavilion with restrooms, often features live music or entertainment and is the place to be on summer weekends! Visit for the fun activities, entertainment, or Food Truck Alley, and stay for the amazing home grown products.

Saturdays, 7:00am – 2:00pm

May through November

Tuesdays, 8:00am – 1:00pm and Thursdays, 2:00pm – 6:00pm

June through October

Website

 

Gateway Area, Southern Michigan – Three Rivers Farmers’ Market

Market Pavilions at Scidmore Park, 138 West Michigan Avenue, Three Rivers, MI

Photo Credit: The Huss Project

Located in beautiful Scidmore Park, the Three Rivers Farmers’ Market is not only an amazing place to find fresh produce in the summer months, but they are a great community resource for all things Three Rivers. Visit their Facebook page to see info about local crafters, businesses and resources for residents. They also host Summer Movies in the Park, which sounds so fun!

Thursdays, 2:00pm – 7:00pm

June 20th – September 19th

Facebook Page

 


Warm Weather Homeowner Tips

In Michigan, we are finally having some consistently warm weather, so you know what that means: it’s time to ready your home for those rising temperatures!  Check out our tips below for quick and easy ways to make sure you stay cool and comfortable in the warm temps.

Get an A/C Tune Up

We know all too well that a nice summer day can quickly derail if the A/C unit isn’t working. So, protect yourself from sweltering temps by getting an A/C tune up. Many local companies offer tune up specials this time of year. Especially if your air conditioning unit was fully exposed to the elements, it’s good to have a professional take a look and make sure all fluids are still present, lines are in good condition and fans are functional.

Tune Up or Check Lawn Equipment

Especially if your lawn equipment was stored outdoors or in an outdoor shed all winter, now is the time to get it out and cross your fingers as you tug on that pull cord. Your lawn equipment will thank you (and you will be so much happier) if you check your oil levels, replace with new gasoline (if needed) and clean out any debris that may be left from last season.

Clean your Windows and Screens

This one is less for actual functionality, and more just quality of life! Enjoying those gorgeous summer views from clean windows is sure to improve your mood each day. Plus, cleaning your screens can help with indoor air quality, can help keep mold growth down and can save time and money on repeat window cleaning.

Inspect Outdoor Plumbing

As you clean up your lawn, add the extra step to carefully inspect your outdoor plumbing. It may be rainy enough now that the lawn doesn’t need watering, or your plants are already growing like weeds, but inspecting now can save you valuable time when you do need to water the lawn, fill up the pool, or play in those sprinklers! This may be a great time to call in a professional if you do see anything wrong.

Plan for Summer Days Outside

Do you have a pool, playscape or outdoor patio furniture? Now is the time to get those items out, clean them and then relax. If you do have a pool or outdoor water feature, make sure you follow proper guidelines or consult a professional. For playscapes and patio furniture, use this time to tighten any loose screws, check for anything that could splinter or cut, and oil any chains or attachments if needed.

Clean Out the Mudroom

Finally, we can say goodbye to the winter jackets and snow boots. Assess the quality of each family member’s clothing – is it time to retire the old jacket from the 90’s? Do the kiddo’s snow boots that they used once not fit anymore? Donate whatever can be and toss the rest. Remember, you can use Marie Kondo’s tips to tackle the mudroom. Then bring out your sneakers, flip flops, light jackets and hats!

 

Feeling like that backyard or outdoor space is not the right fit anymore? Springtime means the spring real estate market, so we have tons of available homes to choose from! Start your search today at bhhsmi.com.


Wineries …In the Mitten

Welcome to our new blog feature – “…In the Mitten”! We love Michigan and could probably give you 1 million reasons to live here. But that would take a while to read. So, every couple of weeks, we’re going to break down some of our favorites about Michigan and give you an inside peak at the communities we call home.

Up first this week, Wineries in the Mitten. May is Michigan Wine Month, and May 25th is National Wine Day, so it’s only fitting to look at some of our favorite places for a glass of vino. Whether you prefer a light refreshing white, or the full body of a dark cabernet, these locations have you covered!

Northern Michigan

Our Northern Michigan region is home to many nationally recognized vineyards and wineries, as well as several hidden gems.

Black Star Farms

Voted Michigan’s Best Winery by mlive.com, Black Star Farms is a Michigan favorite. We love the Late Harvest Riesling, or if you prefer something a little dryer, the Arcturos Dry Riesling was awarded the “Best Riesling in the World” at the Canberra International Riesling Challenge!  Even better than the wine, is the amazing community in Suttons Bay and Leelanau Peninsula.  Sprawling countryside, amazing Lake and Bay views, and outstanding culture make this a great place to call home. Click here to see homes for sale. 

Chateau Grand Traverse

Located on Old Mission Peninsula, Chateau Grand Traverse is one of the oldest and largest northern Michigan wineries, and offers wine tours, a winery inn, and premium wine tasting. Chateau Grand Traverse has just announced their best wines of the summer including! A chilled bottle of the Pinot Grigio is the perfect choice for summertime barbeques or picnics with floral and citrus notes.

Gateway Area Michigan

Amazing wineries can even be found in our southernmost region in Michigan! Our Gateway region has one of the most unique wineries.

Round Barn Winery

Round Barn specializes in award-winning wines, handcrafted spirits, and even micro brews. The winery also has live music every Saturday and Sunday, Island Spirit Parties in the summer, delicious food, and more! From local wine to craft brews, Round Barn Winery offers a little bit for everyone. The Gateway area is one of Michigan’s best kept secrets, but promise to keep it just between us, and you could own one of these beautiful properties!

Southwest Michigan

Our Southwest region is home to one of the most nationally recognized wineries in Michigan.

St. Julian Winery

For over 95 years, St. Julian Winery has been producing nationally recognized, award winning wine. Using only Michigan fruit, St. Julian is truly Pure Michigan. As a fourth-generation family run company, wine is not only a family tradition but also a passion. With over 50 products, including Vodka made from grapes and 7 non-alcoholic sparkling juices, St. Julian surely has something for every palate.  And to top it off, Kalamazoo and Paw Paw, where St. Julian’s vineyards are located, is a vibrant growing community with something for everyone. Click here to see homes for sale in Kalamazoo.

Eastern Michigan

Often thought of as “Motor City” or just the suburbs of Detroit, Eastern MI is home to many exciting communities and some really fun wineries!

Fenton Winery & Brewery

Our favorite in Eastern MI is Fenton Winery & Brewery. Offering over 20 wines every day, there is something for everyone. They also offer the opportunity to make your own custom wine or custom wine labels, which is a great activity for gift for family and friends.  Located in southern Genesee County, Fenton and the surrounding communities provide a great blend of waterfront communities, bustling cityscapes and tons of fun to boot. You could snag one of these homes for sale today!

Lansing and Central Michigan

Life in the capital city of Michigan is always moving and changing. But tucked just outside of the city are some really fun winery destinations.

Burgdorf’s Winery

Located in Haslett, east of Lansing is Burgdorf’s Winery. All of Burgdorf’s wine selections are produced 100% from Michigan grown fruits and vegetables.  We love that the winery and their award-winning wines started in a three-car garage and they stay true to their roots! Stop by the tasting room, located in the original garage! And while you’re there, check out all of these homes available with their own three-car garage.

Grand Rapids

Now, you might be thinking “Wineries in Grand Rapids? It’s Beer City! There’s no wineries there!” But you would be wrong!

Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery

On the city’s northeast side is one of our favorites, Robinette’s Apple Haus and Winery. Open year round, Robinette’s is apple orchard meets cider mill meets winery, with a whole lot more wrapped up. They feature fun and fruity blends as well as traditional varieties. With all of the buzz around Grand Rapids as a great place to live, what more could you need! Check out these homes available today. https://www.bhhsmichiganrealestate.com/Homes-For-Sale/Grand_Rapids/MI