• May 1, 2022

Sell ​​Your House Without a Real Estate Agent and Save Thousand$$$

A typical real estate commission on a $284,600 home (national median price for all existing homes as of May 2020) is more than $19,000. In many areas, the cut a real estate broker gets is much higher. A homeowner can easily save that money by selling on their own. All that is needed is a basic understanding of the real estate market and a bit of marketing savvy. Here are the “Big Five” of selling any home.

1. Prices. Set a realistic selling price. While it can be tempting to inflate the asking price in case someone really loves the house or to make room for negotiations, the result is a house that can’t stand up to the competition. The market always sets the price. Find out what the competition has to offer and set your price accordingly.

The best way to do this is to have three or four real estate brokers provide a free market analysis. Yes, you will be wasting your time if you sell on your own. But do not worry; real estate brokers are used to wasting time. If we earned a $20,000 commission every time we went out, we’d come to your house in a limo. The fact is that nine out of ten starts are failures for us. It is the main reason why the commissions are so high. In any case, you may end up listed with one of them. The fact is, selling by owner really isn’t for everyone. But pricing your home correctly is the first step to a successful transaction.

If you choose not to have a market analysis from your local realtors, you’ll have to do your own math. To do so, you will need a new batch of comparable sales. The best place to get them is from your local assessor or municipal records. You will need three to five recent comparable sales. Make sure they really are comparable. They must be in the same location (ideally within a half mile), must be the same style and size as your home (number of bedrooms, bathrooms, garage, etc.), and must be in the same condition as your home. Drive for each one. Take photos.

The hard part is when you can’t find exact comparables. You will then have to make adjustments for the differences. The best way is to ask your adviser how much an additional bathroom, for example, influences the market value. Hopefully they provide an approximation.

If you can’t figure out an exact dollar amount, consider hiring a professional appraiser. They can be found in the yellow pages or online. And while the service costs several hundred dollars, it’s a small price compared to what you’ll save by successfully selling on your own.

Avoid pricing your home based on how much you paid, how much you owe, the amount of the municipal assessment, the cost of improvements you’ve added, or what a friend or neighbor thinks it’s worth. The market does not care one bit about these factors.

Regardless of how you arrive at a price, it will usually be expressed as a price range. Aim for the higher end of the range if your home is generally in better condition and has better amenities than the competition. Aim for the low end if you need a quick sale. Otherwise, stay in the middle and be prepared to be flexible.

2. Appearance. My father always said, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Nowhere is this more true than in home marketing from him. Anything that isn’t right, including a strange smell, will send your prospects to the next house. Take a photo of the front. Compare his “exterior appeal” to the pictures he took of the competition. Imagine that your house is going to be in House Beautiful magazine. Clean, paint, resurface, mow, weed, trim, plant, replace anything that looks worn or worn.

Now go inside. See your house as if it were the first time, as buyers will. A fresh coat of paint, new drapes, and new carpeting (or a professional cleaning) will do wonders for your sales appeal. Again, consider what you would be paying a real estate agent. Remove all clutter and excess furniture. The only items in a bedroom should be a bed and dresser. Anything else makes the rooms look smaller.

Then evaluate the kitchen and bathrooms. These are the single most important rooms in the home in terms of buyer appeal. Again, clean, paint, and consider replacing the flooring with something light and bright. Wash the windows. If your appliances or fixtures are old, consider replacing them. Most buyers these days include a contingency in their purchase contract offer for a professional home inspection. If an appliance or fixture is a problem, it will be noted and the buyer will expect it to be replaced or void the contract. You could also cut that part of the way when you can boost your marketing efforts. This applies to any structural, mechanical, electrical, foundation, roof, or plumbing system, etc. In the House. If there is a problem, it is better to fix it beforehand. In many areas, state and federal disclosure laws require a property owner to disclose any problem known to the owner, including the possible presence of lead paint, mold, radon, or asbestos. Please be aware of these laws. A good way is to hire your own inspector before the house is listed for sale.

3. Advertising. When the house is shiny and shiny to the point where you’re wondering if you really want to sell that treasure, it’s time to hit the market. This is the easy part. Run print ads in the leading daily newspaper known for home classifieds. Consider Google Ads. Consider the price, the location, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the three nicest features of your home—the things that made you buy it in the first place. You don’t need to bother with monthly publications like For Sale By Owner magazines. Buyers quickly discover that when a good house is listed, it’s already sold. If you use the Internet, make sure the site is very popular. The easiest way to do this is to enter a search term that a local buyer would use on Yahoo or Google. For example: You would search for “homes for sale in (your city)” or “home listings in (your city)”. Make sure the site you are considering appears on the first page. You may also want to forego open houses. Only 1% of houses are ever sold at open houses. What you mainly get are “Looky Lews” and curious neighbors.

Use free word of mouth advertising. Tell everyone you know, neighbors, friends, family, co-workers that your house is for sale. Invest in a professional yard sign. Please note the basic features of the home as in your ad, as well as “By Appointment Only”, but do not state the price. Be available to schedule appointments when your ads are posted. Don’t trust voice mail.

Consider a flat rate MLS listing. For a fee that typically ranges from $99 to $995, a broker will list your home on the Multiple Listing Service, where the vast majority of qualified buyers find their homes. Many flat rate brokers also syndicate the listing on the web at sites like Zillow, Trulie, Realtor.com, etc. The scope of this topic is better presented in depth elsewhere. See the link at the bottom of the page for additional information on the flat fee realtor.

When buyers arrive, give them a warm welcome. Have the dining room table set with your best china. Square fresh flowers. If you have a hot tub, break out a bottle of champagne and two glasses. Bake bread or cookies, or just put some vanilla and cinnamon in the oven on low heat.

4. Negotiations. If you have followed the plan so far, you will soon receive offers. Be prepared for a low offer, but when any offer comes, always insist on a pre-approval letter from the buyer’s lender. Review the offer with your attorney. You can counter the offer, but keep in mind that buyers are not required to accept your counter offer. And that anything short of full acceptance of his offer usually nullifies it. All terms of the contract are negotiable, not just the price.

Under no circumstances get emotionally involved in negotiations. This is the area where landlords are never as good as real estate agents (except when it comes to the real estate agent’s property in question). Consider only if you can realistically do better and that the net amount you will get will allow you to continue with your move.

When the price and terms are agreed upon by getting everything in writing. Be sure to use a qualified real estate attorney.

5. Processing period. The time between the time a contract is fully executed and the time you grant possession is when all contract contingencies are met. Different areas have different customs as to who does what and who pays the bill. But in general there will be a period of time for both the buyer and the seller to have the contract ratified by their lawyers. Additionally, a mortgage contingency will allow the buyer to obtain financing based on their qualifications and the bank’s appraisal of the home’s value. There is usually a provision for a structural inspection, as noted above, for the buyer to assess the condition of the home. Also included is a closing date when possession is delivered to the new owners. Generally, this is an estimate of property transfer with common delays, unless a phrase such as “time is of the essence” is incorporated into the contract. Beyond the basics, there are a host of other possibilities for contingencies in a contract. Anything, in fact, that is legal can be included. This is why you should always use a real estate attorney.

Finally, the closing day arrives and you head to your next home. It’s been a tough road, much tougher than most people expect, but the extra money you save will go a long way to ease your pain in your new home. Enjoy!

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