The housing market in your community is hot. You see homes selling quickly, and for high prices. You’re ready to enter this market, but you don’t want to pay a high commission to an agent to help sell your home.
You’re ready to enter the For Sale By Owner market, in which you sell your home without the help of a Realtor. This is often a sound strategy in a hot real estate market: When homes are already attracting offers, you don’t need as much help marketing your property. Considering that listing agents – the Realtor who helps you sell your home – typically charge a commission of 6 percent of your home’s sales price, working without a Realtor can save you plenty of dollars.
That doesn’t mean, though, that you don’t have to study your market and rely on certain strategies to sell your home by owner.
The right price: Setting the right price remains the key to successfully selling a home, whether you’re working with a Realtor or going on your own. Study your local market to see the prices that homes similar to yours are fetching. You can even ask a Realtor to tour your home and give a recommendation for pricing it. Realtors won’t charge for this service.
Do not set a listing price that is too high. That’s the surest way to turn away buyers and limit your offers. Buyers are smart enough today to not overpay for homes, and they don’t care how much you spent on your residence when you bought it.
Stage it right: You want your home to make a good impression. This means mowing your front lawn and picking weeds. It means never having dirty dishes in the sink or unfolded laundry on the kitchen table. And it definitely means removing excess furniture and mementos to make sure that your home looks as big and spacious as possible.
Make sure, too, to fix any broken appliances, replace torn or worn carpets and paint any faded walls. You’ll be surprised at the big results such small improvements can generate.
You might have to pay at least one Realtor: While you won’t have to pay a listing agent when you sell your home by owner, you might have to pay a buyer’s agent. Traditionally, home sellers pay agents, including the agent working with a home’s buyer, from the proceeds of their home. If the person buying your home is working with an agent, you’ll need to pay that agent a percentage of your home’s final sales price. Usually, this comes out to 3 percent or so. This will cut into your profits, but you are still saving those dollars that you would have given to your listing agent.
You can’t handle closing on your own: Once you do accept an offer, you’ll need to schedule a closing. During this event, typically held at the offices of a title company, you and your buyer will sign the many documents that transfer ownership of your home. You’ll need to work with the right professionals here to make sure that the closing is handled properly. This usually means hiring a real estate attorney – usually costing about $400 or so – to sit in on the closing. This legal pro will make sure that you don’t sign anything that you’ll later regret.