The Attractions to selling your home yourself:
For most people the major attraction is trying to save themselves the 6 or 7% commission. Click here to see how much you will actually save.
You may also want to keep control of the process yourself: Perhaps you already have a buyer, you are a pro at this already, or you have a friend or relative who is a real estate expert in some way.
But keep in mind, unless you already have a buyer or you are in an really hot market, you’ll have to get the word out there somehow; which means signs and advertising (websites, magazines, newspapers).
There are significant risks involved in selling your house yourself. The foremost being legal issues. Realtors are not only trained in real estate procedures, laws, and restrictions, but a portion of the commission you pay goes toward paying for the team of lawyers that each brokerage has at their disposal.
Now perhaps you’d like to cut out the Realtor and just hire a lawyer. A Realtor is by no means an expert on real estate law, but a real estate lawyer may not be able to handle all of the aspects of the actual selling. Realtors are always current on disclosure requirements, they are trained to find the market value of your home and will offer the service at no additional fee, they know how to prepare your home for sale, they will qualify all buyers to avoid deadbeats….
Click here to get a more complete list of what you should expect from your Realtor. When interviewing potential Realtors use this list to help you evaluate them.
Further, the research (According to a 1997 survey of homebuyers and sellers conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® )shows that 50% of those homeowners who did successfully sell their homes without a real estate professional’s help vowed never to do it again, because of the complexities and hassles associated with the transaction.
Among the major problems cited:
- Holding open houses
- Arranging for appraisals and inspections
- Understanding and filing paperwork
- Helping buyers obtain financing
- Having time to do it all
Even if you think that you have an idea of what your home is worth, you should really check on it. The market is changing very fast these days, and it can really pay to be up to date.
An appraiser will give you a very good idea, but it will cost you a few hundred dollars. A realtor can do a CMA or Comparative Market Analysis for you for free.
Finding the market value is an art. In fact, over the last few real estate boom years, I have seen buyers pay well over the appraised value of a home.
In order to get an accurate value, it is imperative that the professional physically see your home. We suggest using a Realtor who knows the area very well. Either considers your subdivision their farm area or even lives in the area.
Now, keep in mind that there is a difference between list price and sale price. Make sure that you carefully study the analysis. What has actually been selling in the area is where you want to focus. Not necessarily what others are currently selling their homes for.
Also, an appraiser looks at all sales in the area, whether it was sold through a real estate agency, a developer, or FSBO. Whereas, a Realtor usually only pulls the comps from their data base. It’s not a terribly big deal, but a good realtor will do their full research and look at ALL sales.
Also, remember, markets change. If your analysis is any more than 3 months old it’s outdated!
WANT TO DO IT YOURSELF:
Realtors and Appraisers pay thousands of dollars per year to have access to their databases. Their databases are current.
As a layman you’ll have to rely on sources that may be somewhat lagging. To get a good idea of your home’s fair market value, you’ll have to study different sources continually.
The newspaper, real estate magazines, public records, tax appraiser’s website, your neighbors,… all are free sources.
Beware websites that offer you a free home value analysis. They are most likely sponsored by realtors or appraisers trying to capture your business. It’s not such a big deal as long as it is a small independantly owned website. You might get one sales call from the individual. But if it is a website sponsored by a third party, make sure you read their privacy disclosure!
This website is dedicated to educating you, the layman. We are not trying to educate you to be the best FSBO. In fact, we make no claims what-so-ever as to being any sort of a FSBO training program. In nearly every case we are going to recommend that you use a Realtor. We are real estate consultants and as such we are trying to consult you into making the best real estate choices. We know that these days, things are so complex when you sell a house that chances are good that you might run afoul of some rule you didn’t even know about- everything from not understanding the full disclosure laws to being accused of discriminatory practices.
What does a realtor do for you? It’s a realtor’s job to sell your home. If they don’t, they don’t get paid. They do a lot of work & spend a lot of money up front with no real promises to get any sort of reimbursement.
Realtors are offering you a service. You don’t have to pay to have your taxes prepared for you. You don’t have to hire a lawyer to represent you in court. You don’t have to pay to have your hair cut. You can legally and physically do all of the above. But the majority of sellers list with a realtor to make sure that the job is done correctly.
There is a difference in Realtors!
We suggest interviewing at least three.
We suggest not using a realtor with any less than 3 years experience, unless they have a partner with more experience.
And we suggest not using a realtor who doesn’t actually do the work himself unless you meet his assistant at some time during the first few days of the sale. There are many realtors out there these days who sweet talk you off your feet at the listing presentation. Go back to the office and throw your paperwork on their (usually overworked under trained) assistant’s desk, and you never see or directly speak to them again.
You see, after the broker is paid, the advertising costs are paid, the gas and maintanance to their cars are paid, and the other realtor is paid; agents really don’t make very much money per transaction. Fact: the average real estate agent only makes $19,000 a year.
In order to beat the system, realtors are everyday coming up with ways to try to beat the system and actually make a living. One way, is to hire an assistant and make him/her do all of their actual selling, while they focus on new business. It’s a smart thing for them, but may not be truely beneficial to you.
SOME DRAW BACKS TO USING A REALTOR:
As explained above, if you feel that your realtor is not giving you enough attention or exposure, get a new realtor!
You are not your realtor’s only focus. In order for them to succeed and continually generate enough business to pay their bills, they can sometimes be hard to get a hold of. If you cannot get a hold of your realtor, chances are potential buyer’s are having a hard time too! Get a new realtor.
Because all communication is suppose to go through the realtor, sometimes you may feel left out. This is a sure sign that you’re not getting proper service. A good realtor will keep you informed throughout the process, and never make you feel alone.
If you carefully interview your realtor and use our question sheet, you most likely will be happy with your choice. Remember that part of a Realtor’s job is to offer you great service. If you are feeling like you’re not getting what you are paying for, get a new realtor! Never accept a listing agreement that has a cancellation fee.