Whether you choose to sell your home on your own, or contract the services of a professional, getting to the closing table as a home seller is not always a simple or smooth process. Whichever path you choose, there are pitfalls which can be avoided with care, and here we will explore some of the possible risks and ways to protect yourself.
One of the most straightforward pieces of advice is to hire a real estate lawyer. A good real estate attorney can help you negotiate your realtor fees or provide good advice if you are going to sell your home yourself without a realtor. They can also help you negotiate the terms of representation and be instrumental in protecting you throughout the process. You want a lawyer who specializes in real estate from the perspective of a seller, not that of a professional. Quiz your choices about any affiliation to local real estate agents, you want your attorney on your side.
Once you have an attorney lined up, decide on your strategy. Will you sell your home yourself, or a hire a realtor to help? Naturally, you want to make as much money as you can from the sale of your home, which may cause you to shy away from using a realtor. Saving a hefty commission is the number one reason homeowners often opt to try selling their home directly. However, while you will not have to pay a real estate agent, you are also not likely to fetch as high a price for your home as you would if you worked with a professional. An established and respected real estate agent knows how to market your property to the right buyers, price it competitively and negotiate based on the hard facts about your home.
Also, people frequently choose to sell by owner in order to have complete control of the process. When you do it yourself, you do not have to listen to anyone’s opinions about how to market the home, how to price it, how to negotiate, or any other decisions. It’s all up to you. There is, of course, the downside to this in that you’re losing the valuable counseling and expertise of a potential professional.
When you sell by owner, your house is your only concern. Any real estate worth their salt is going to have other clients and other homes they are working on. In contrast, when you sell your own home, you can devote all your available time and energy to the sale. This is great if you have lots of free time to extensively market the home, show it at any time, and be available to talk to potential buyers whenever they call. That said, this is only an advantage if you really do have the free time. If you work during the day or evening when potential buyers want to see the home and you’re not available, it’s going to be even more difficult to sell on your own.
An instance where you can dramatically increase the odds of selling by owner is when you are either located on a busy road or are within in a neighborhood where there are other homes listed by realtors. On a main road you have the benefit of exposure as people pass by, provided you have highly visible signage. In a neighborhood or subdivision where quite traffic is generated from other properties listed for sale by a realtor, you will basically be profiting from the real estate companies’ ability to draw buyers into the neighborhood.There is always online advertising, but unfortunately even the most popular for sale by owner sites generate only a fraction of the traffic as MLS based sites that market listed properties.
If you are lucky enough to find a buyer on your own it’s going to be imperative to make sure they are actually qualified to buy. One of the problems with selling by owner is not having any skills in determining a buyer’s qualifications. Sure you may be thinking all I need to do is get a mortgage letter. Not so fast. There is a huge difference between being pre-approved for a mortgage vs pre-qualified. I have seen specific instances where for sale by owners were burned because they didn’t understand the distinction between the two. Often a pre-qualification isn’t worth the paper it is written on.
Also, choosing to sell by owner means you have to take extra steps to ensure your safety. Real estate agents have a process for ensuring both their own safety and the safety of their clients, but you will be on your own when working with the public. You need to be extra diligent about what you put in your listing, and especially about how you show your home. Don’t show alone, ask visitors to sign a guest book and present id, and remove all your valuable from sight before showing.
In order to properly sell your home by yourself, you will need to learn about the laws of your state that govern real estate transfers. These laws will indicate what kinds of paperwork you will need to prepare as well as who will need to sign what. In addition, you will need to find out what to do if you find that there are any encumbrances that are on your home and how to handle them. Lastly, some states have mandatory disclosure laws that you will need to follow where you will need to disclose certain physical characteristics of your home.
If you come to the conclusion that listing your home as For Sale By Owner is not your cup of tea, you can always go ahead and hire a real estate agent to sell your home for you. Although he or she will probably take a larger cut that you may like, it may save you time and effort in the long run. Agents are experts in listing your home in the right places and setting up your home to be shown to prospective buyers. However, if you are in no rush to sell your home, you can always take a shot at selling by yourself first before you hire a real estate agent.
Whether you sell your home yourself, hire an independent realtor or use a professional agency, Setco Services is here to support you throughout the closing process. Click below to visit our website for more resources: