"For Sale By Owner" Considerations
Several things are worth considering before you decide to sell your home yourself. Think about the following points, and be sure to contact us if you have any questions. Even if you’re determined to sell your home yourself, we would be glad to offer you advice.
- The right price is difficult to arrive at. As the owner of the home, you will, regardless of how hard you try not to, look at your home with a biased viewpoint. The right selling price is difficult to come to for any home. Not only do agents know the current and predicted future trends for the housing market, but also they can look at your home with an unbiased view. They can show you what similar homes are selling for and help you price yours accordingly. With so many homes selling these days, an unreasonable price will only hurt you.
- Trial and error makes the process much more difficult and time-consuming. As an untrained home seller, you will experience lots of trial and error throughout the selling process. Extra work, costly mistakes, frequent frustration and confusion are common aspects of “for sale by owner” preparations and processes. An agent is familiar with all of the selling steps and could therefore save you time, money, and lots of stress.
- You will be on call constantly. If you do not have an agent to filter potential buyers, you are subject to “drop in lookers” who may call you anytime of the day or night wanting to look at your house. An agent can not only help you show your house for the potential buyer’s satisfaction even if you can’t be there but also an agent can help you determine who is seriously considering purchasing your home versus who is just browsing.
- Financing is a necessary part of the process but also a very complicated one. The financial aspects of home sales can be quite complicated and confusing. Again, real estate agents are used to these processes/transactions, and can easily handle and help you prepare for changing interest rates, points, terms, and types of mortgages.
- Price negotiations may not run smoothly. It has been shown that having an agent to mediate the price negotiating will actually make you more money in the long run. So that seller’s agent fee will pay for itself in that your agent will help you get more for your home – “more” as in to cover his fee and still put more money in your pocket compared to your negotiating on your own.
- The piles of paperwork will take time away from other things – work, family, etc. Many home owners who try to sell their own homes face days where they must skip work in order to address the mountains of paperwork involved – title searches, mortgage forms, closing documents, etc. Save yourself the headache and lost paychecks from missed work days by simply hiring an agent who can take care of this paperwork for you.
- Buyers would rather work with a selling agent. Buyers are usually more comfortable speaking with an agent about a home they are looking at. They know that the sellers are biased, so buyers often worry about insulting an owner and are therefore less direct with their questions and concerns. This problem can lead to drawn out processes and often no sale at all. Make potential buyers more comfortable and eager by using an agent.
- The longer a home sits on the market, the harder it becomes to sell it – that goes for an owner trying to sell his own home or an agent trying to sell a home. Buyers can see how long a home has been for sale, and they will only assume problems for those that have been listed for long periods of time.
It only makes sense to hire a professional realtor when you are ready to sell your home. This transaction is huge as well as a major step in your life – a step that should be in the hands of a professional. When you’re sick, you see a doctor. When you need legal advice, you see a lawyer. It’s only logical that you would hire a realtor to help you sell your home for top dollar. It is a proven fact that “for sale by owner” signs are out in yards longer than “for sale” signs. This is because homeowners, especially homeowners with jobs, do not have the time or the training to handle prospecting, advertising, qualifying, showing, negotiating, and closing. Hire a professional – it will certainly make your life easier and bring you the best price for your home sale.
Adapted from Realtor Magazine