REAL ESTATE AGENT OR NOT
You can save a lot of money (typically 6%) if you sell your home yourself, rather than through an estate agent. But you need to know what the process entails before you decide if it is a good idea for you, and how to get help if you do decide to do it yourself. Most importantly, don't end up selling the home for too little.
Does the law require a real estate agent?
When you sell a house, no law requires that you hire a real estate agent. Some states require a real estate attorney to handle the transfer documents and closing. Check with your state department of real estate to find out whether an attorney is required in your state.
What is involved in selling a home?
These are some of the tasks typically handled by real estate agents:
· Advising you on how best to present your home, including providing referrals to painters, repair persons, and more
· Arranging for individual visits to the property -- if you're no longer living there, most likely by providing a lockbox for use by other realtors, and meeting with individuals who don't yet have their own agent
· Evaluating the local market and comparable home values
· Placing ads on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and in other media, and sending out postcards to potentially interested buyers on the agent's mailing list
· Receiving offers to buy your house, whether via email/mail or in person if other agents wish to formally present their offers
· Help you strategize over requests made while in escrow, such as for a reduction in purchase price due to repair issues revealed in the inspection, and negotiating such issues with the buyer's agent (unless any attorneys are still involved), and
· Attend the closing.
Sound like a lot? Agents can claim it can be a full-time, nights and weekends job in the days and weeks while your house is on the market. But just because you have an agent, do not think you are expected to do nothing. But remember, the typical 6% commission is many thousands of dollars, which could mean the difference in making the sale and coming out of a sale with cash you need!
For Sale By Owner
Selling a house without an agent is called a FSBO (pronounced "fizzbo") -- For Sale By Owner. If you go it alone, the extra work can pay off handsomely.
The biggest key is getting your property “out there”:
· Zillow and other sites lets FSBO owners list their property for free.
· Craigslist is another busy site
· FSBO.com charges for this service, but does publish their list on several sites.
· MLS will list FSBOs, again with a fee. You may be contacted by a lot of agents trying to pick up a missed commission.
· Use at least 4 or 5 of the free places
If time pressure exists, such as threat of foreclosure, lack of equity, the need to relocate, or general financial distress and if your property is not in good “showing condition” or needs a lot of repairs, you might need a more professional buyer that is able to ignore and account for these problems. Real estate investment companies always need to acquire additional properties, and FSBOs are potentially a better deal with no commission, and overlooking need repairs etc. Look for a real estate investment company that can offer the following, as needed:
- At least 10 years experience.
- Highly knowledgeable in short sales.
- Able to deal with major repairs.
- Not of afraid of existing tenant problems.
- Able to close FOR CASH in very short time.
In the end, deciding FSBO or real estate agent, the question is how savvy or sophisticated a consumer do you think you are.
About The Author:
Tri State House is a financial investment company in Real Estate, and their focus is to buy Real Estate from financially distressed home owners in NY,NJ & CT areas that are anxious to sell (or anyone wanting to sell quickly). Although Tri State House is a buyer of properties, they also provide financial advice, credit knowledge, and borrowing techniques.
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