Selling a house is typically one of the largest business deals that most people will make in their lifetime, and it can be rather emotional as well. After all, a home is more than walls and a roof; it is filled with memories of baby’s first steps, funny family moments and Christmas’ gathered around the fireplace.
When a sale is emotional, it can be challenging to separate facts from feelings. However, if you intend to have your house on the market for sale by the owner or FSBO, you need to make a strict divide. Check out what we think you need to know before putting your house on the market yourself.
How much commission you save
When a real estate agent sells your house, the commission is factored into the sale price. Typically, this works out to 4% to 6% of the sale price, though often, there is a tiered system where the commission will decrease as the value increases. For instance, a million-dollar home might have a real estate commission of 6% on the first $300,000, and then drop to 3% for the remaining amount.
Most homeowners who choose the FSBO route to market do so to keep more money in their pocket. However, it is integral to consider if you would still be reaping the same price without a real estate expert in your corner. A professional real estate agent will:
· Look past the emotion of selling your home
· Advise on profitable improvements
· Absorb the cost of advertising your home or property
· Have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
· Negotiate the best price
· Weed out unqualified buyers
· Carry insurance against potential theft by viewers
· Know the taxes when you sell a house
· Understand the legal risks of showing and selling a home
It is every seller’s dream to hit the market when it’s hot. At times like this, it can be tempting to sell your home yourself; however, this is also when you have additional leverage for speaking to a real estate agent. Many agents will lower their commission or offer a flat fee when the market is excellent, since they typically receive the same amount of money, whether a listing is shown once or a hundred times. Even if you already have a potential buyer, it can be worthwhile seeing if a real estate agent can conclude the deal for a minimal fee.
How much time it could take
Are you able to drop everything and show your home at a moment’s notice? For those that work from home or are on flexible work schedules, this might be realistic, but for most of us, it means we’ll be limited to evenings and weekends. In addition, don’t forget that you will also need to put the time in for advertising, networking, and keeping your home clean and maintained.
What expert help you still need
We recommend that if you intend to put an FSBO sign in your yard, you also have an experienced real estate attorney. They can provide the appropriate transaction documentation and ensure that the seller is not liable for any reason after the sale is finalized.
Selling a home yourself can be well worth the effort in a booming market or when you don’t have a strict time constraint. However, don’t automatically dismiss the benefits of hiring a professional real estate agent as they might be able to get you the same amount of money or more, with far less effort on your part.