“A” type personalities, and some B types, feel that selling a home without Realtor assistance can’t be that hard. I mean look, you put a sign in the front yard (bright red is really good), you put an ad in the paper, you have an Open House on Sunday, and make a great looking flyer using your home computer (color copier preferred), and you’re done.
Some people perceive this as the extent of what Realtors do, but instead of pointing out that – with 25 years of experience – I do add a little more, I would like to share “real” tips on how to do it yourself. Watch closely.
6 Do-It-Yourself Tips For Selling Your Hawaii Home
- Price it right. How do you price your home right if you are not an agent? YOU CAN’T. Better idea—call three different Realtors and tell them you are thinking of selling your home and ask for a comparative Market Analysis. Within a few days you will have three different prices and while they will all try and list your home, and you would be wise to listen to their reasons, you can just thank them for their time and you now have a good idea on how to price. PRETTY EASY, HUH.
- Use a flat fee listing company. There are companies available that will put your home in the MLS for a flat fee (maybe around $500 or so). This will get the word out to the Realtors that you are selling your home.
- Offer an appropriate commission to the buyers agent. Okay, the reality is that buyers are working with a Realtor. The Realtor is driving them around, doing research for them daily, and pointing out which homes meet their needs. For this, the buying agents company generally receives 3%, of which the agent receives a portion. When you offer a buyer agent 2% you have to ask yourself why would they want to bring their buyer to your house (????) to receive 1% less for their work? Give them the standard fee, or you will not see a lot of buyers.
- Don’t put a sign in your front yard. A For Sale By Owner sign only tells your neighbors you are selling and will attract some amount of “looky lou” traffic that just want to see what it looks like inside (may also attract less desirables that are going to “case” your home for a future uninvited visit). You have no way of pre-screening the “buyers” as a Realtor might do. Realtors with a Buyer will probably avoid showing your home to their client as they know you are probably paying a low or no commission and they also know they will probably have to do the work that a normal seller agent would do. (Also you will save another $20 by not buying the sign)
- Make sure you provide the required disclosures. Okay, this is important!! Let’s say you’ve sold your home to a buyer without those Realtor people involved. Yahoo!! It wasn’t rocket science and you saved a few dollars. About six months later, the buyer decides he isn’t all that excited about your house and you receive a letter from his attorney demanding A LARGE AMOUNT of money because the roof had a leak, there is a crack in the foundation, the fence you built is on your neighbors yard, and his child has a hacking cough that won’t go away! Unfortunately, you failed to provide a full seller disclosure as required, or a disclosure of lead paint as required, and maybe a few other items that you were not aware of. OOPS!!! While it is not rocket science, there is more to it than meets the eye, and in our litigious society, you do have more liability than you might understand.
- Make sure you prequalify your buyer. Great, you got an offer from Joe Smith and you were so elated you forgot to ask him if he had been pre-qualified by a lender! Okay, so now you know to do this, but do you know what questions to ask the lender?? Joe can tie up your property for a few months “trying” to overcome any number of obstacles in getting his mortgage from the lender. Very stressful for you, and very avoidable if you know how and what to ask the lender.
There are other tips I would be happy to share if you give me a call. I realize you are trying to save money, but here is what you must understand:
- You will have an even more difficult time selling your home if you do not pay a 3% commission to the buyer’s agent.
- The buyer knows you are saving money by not paying a Realtor fee and feels entitled to some of that savings and consequently will invariably offer a lower price.
- At best, you might save 3%, but is it really worth the aggravation?
I can show you how to sell your home faster and for more money as I will have it Professionally Staged at no cost to you, and on average, it will sell for 5%-8% more than if it is not properly staged. Therefore, I can save you the 3% you were going to save by doing it yourself, and probably even save you more. Call me for a FREE consultation before you decide to do it yourself.