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Many people ask, can I sell my house on my own and save real estate commissions? The answer of course is yes. But I think that many people do not understand the process and you really need to in order to sell your own home. In this blog I will try and explain the process as clearly as I can and, in the end, I am pretty sure you will see a professional realtor in a different light.
First, you must have an idea of how much money you think your house is worth. Everyone will almost always overestimate their home's value and never get anyone to make a serious offer. There are many ways to find out what your house is really worth on the open market. Google "what is my house worth" and several sites will pop up. Also you can ask a Realtor to do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). Most Realtors will do this for free in the hopes of getting a listing contract. Be honest and do not lead the Realtor on, just say you want an idea of what your house is worth before decide to sell. This will be the most accurate information you can get.
Next, you need to get your house ready for sale. Clean, paint, get rid of clutter, take your family photos off the wall, land scape, clean out the garage and basement. Remember first impressions are everlasting. Especially curb appeal, this is the first picture people will see of your home and they will start judging accordingly.
OK, your house is ready! Here is the second big mistake people make when trying to sell their home. They put a sign in the yard "for sale by owner" and that's it. Selling your home will still take some money even without a Realtor. You have to have a marketing strategy. Before I was a Realtor I sold several houses by myself and learned that valuable lesson. It is the difference between selling your home or having a sign in the yard forever. There are several Internet sites, like isoldmyhouse.com, that have different packages to choose from for advertising purposes. Research these sites and choose the one that's right for you. Have open houses and advertise them in your local paper. This is key because it lets people in your area know you have a house for sale. A realtor will do the same thing but that's all included in the commission. But a realtor also has the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This gets all the Realtors in your area active in finding a buyer for your home. It is a powerful tool and could sell your home faster. It is your decision to make. The MLS is not the golden arrow, just a very good tool.
Legalities. I advise finding a good real estate lawyer. Not any lawyer that dabbles in everything, a real estate lawyer. This is like the doctor who specializes in heart surgery or pediatrics or any other specialty. They still could practice general medicine, but they specialize for a reason. A real estate lawyer will know how to deal with different government agencies like HUD, FHA, CHFA and any other program requiring continuing education. This lawyer will help you with the paper work you will need to handle any offers you might receive and guide you through the different laws in selling real estate in your particular area. In some areas of the country they are known as title companies. Whichever it is, they will keep track of the process, do a title search, prepare a warranty title, and deal with the lending institution. So you see why a real estate lawyer or title company is important?
OK, your house is ready, you have a marketing stratagy, and you have counsel. Now you have to deal with prospective buyers. This is the most stressful part of any transaction. Buyers come in all shapes and sizes. I use that as a metaphor because with one buyer, the transaction might be painless or you might get the buyer who makes ridiculous demands. This causes a lot of stress because once you enter into a contract with someone and take a deposit you have to deal with all the negotations. This is where the Realtor will shine, being the intermediary between you and the buyer and advising you of your options and be on your side looking after your interests.
So in the end, you may save money selling your house yourself, but you have to do all the work.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.