What If You Didn’t Use A Realtor?

Oh man, good luck with that
BY: BILL LONEY

Say you want to shave 6 or 8 percentage points off the cost of selling your home.

First you’ll need to do your own comparative market analysis to determine an appropriate price for your home. Got a plan for that?

You’ll also need to decide which repairs you think will pay off in the form of a higher sale price for your home. When that’s done, you’ll need to research and hire a professional real estate photographer, and arrange the details for the photo shoot. Prices for real estate photography generally range from $100 to $500 for 25-50 photos. And nowadays you should have drone shots, another couple hundred.

You can’t get your home listed on the Multiple Listing Service, so how are you going to advertise it? Put an ad in the Gringo Gazette? Good answer, very effective.

When people contact you, you’ll need to be flexible and arrange to show them the home during a time that works best for them, otherwise you could risk having them fall in love with another home first. And what if you’re not in the country? Leave the key with your neighbor and hope he hasn’t planned to go to the beach that day? Pray for clouds.

If you receive an offer, you’ll need to decide if you want to accept it, or submit a counter-offer. At this point you should at least hire an attorney who will work up a purchase and sale agreement, help negotiate the terms of the contract and review related paperwork and loan agreements. Some attorneys charge a flat fee for a package of services, while others charge by the hour. Prices for real estate attorneys range from $100 (for simple processing of the deed) to $1,000 plus whatever they can get. Then you need to take it to a notary public to make it legal.

Once the price and terms are agreed upon, you’ll need to complete the home appraisal and home inspection process, which means you need to be there to let the professionals into your home. If any issues arise with the appraisal or inspection, the buyer may try to negotiate additional terms, like making repairs or lowering the price of the home, which you’ll need to accept or reject. Finally, you’ll need to be there for the buyer’s final walk-through, and for the signing appointment. All these appointments will take time out of your day, so if you’re working full-time, it’s wise to save up your vacation time in advance.

If your buyer used a real estate agent, you’ll need to pay them at least 3 percent of the final sale price of the home, more like 4 percent. Selling your own home only saves you the commission that you would pay your own agent, minus the expenses involved in MLS services, real estate photography and attorney fees.

Big word of warning: most agents who represent buyers do not like to work with people who are selling their home as a for sale by owner property. That’s because it’s not guaranteed that they will receive a commission from the homeowner, and it usually means they’ll end up doing more work to make the deal move forward smoothly. They won’t be as motivated to show their clients your home, which often results in fewer offers on your home.

With an agent, you’ll receive pricing guidance, additional marketing, an experienced negotiator, someone to attend all of the appointments and the peace of mind that comes with having an expert handle the transaction.

Maybe re think this for sale by owner idea.