Today many home sellers find themselves wondering whether it is really worth it to hire a real estate agent and fork over a portion of their home’s sales prices or try to sell their home on their own. This is especially true given the decline in the real estate market as many sellers are anxious to save as much money as they can. Before making a decision to sell your own home; however, there are several critical factors which should be taken into consideration.
First, while many sellers think they will save money by selling on their own, this is not always the case. Yes, it is true that you will be able to save the commission but in many cases this is at the sacrifice of your sales price. Simply put, a good real estate agent can often sell your home for a higher asking price than you would be able to achieve on your own. The increased sales price, even in a down market, can more than make up for the agent’s fee.
In addition, many home sellers do not realize that they may take longer to sell on their own. While many home sellers have been able to achieve sales prices that were near or the same as similar homes listed with agents, studies indicate that homes for sale by owner take longer to actually sell than homes listed with an agent. If you are in a hurry to move, this can be an important factor which should be taken into consideration.
Of course, it should be pointed out that selling home on your own does offer some advantages. Selling your home on your own provides you with more control over the entire process. For example, you can schedule viewings of your home when it is most convenient for you.
And, you may be able to avoid paying a full 6% commission to a real estate agent. This is only true in some cases; however. Many owners who elected to sell their home on their own were surprised to find that they still had to pay half of the typical real estate commission fee to an agent who actually delivers a buyer. This means that in the end you might not save as much money as you might imagine.
Home sellers who are thinking of selling on their own must consider the fact that they will need to give up significant amounts of time in order to properly market and sell their homes. This is especially true in the current market climate. With the large inventory of homes for sale on the market, if you are going to sell on your own you will need to come up with creative marketing strategies in order to compete with all of the other homes currently for sale. If you are not working with a real estate agent, you may not have the resources in which to do so.
In addition, it should be understand that you must be on call to accept inquiries about the property, show the property, etc. In many cases, you may even need to take time off from your job in order to handle these details. Depending on your employment situation, this could actually cost you money.
You must also make sure you are knowledgeable about the home selling process. First, you must make sure your home is priced right. If you price your home too long, you could end up losing money. If you price it too high; however, it might take a while to sell your home.
The costs of marketing and advertising must be taken into consideration as well. When you list with a real estate agent, he or she handles this for you through the agency. When you sell on your own, you must handle the expenses related to advertising. In today’s technological world, this can become expensive fairly quickly.
Finally, you must make sure you understand all of the legal aspects and responsibilities associated with drafting a contract. To protect yourself, you may need to hire a real estate attorney in addition to other critical persons such as a home appraiser.
While it is certainly possible to save money by selling your home on your own, you must think about how much time and effort as well as up front money you are willing to put into the process. Decide whether it is worth to invest that much money and energy into selling on your own in order to save the commission.