Savvy current homeowners looking to sell their house can actually bypass a real estate agent and sell it themselves. It does take a bit of know-how to accomplish this, and an understanding of some real estate legalese. While we can’t answer everything here, we can give you some good reasons why you can go it alone.
1. The internet is full of tips. There are many websites that specialize in offering you real estate selling hints and tools you can use. Some sites are just for helping people sell their house themselves, with a layout designed to do the marketing. Those pages act like an agency for you. They only charge a nominal fee for a listing that can run for a few months.
Other sites give you the ability to research the market around your house and determine a good price for your house. You can see what similar homes in your neighborhood have sold for, or are currently selling. If you are familiar with those homes, you can base a listing off of those prices right away. Otherwise, you can give some of that information to the appraiser you hire.
If you have some extra money, you can purchase a listing on the Multiple Listing Service. It will cost you a few hundred dollars, but if you have a pricey home, it might be worth it to you. This gets your house in front of agents looking for homes for their buyers as well as the buyers themselves.
The internet also makes online learning possible, so you could take some real estate courses to learn about the process. You’ll gain some of the technical skills you’ll require to be able to understand everything you need.
2. You keep more of the sales money. By skipping an agency and selling directly, you can keep between 6% and 10% more in your pocket. That’s how much you would be paying in commissions to a real estate agent. Your agent is basically the person who coordinates all of the pieces, and helps find you the parties you’ll need to work with. If you are able to do all of that, you can bypass hiring an agent. That will leave you with more money to put towards your next house.
3. You still need an appraiser and a lawyer. Your agent does not actually do a property appraisal. Whether you are using an agent or not, you would have to hire an appraiser. The same is true of the documents and filings necessary. Your real estate agent is not an attorney, so any legal documents still have to go through a real estate lawyer. You can hire your own attorney and have him or her review your papers. A title company can also help you with the documents and the filing process.
If you like a challenge, or you want to maximize the amount of the proceeds you keep from the sale, being your own agent makes sense. It takes a bit of work, but in the end, it can be very rewarding to sell your home without a real estate agent.
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