Before listing a home on the real estate market, homeowners need to make one very important decision: who is going to actually sell the property. Deciding how to sell, either for sale by owner, with a realtor, or with a cash buyer, is a big issue. Selling a home can be a lengthy and complicated process for owners, so many choose to employ the services and expertise of a local real estate agent for assistance.
Other homeowners feel confident in their ability to sell and decide to list a for sale by owner. While selling a house as the owner has enormous benefits, including selling for cash offer, it also comes with unappealing pitfalls for those inexperienced with the process. To avoid these disadvantages, homeowners must become familiar with the for sale by owner process and recognize both the pros and cons.
Listing A For Sale By Owner
When selling a house as the owner, it’s vital to start with pricing the property. Accurately pricing a house is easier said than done, especially when the seller acknowledges their owner’s bias. It’s crucial to correctly price a property from the start of the selling process because it attracts certain buyers and determines how quickly the home will sell. While a good marketing campaign can boost open house attendees, sellers will lose out on many potential buyers if they overprice their property.
To accurately determine the asking price and avoid overpricing – the most common for sale by owner mistake – homeowners must calculate the home’s accurate value. Accurate value is the best price a buyer is willing to realistically pay and is found by browsing comparable properties in the same condition within the same area. Homeowners should also consider the current real estate climate and the cost of financing, if available.
Before finalizing an asking price, homeowners must remember that an asking price is not the selling price. Other home selling prices, tax assessments, and previous values for the home are often not reflective of the true market value of a property. Instead, acquire a professional home appraisal when justifying an asking price.
Successfully listing a for sale by owner also means being able to efficiently advertise your home. This happens by making your home the most attractive by repairing cosmetic issues and keeping the property maintained. To grab the attention of potential buyers, sellers must be willing to develop a clear marketing plan that goes beyond putting ads in the newspaper and a “For Sale” sign in the yard.
As an unrepresented seller, homeowners must be able to compete with homes sold by professional realtors. Using high-grade marketing materials, such as prepared flyers and brochures, as well as advertising online with Multiple Listing Service and home selling sites is necessary to attract serious buyers. Use up-to-date photos of the property and plan open houses on key days of traffic, like the weekends. It’s important to use every advertising tool available to when listing a for sale by owner.
The Pros of Selling a House as the Owner
Once able to fully appreciate the components of selling a house as the owner, homeowners can compare both the pros and cons of listing as an unrepresented seller. The most obvious advantage is that the homeowner is in control. You get to determine the asking price, set the appointment times, decide how to negotiate with a buyer, and when to host an open house. When using a realtor, homeowners must rely on the agent to properly and safely show their property; they entrust the realtor to lock up after showing strangers a property, which doesn’t always happen.
Another positive unique to an owner selling house is that they typically know their home better than any agent. Sellers are able to list a home’s recent updates, accentuate all of its best qualities, and highlight its unique selling point. Real estate agents are often unable to spout of the home’s amenities; while they’re juggling other properties to sell, for sale by owners have a singular focus and dedicate more time and resources on their own home.
One of the most attractive pros of selling your own home is not having to pay a 5-7% commission to your real estate agent. Instead, sellers are able to keep that money to buy additional or higher quality advertising, or pay for any necessary repairs.
The Cons of Selling Without a Realtor
While selling without a realtor offers many benefits, inexperienced sellers may face potential consequences when selling a for sale by owner. The most common disadvantage is not receiving your accurate home value. Unfortunately, some buyers seek out an unrepresented seller in order to con them and purchase a property for less than it’s worth. Homeowners familiar with the process will not be fooled by these illegitimate buyers, no matter how persuasive they are. For help identifying these specific type of scammers, sellers should contact a local cash home buyer; they provide real estate expertise with no strings attached.
Another common disadvantage an owner selling their house might face is having less visibility. Even with the array of free online home selling sites and local magazines dedicated to advertising homes, some sellers have trouble attracting buyers via a strong marketing campaign. Though realtors have more experience and methods available to market a home, sellers have to ultimately pay for the additional advertising through realtor fees. If a homeowner is selling a house for cash, they don’t need to worry about extra advertising fees and writing up detailed property descriptions; cash home buyers typically find you!
The biggest drawback of listing without the aid of a realtor is weeding out unqualified and uninterested buyers. Without prior experience, differentiating between a legitimate buyer and a scammer is a difficult endeavor and can cause serious long term issues. If selling a house for cash, homeowners can forget worrying about attracting the right, serious buyer; cash home buyers are serious about sales and often buy and close on properties within a week. For novice home sellers, they also prepare all the legal forms and disclosures while explaining guidelines and requirements.
Homeowners shouldn’t be discouraged by the negatives if they’re genuinely interested in listing their property without a realtor. With a bit of knowledge and a friendly local cash home buyer, sellers will be able to successfully and easily sell their own homes.
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The information presented in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal, financial, or as any other type of advice.