For Sale By Owner

We want to sell our home. My sister suggested that we should try to sell it ourselves which would save us thousands of dollars. This sounds like a good idea. I am surprised more people don’t do it.  Why don’t they?

More people use real estate agents to sell instead of trying to sell themselves because they understand that selling a home is complicated and so best left to a professional. You may be thinking, “Of course she’s going to say that. She is a real estate agent and so needs to justify her profession.”   Yes I do.  Hear me out.

Selling a home is much more than deciding on a price, putting a sign in the yard and finding a buyer. In this tech savvy world, you can figure out how to prepare your home to sell, hopefully price it right and get it online. But what happens when you find a buyer? The 13 page agreement of sale is only the beginning.  Contingencies usually abound.  There is much more to negotiate than the price of your home.  Are your buyers qualified to pay what they said they would?  Have they supplied a mortgage preapproval?  How much deposit money are they putting down and what will you do with it?  What inspections are they requesting and what is their time frame for them?  Who will negotiate the ins and outs of the inspection report and corrective proposal?  Who will meet with the appraiser and respond to that value if it’s low?  What if the mortgage commitment has requirements the buyer can’t make by the deadline? These are only a few of the many items which could come up, putting you back to square one – looking for another buyer.

In the same way that you don’t do surgery on yourself, write your own insurance policy or overhaul your own car engine, you are better served using a professional to sell your home. And if saving money is your motivation (which is understandable), it is important to know that, according to the National Associations of Realtors, homes sold by real estate agents sold for 20% more than those sold by owners.

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