The main reason people sell their own homes is to save money. In a deal where there are no real estate agents involved, you could save a sales commission of up to five or six percent of your sales price. On a $300,000 home, that commission can add up to $15,000 or more.
But in many cases, your buyer will use an agent and expect you to pay that agent's fees. So you have to think beyond cost savings, which may be less than you hope. Be sure to consider the whole sales process. How comfortable are you pricing your home, advertising and showing it? And how effective will you be at negotiating for the best price?
Use this checklist to find out if selling your own home is right for you.
|Y N||1. Are you confident you can sell your home for a price close to what an agent would get for you?|
|Many sellers are not comfortable sitting down face to face with buyers or their agents to negotiate a deal. On the other hand, some people feel an agent is more likely to work to sell a home quickly rather than try to get the absolutely top price. Why? Critics say that selling a home for $10,000 less doesn't change an agent's commission very much - but it can be a big deal to the homeowner.|
|Y N||2. Do you want to be highly involved in the sales process?|
|You will have to do your own research to price your home properly. Or, pay for an expert appraisal. You will also have to handle all aspects of the sales process - including listing your home, advertising, showing your home and putting together the contracts. Plus, you will need a lawyer to handle all the paperwork. You won't have an agent to provide the sales contracts and review them with you.|
|Y N||3. Will you have time to show your own home?|
|You need to be available to show your home when buyers want to see it. That can include weekends, evenings and day time - times when you may have work or other commitments.|
|Y N||4. Are you comfortable showing your home to buyers?|
|You will be meeting with buyers directly and showing them your home. Some people would prefer to hand that part of the sales process over to an agent. They don't feel ready to deal with questions and critical comments from buyers. Or, they simply don't like the idea of taking strangers through their own home.|
|Y N||5. Are you comfortable negotiating with buyers and their agents?|
|Almost 90 percent of buyers today use an agent, so there is a very good chance you'll end up dealing with an experienced negotiator. And, you'll pay their fee.|
To learn more, read Do I need a real estate agent or can I sell my own home?
Does it pay to sell your own home? Read Sonya and Sergei's story .