You’ve done a lot of work — or you’ve paid a lot of contractors — to turn your house into a more marketable product. You’d like to take advantage of high prices in the current market. Should you pay a commission to someone else to sell it for you? Here’s what you need to know.
The Commission and Its Alternative
Since a commission may be 6 percent or more of the sale, you could keep some serious cash by selling a home yourself. A $250,000 home might result in a $12,000 commission! Half of that is paid to the buyer’s agent and half to the seller’s agent. So, you’d be saving $6,000.
What would you have gotten for that $6,000? That’s really the important question. There are 8 main things: Pricing, Professional Advice, House Staging, Advertising, House Showings, Open House, Salesmanship, Closing. If you cover all of those angles, you may not need an agent.
How to Get Accurate Pricing and Professional Advice
To get an accurate price and to protect it through negotiations, you can take these two steps. First, pay an independent appraiser, the same sort of person who will later be hired by a buyer. This appraiser should give you an accurate price and reveal any blemishes that could cause a potential buyer to ask you to lower the price. Then you can repair those blemishes before the house goes on the market.
This could spare you that moment where a buyer tries to reduce the price by pointing out blemishes found by their appraiser. Obviously, there will be two appraisers, and yours could miss what the other one finds, but this could give you the best chance of protecting your price.
Take Advantage of Social Media and Free Online Advertising
There are lots of ways to advertise your home online. You don’t have to have an agent to do it. Just make sure to include lots of pictures and accurate information about your listing. You’ll want to be alert to any messages that come from social media messaging or email. The worst thing would be to miss connections and lose out on a potential sale!
House Showings and Salesmanship
You’ll need to be available for an open house and house showings. This is a chance to use your salesmanship. You should make a list of the reasons that you have enjoyed the home and make sure to mention them when you are showing the house. If you have been renovating and updating your home, you can take this opportunity to highlight each upgrade. A potential buyer might be very interested to know about which products were used and which warranties are in place.
Be professional, even as you try to keep things personal. You should be careful not to tell any negative stories or alert buyers to prior problems. Plus, you don’t want to use any ‘before’ pictures that might provoke a negative reaction. Just stick to how things look now. For instance, don’t say the kitchen sink leaked. Just say that you laid a new kitchen floor and put in a new kitchen sink fixture!
Make the House Bigger
This doesn’t mean another renovation. It just means that you can slim down your belongings and furniture to make each room look bigger. This also helps with tidying up. For best results, you can get a self storage unit and move everything extra to it. That will allow you to stage the home for the best look and most spacious impression. While you are at, don’t forget to store the extra stuff in the garage or the old lawn furniture. You want your buyers to see the potential, not the mess.
There are other techniques that can make a room look bigger. You can have the shades up or the curtains open in each room. A mirror placed strategically can give a room a more open feel. Shelving should be emptied of most contents and used for decorative displays.
Now that you’ve thought it out, should you hire a real estate agent or go it alone? If you can make time for all of these aspects of selling your home, there’s a good chance you’ll be successful. If you can’t put aside the time, it may be best to call a professional.