In our social circles of friends we are often asked about selling your house by owner, what are the differences over selling with an agent, and how to go about it. In this short write up we cover just that and give you a few tips about selling your home yourself without using an agent.
Is It Necessary To Use An Agent?
Absolutely not. In Georgia you can sell your property all on your own. While there are advantages of using an agent (mainly someone else doing the work for you), with a little work you can get the job done yourself:
While a good agent can certainly help with the negotiation process, he or she also has a vested interest in the transaction. “And closing the deal may in some cases be more important to the agent than getting you the absolute best price,” Schorr says. If you’re a good negotiator and can handle the process without emotion and with clear eyes, you might do better on your own.
You will need to write your own description of the house, take your own photos, and give your own tours to prospective buyers. “If you excel at these things — or if you’re a control freak like me — you may do a better job than some realtors would,” Schorr says.
We haven’t run across many cases where agents were more concerned about closing the deal over price. The one thing we have come across is where agents give bad advice to sellers. The biggest one is pricing the property to high, only to lower the price later again and again to get interest. This has a tendency to backfire when buyers see a property with multiple price decreases leaving them to wonder what’s wrong with the property.
We recently looked at a house where the seller’s agent told them to NOT make any repairs, or change anything and even empty the house for showings. The asking price of this property was over 500k, so it was a rather large home. The interior of the property needed painting and carpet and was almost completely bare. With that kind of asking price and everything else in the area selling for around that price in immaculate condition, this seller had their property on the market for well over a year. So by not using an agent and following advice you find on the web, you just may be better off.
Anyhow, we’re a little off topic, so let’s get back to it –
What’s The Difference Between Selling By Owner And Using A Realtor?
In our previous article “Selling Your House Without An Agent“, we touched on just a few things on selling your home yourself. But what are some of the differences if you choose to use an agent vs. selling yourself? Really, there is no difference, except for the fact that if you choose to sell by owner you will have to do a bit of work on your own, as described on Home Guides:
There is no difference in the process of a FSBO transaction and one with realtor representation. An offer is made that – once it is accepted – begins a series of actions. An escrow account should be opened with good faith money deposited. The buyers begin the inspection period, while the sellers provide all required disclosures about the property and potentially about hazards in the area such as waste disposal sites. The buyer orders a title report to review all ownership and to complete all requirements for the lender to fund the loan. Buyers provide lender approvals and get funding.
It’s exactly the same, except for the fact that you aren’t paying 5% or 6% in realtor fees. In Georgia the closing attorney is usually the one that orders a title report and handles the escrow account and ensures all of the mortgage papers are correct. If you aren’t in a Judicial State, meaning you don’t have to use an attorney, we would recommend that you do hire an attorney just to help make sure everything is done correctly and on the up and up since you won’t have a realtor to make sure everything is correct.
Where To Start
Now you know that you can do it and it’s basically the same process. So where do you start? Do you just put a sign in the yard and hope for the best? Nope. There is a lot that a realtor does, and now you need to do their job.
The first thing you need to do is research:
1. Research the MLS.
Do your research and find a few websites that allow you to post your home for sale online. Websites like this typically charge a flat rate, plus the cost of additional services.
2. Check out the competition.
Get a pulse on your local real estate market. How much are homes selling for in your area? How do these homes compare to yours?
3. Choose your list price.
Real estate agents run a comparative market analysis (also known as comps) when determining a home’s list price. When in doubt, start with a lower asking price. Overpricing by $10,000 can cause it to sit on the market and ultimately force you to sell for less than if you had priced it right initially.
Make sure you do all the research you can on the internet when trying to find the value of your property. Zillow.com, Trulia.com and Redfin.com are all great places to start. Once you have the asking price set, then it’s time to start marketing.
Here is a great video that will give you 10 great tips when selling your home by owner:
Lastly we wanted to cover making the entire process almost hassle free, and that is by selling your home to a cash buying company. These companies can make it extremely easy to sell your home by owner. You still will want to do some research to find out approximately what your house is worth, but then these companies pretty much handle the rest.
We are one of those companies, and we can make it really easy to sell your house by owner. If you have a house in Dunwoody, or anywhere in Metro Atlanta, we would like the opportunity to make you an offer on your property. You can learn more on our website, or call us anytime at 770-756-8680 for a hassle free offer.