You mow your own lawn and tend your own garden. You fix whatever needs to be fixed around the house — from brickwork to plumbing to minor electrical issues. You change your own oil. You may even bake your own bread or brew your own beer.
As an independent do-it-yourselfer, when it comes time to sell your home, you are probably tempted to go it alone, without the help of a real estate agent.
Before you begin the process, however, you should know that it’s not a simple undertaking. Ask yourself these question before deciding to sell your own home:
Do I Need A Real Estate Agent By Law?
It’s a common misconception that home sellers are required by law to use a real estate agent to handle the sale. In some states, an agent must handle the closing and the transfer paperwork. Additionally, there are some laws surrounding disclosure of information that vary from state to state. Make sure that you understand the legality of a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) transaction in your state.
Is It A Buyer’s Market?
Next, you’ll need to do some research to determine whether it’s a buyer’s or a seller’s market in your area. If it’s the former, it may be more difficult to sell your home without professional assistance. When buyers have plenty of homes to choose from, they’re going to be pickier. They may choose not to work with someone who’s flying solo because they want the reassurance a real estate agent provides. And if you’ve made any missteps in pricing your home or even in staging it, buyers are more likely to pass you by.
When buyers have plenty of homes to choose from, they’re going to be pickier. They may choose not to work with someone who’s flying solo because they want the reassurance a real estate agent provides. And if you’ve made any missteps in pricing your home or even in staging it, buyers are more likely to pass you by.
Do I Know What My Home Is Worth?
Pricing your home is one of the trickiest steps of this whole endeavor. Of course, you want to get as much money as possible, but by pricing your home too high, you may drive potential buyers away. And the longer your home stays on the market, the more people will wonder what’s wrong with it.
If you choose to go the FSBO route, you will have to immerse yourself in research to determine what comparable homes have sold for.
Am I Willing To Spend More Time Than Money To Sell My Own Home?
Face it — when you sell your own home, it’s practically a full-time job. Before you even put the house on the market, there’s lots of research to be done. Then you have to clean, stage, and show the house. You’ll also need to screen potential buyers and deal with the buyer’s real estate agent.
Do I Have the Emotional Fortitude?
Don’t underestimate the emotional pitfalls of trying to sell your own home. You’ve made so many memories here, and emotions may sway your decisions. A real estate agent can give you the perspective — and the professional advice — you need when deciding on a price, or whether or not to accept an offer.
Sound like a lot of work? It is — which means it may make more sense to work with a professional.