When you are preparing to sell your house, you take several factors into consideration. Often, the most important analysis is the number crunching and using a broker to sell your home is going to cost you. With the average home price in Los Angeles/Orange County over $400,000, the typical real estate commission can be costly. The realtors on reality shows make it look easy–clearly, it isn’t rocket science to sell a house. What exactly do realtors do to justify such a big payday? Here are some things to think about if you are considering becoming the FSBO seller.
You have lived in the neighborhood for a period of time, and have undoubtedly done your research on the value of properties. Additionally, there are many internet resources that can help you decide on a price. It isn’t just about finding the right comp to help you decide on a price though. In my opinion, one of the main reasons that you aren’t the best judge of value of your home isn’t about the numbers and comps–it is the fact that this is your home, you are sentimental about it and emotionally attached to the features of the house that you cherish. Whether those features are truly going to add to your bottom line can be better determined by a neutral third party who has experience with this analysis.
Oh, the paperwork. A typical real estate transaction in California can include over 40 forms, in excess of 100 pages and the file can be several inches thick. Each of the disclosures required by law is designed to protect the buyer or seller and is usually the result of a lawsuit by someone over something that went wrong with the sale. As a lawyer, I feel that the legal issues that arise in every real estate transaction require expertise to negotiate and obtain the best deal for the client. Yes, you can demand a set price and perhaps get it, but your work as your own representative is far from over. As a buyer, how do you know whether the property you are buying has additions that are not permitted? What happens if you buy that property? As a seller, what is your exposure for not completing required disclosures that you didn’t know were required by law? I am a paperwork nerd–I love disclosures and dotting i’s and crossing t’s.
3. Fixing Up
In your financial analysis of the cost of selling, maybe you included a budget for sprucing up the property to increase your chance of getting qualified buyers. How do you know what to do to get the most mileage for your expenditures? What should you focus on? You don’t want to spend more than necessary, and you may be deciding to improve something that won’t be of value to buyers. Trust the experts.
4. Attracting and Qualifying Buyers
Marketing your property is important and it can be time consuming. Putting a sign up in your front yard with flyers isn’t going to get the nationwide exposure that you can get with a MLS listing. You can submit your listing to internet sites yourself, but statistics show that over 80% of homes are actually sold with the help of realtors. Open houses can be helpful, but it is still weird having strangers walk through your house when you are there. When a buyer does come and express interest in your home, you want to be certain that they are qualified to buy and will actually be able to close on time. There is nothing more frustrating than an escrow that goes on forever and( for reasons that should have been apparent at the outset) never closes. What if you have taken a deposit? When can you keep it? These are some of the many issues that you may confront that could be handled for you.
It is time consuming to prepare your house for sale and keep it neat and clean for showing. You should consider whether you have the time to invest in marketing your house properly, and whether you think you will get a buyer soon enough to meet your own goals. It is very frustrating to have your home on the market for months and not know whether it is going to sell. Your time is money, and hiring is an expert to handle your home sale will be a good investment for you.