Selling a Home – (Q & A)

Oct 2017


Dear Rick:
My brother and I own a house together that we inherited from our parents. We have owed the house for about five years and we finally have decided to sell it. My brother thinks that we can sell the house on our own. We think the house is worth around $300,000 and he says that we can save about $18,000 in commission. The money is substantial and my brother has the time to show the home. My question to you is do you think we’re making a mistake by selling it on our own and what are the advantages of using a real estate agent?


Dear Wendy:
I do think that some people can sell their homes on their own; particularly, if those people work with a real estate attorney to make sure that the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed. I would tell you that selling the home by owner is not easy, but it’s also not rocket science. Particularly if the house is in area where other similar homes are selling, it certainly makes it easier. In addition, because there are more tools available to help the for-sale-by-owner, such as online sites to advertise your home, selling your home by owner is easier than it has been in the past.

In making the decision whether you are going to sell your home on your own, it is important to understand what a real estate agent brings to the table. If you’re selling your home and you use a seller agent, they are going to help you properly price your home. If you undervalue your home, you’re leaving money on the table; while at the same time, if you overprice it, it makes it more difficult to sell. A good real estate agent understands the market where the house is located and can help you list the property at the proper value.

Real estate agents work in a wide network with other real estate agents; thus, increasing the number of potential buyers that may be interested in your home. After all, the more eyes that see your property, the greater the likelihood someone will buy it. Real Estate agents also help you properly market your home. Marketing your home is more than putting up a for sale sign.

Real estate agents also take the emotion out of the process. Sometimes in the negotiations between buyer and seller things get heated which could result in the deal being nixed. Good real estate agents are able to keep the negotiations on a more professional level which will help facilitate a sale.

Real estate agents also make a good sounding board in helping you make decisions such as what improvements you put into the home and how best to stage the home. In other words they can help you answer such questions as should I have the house painted or should I replace the carpet, etc. These items can help not only in selling the home, but also in getting the highest price possible.

There’s no doubt that a qualified real estate agent can be of assistance in selling the home. That doesn’t mean that you can’t do it on your own and be successful. Of course, another alternative is to try to sell it on your own and if you’re not successful, then turn to a real estate agent for assistance.

Good luck!


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