Selling Your Home on Your Own – (Q & A)

May 2017


Dear Rick:
In about a month I am going to put my house up for sale. My best friend is an attorney who handles real estate transactions and he told me that I should try to sell the house on my own. He said he can handle all the paperwork that needs to be involved and that I could save quite a bit of money. I’ve never sold a house before so I am a little concerned. However, my house is worth about $300,000 so I potentially can save $18,000 in real estate commissions. My question to you is what would be the advantage to me of using a real estate agent?


Dear Barry:
First, let me just say that whether you use a real estate agent or not, it is important that you have an attorney. The attorney’s job is to make sure that you are protected. After all, the purchase or sale of a home is generally the largest financial transaction that you will be engaged in and that is why it is so important to protect yourself. When it comes to buying or selling real estate, the attorney’s only job is to protect you. Not to close the deal, but only to protect you. As a side note, I think the attorney is the first person you should hire in the home buying or selling process. Even if you use a real estate agent you should hire the attorney first.

When it comes to real estate agents, in many situations they make the home selling process easy and help you maximize the value of your home. Real estate agents do more than just have an open house. One of the main jobs of a real estate agent is to properly price your home. Remember, your home is not worth what you think it is worth but rather, it is worth what it will sell for on the open market. Qualified and experienced real estate agents understand the real estate markets and thus, they can assist you in properly pricing your home which is essential in order to sell it. You don’t want to leave money on the table by underpricing your home, nor do want to overprice your home making it difficult to sell.

Real estate agents also have experience in ways to market your home. Marketing is more than just putting a few ads up. It also entails such things as how to stage your home so that it will be attractive to buyers. In addition, real estate agents will be of assistance helping you decide what repairs you need to do on the home. For example, to make your home more saleable should you paint the house or put new carpeting in. A qualified real estate agent will help you make those decisions.

One great benefit real estate agents bring is the fact that they take some of the emotions out of the selling process. Buyers are always trying to reduce the price while sellers always want to increase it. Sometimes when someone is selling their home, particularly by themselves, they tend to take any criticisms about the home personally. Real estate agents tend to take the emotions out of the equation which is generally good.

Can someone sell their home without the services of a real estate agent? The answer is yes. However, you must be willing to put some time and effort into the process. If you think all you have to do is run an ad and you’ll find a qualified buyer, you will be sadly mistaken. However, if you’re willing to do your homework and put up with some hassles that go along with the home buying process, with the help of a real estate attorney, you can sell your home on your own.

Good luck!
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