How to sell your home without an agent, For Sale By Owner (FSBO)
Table of Contents
- How to sell your home without an agent, For Sale By Owner (FSBO)
- INTRODUCTION: How to sell your home without a realtor (FSBO)
- SUMMARY OF ARTICLE CONTENTS:
- QUICK TIPS ON HOW TO EASILY USE THIS ARTICLE FOR YOUR SUCCESS:
- Table of contents
- The Seven Essential Questions to ask yourself before listing your home without an agent
- The Burning Question “How can I make a lot of money selling my house?”
- What are net proceeds?
- How do you calculate net proceeds from the sale of property?
- What should I do with a large lump sum of money after the sale of the house?
- Prospective Buyers: Should you engage with Represented or Unrepresented buyers?
- The Cons of selling your house on your own (FSBO)
- STATISTICS: Homes sold without a real estate agent
- How to Sell Your Property Without an Agent, and what gets in the way
- How to increase your home’s appeal:
- To win any game you must understand your competition.
- UNDERSTANDING YOUR COMPETITION: The Key Differences Between a “Comprehensive Listing and Marketing Agent” vs. a “Basic Listing Agent”
- Notes about the author
How to sell your home without an agent, For Sale By Owner (FSBO)
This is a step-by-step guide on how to MAXIMIZE YOUR PROFITS SELLING YOUR PROPERTY with or without an agent.
INTRODUCTION: How to sell your home without a realtor (FSBO)
If you are reading this article you are likely searching for ways to maximize your bottom line, putting the most dollars in your pocket when selling your house. You may have read articles or heard stories of unsung heroes and their ability to “CRUSH THE MARKET AND SAVE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS” by selling their homes on their own without an agent! It’s only natural to assume that if they can do it, so can you!
You’ve probably started to do your research and have come to realize that a real estate transaction has many costs associated with it, leading you to the obvious conclusion that you should at the very least explore the idea of selling your house on your own without a realtor to keep more dollars in your wallet. Maybe you’ve come to think that just about anyone can sell a home with the use of the internet and sites like Zillow or Redfin.
YOU MAY BE RIGHT!
(But, are you?)
Have a property to sell? The burning question remains:
“How do you sell your home on your own, and is it worth the effort and risk?”
Maybe you already know exactly what goes into selling your house but are worried about making a huge mistake that could cost you major money having read conflicting reports about the good and bad of trying to sell your home without a realtor.
With what feels like infinite forum writers promising you salvation and glory as long as you follow a few simple steps, while others warn of the woes and dangers of selling your house alone putting you at risk of severe legal trouble and major financial losses due to a lack of know-how and skills, this resource will give you all the tools you need to choose whether to sell on your own or how to choose the right agent for your needs.
Read on to learn more about:
- What is the best way to sell your home for top dollar?
- How do you get the most bang for your buck, while also retaining peace, joy, and sanity during such a high-stakes transaction?
Want to make the most money when you sell real estate?
If you are like most homeowners you want to know HOW TO TAKE THE MOST MONEY TO THE BANK AFTER YOU SELL YOUR HOME. Reducing your closing costs may be the first and center for you.
What happens if you reduce your costs, but end up selling for much less than you could have and end up netting less money because you failed to dominate your local housing market? How do you strategically obliterate the competing marketing efforts of your neighboring homes for sale? This guide is for you.
What you can expect from reading this:
You will learn how to sell your home for an astronomical price on your own, or learn how to best assess an agent’s strength before you hire them to sell your home. Either way, this article will teach you how to avoid losing thousands of dollars and achieve the best return on investment (ROI) when you sell your real estate.
If after reading this article you decide you don’t have the time, expertise, or desire to take on selling your house on the open market by yourself then we welcome you to call us to work with our team directly in your local marketplace.
Don’t make the mistake of hiring a weak agent.
If you need to sell real estate in an area we don’t serve you can call us and we’ll help you find a the right agent, a local expert in your area to assist you in getting the highest net proceeds before you move. Working with a great brokerage team lets you relax knowing that everything is being handled expertly on your behalf. A great brokerage team brings access to well-vetted and skilled professionals like a home inspector, real estate attorney, etc. who will market your real estate aggressively, and negotiate the best deal possible for you.
Schedule a call with our team which offers a no-pressure selling experience that puts your needs first.
Why trust this article?
We’re experts in real estate and can help you generate the highest net proceeds from your home sale. We know how to generate maximum interest in your house and get it sold quickly – oftentimes for more than the initial asking price.
Written by a veteran real estate investor James R. Ruff with over 30 years of experience and countless successful transactions. Mr. Ruff is a national real estate broker with experience in, building and construction, flipping, and developing income-producing asset portfolios, while also offering business-to-business mortgage lending. Serving clients with billions of dollars of real estate assets under management in NYC, this is a never seen before SNEAK PEAK first-time publication revealing how the head strategist, of the New York City-based brokerage firm The James Ruff Group LLC, teaches his agents to outperform the competition and consistently maximize the net proceeds for their seller clientele. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you sell your real estate!
You’re thinking about selling your property without an agent? This guide teaches how the best in the business sell real estate for their clients and achieve maximum profit every single day.
SUMMARY OF ARTICLE CONTENTS:
1) How to sell your home on your own:
This article will go in-depth into understanding how to sell your home with or without hiring a real estate agent. We will explore the pros and cons of choosing to sell on your own (FSBO) or with an agent. And finally, we will cover the actionable steps you can take if you choose to sell your home on your own.
This article is a comprehensive training manual. Skipping ahead will rob you of valuable insight and learning, instead of empowering you to take control of your home sales and get achieve the highest net proceeds from your sale.
THE INSIDER SCOOP: Home Sales
- We will pull back the curtain and share with you some of the most VALUABLE INDUSTRY SECRETS that I teach my agents throughout the country to maximize the price a home sells for when we list and market homes for our selling clients.
- Explore the pros and cons of going at it alone so that you can determine if selling without real estate agents is the best choice for you concerning your:
- NET PROCEEDS OF SALE (Your bottom line)
- TIME INVESTMENT REQUIRED TO SELL YOUR HOME AND THE THE VALUE OF YOUR EFFORTS (Opportunity cost)
- THE LEGAL RISKS OF SELLING YOUR HOUSE SOLO (Risks vs. rewards)
2) Assessing an agent’s true strength in advance:
If after you read this guide you decide you would prefer to work with a realtor, this article can serve as a template for you to determine if a realtor has the skills and strategy to sell your home for more than similar homes on the market. By making sure you understand an agent’s strategy and guarantees before signing with them, you will improve your odds of making the most money during your home transaction.
QUICK TIPS ON HOW TO EASILY USE THIS ARTICLE FOR YOUR SUCCESS:
This article has been created in an easily searchable manner to help you navigate this very dense resource. Because this information is intended to help you organize your thoughts and design an actionable strategy to Achieve the Highest Net Proceeds Possible When You Sell Your Home, become familiar with these tools:
- This document came from our internal Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), and as such, is meant to be read from beginning to end in the order it’s been presented as the topics build upon themselves from one chapter to the next.
- Read the table of contents to understand what you will find in this document, which provides quick links to the chapters and topics within this resource.
- If you get lost or want to seek something out quickly: Use the find function of your browser (Google Chrome: Apple Command +F, Windows Ctrl +F)
- Using the find feature of your browser: Search for and read all of the “Key Point” and “Pro-Tip” tags as they summarize large concepts into bullet points for you.
- Connect with us via the Contact Information section of this document to ask questions if you need help, and we will do everything we can to assist you
Table of contents
- Deciding if FSBO (selling your house without a realtor) is right for you.
- The seven questions to ask yourself before selling your home
- Pros and Cons of working with a real estate agent vs. going FSBO
- Perception vs. reality cost vs. profit
- Pros of selling without a realtor costs vs. savings
- Cons of selling without a realtor (FSBO) cost vs. benefit
- Statistics of FSBO properties: numbers talk bullshit walks
- The financial woes and pain the bards of FSBO don’t want you to know
- Step by Step guide on how to sell your home FSBO for high profit
- How to sell your home without a real estate agent (FSBO) and what gets in the way
- Best practice steps for preparing your home for the market
- Pricing Correctly – Positioning your property correctly for its initial market offering
- Cleaning the home for the highest market value
- Pre-home sale Inspection to avoid market weasels
- Repairing the home and other alternatives to dominate similar homes
- Staging the home for top curb appeal
- Seller’s legal requirements for disclosure
- How to get the most eyes on your home to increase your bottom line: Marketing & Advertising increase your net profit
- Scheduling & Follow-up for high profit at a low cost
- Negotiation for the best profit
- Assembling the transaction team for the highest profit
- Reinvesting the net proceeds of your home transaction
- The difference between a Listing Agent and a Marketing Agent
- Doing it on your own
- About the Author
The Seven Essential Questions to ask yourself before listing your home without an agent
After reading this article you will be able to answer the following:
Is the potential savings worth the risk, effort, and hassle?
Do you know the legal risk and liabilities involved, and have you accurately assessed the potential financial gains vs. the cost?
Are you confident in your ability to remain emotionally grounded and mentally and physically present throughout the entire process?
What are the skills required to do a transaction of this type on your own and do you have them?
Do you have a qualified, vetted, and trusted team?
Do you understand the process and negotiation better than the best real estate agents in your town or city?
What is your actual goal in selling your home? Are you sure that trying to skip hiring a Realtor will provide you with the highest net proceeds for the transaction and be worth the effort?
The Burning Question “How can I make a lot of money selling my house?”
Most buyers’ wants for their home has evolved partly due to the increase in remote employment and social separation. Experts believe the pandemic may have only accelerated an already budding trend of many workers looking to work from home. For example, this could make a big impact that results in permanent shifts in location value, and in the way, cities and suburbs evolve directly impacting the real estate markets nationwide.
Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this article, let’s start with some high-level summaries, and then we will explore exactly what you need to know to compete with the pros and get top value for your parcel when it’s finally sold.
First of all, what is your home worth?
It all starts with pricing your property correctly compared with similar homes. This sounds easy but requires greater thought and consideration than most people realize.
Pricing your home is only one part of the equation, and directly correlates to the selling strategy you will choose. Different strategies use the initial asking price for different reasons and as such your initial offering “price” should be seen as a tool in your overall marketing and selling strategy. Numbers are not arbitrary, and contrary to most sellers’ opinions marketing your property at the highest price possible is only one strategy that generally doesn’t yield the best results. While your initial offering price is quintessential to successfully achieving the highest net proceeds possible, your overarching strategy is paramount.
Pricing alone has little to do with generating the highest sale price and achieving the best net proceeds. You should be aware of multiple proven strategies, choose the most appropriate one, and then stick to the plan. Hope is not a strategy.
For your convenience, this free home evaluation tool can help you estimate your home’s market value.
Understand your local market
When the demand outweighs the supply of homes on the market, prices tend to rise due to heated competition between similar homes. This is known as a seller’s market. To get a better understanding of your local market, research typical day-by-day selling prices for comparable homes in the area and check out their Days On Market (DOM) statistics – a sign of strong demand if homes are selling faster than average. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the costs associated with selling a home to ensure you have realistic expectations for your ROI. Mortgage rates, changes in rules around how potential buyers qualify, insurance cost changes, and other alternatives for housing due to technology all impact local markets.
Understand how much it costs to sell a home
Finding a buyer for your house can be a complex process, with the final price tag for unexpected items often being much higher than you may initially expect. Take the example of a $600,000 home sale; if you include an agency commission of 5-6%, plus closing costs like title fees, escrow fees, and transfer taxes, your total cost could reach as high as $39,000 – that’s 6.5% of the final sale price! So before you take the plunge and start the selling process, make sure you understand all the costs involved and calculate your net profit for an accurate picture of your return on investment.
Choose the right time to sell
Timing is key when selling a house. Research shows early spring brings more buyers, but this may not be the best time to sell if seeking ROI. Consider equity levels in the asset and estimated expenses before marketing. Bankrate noted failing to do so can lead to high costs at closing. Marketed homes in the early spring tend to sell faster and for greater prices, though the pandemic has changed housing activity. Fewer sellers plan on marketing their homes for sale, which presents a great opportunity for you.
Consider hiring a great agent
Your real estate agent is a key part of the selling process bringing incredible value. A good real estate agent will have an in-depth knowledge of your local market and sales trends, as well as the skills to negotiate the best price for you. Consider their experience and reputation when making your choice – a long history in the business generally indicates better value. Once you’ve selected your agent, build a strong relationship with them to ensure you get the best out of their services.
Market your home effectively
There are many effective ways to promote your property, ranging from traditional advertising such as print and radio campaigns to more contemporary methods like online postings, email marketing, and social media. Make sure you use a variety of marketing techniques to reach the largest potential customer base and get your home seen by as many people as possible increasing the market’s perceived value of your house to achieve your profit goals.
Be prepared for negotiations
When it comes time to negotiate the sale of your home, make sure you have a realistic idea of what you want. Keep in mind all the costs involved in selling – from commissions and closing costs to repairs and staging – and be prepared to compromise on some points. Stay calm and polite throughout the process, and remember that a good negotiation can benefit both parties and leave you with noteworthy profit.
Work with local experts
Homeowners usually only buy or sell homes a few times during life. There is a list of professionals below you should consider hiring in advance who all bring high value to transactions. When it comes to selling your house for the best possible price, having experts surrounding you is key.
Most people feel having a local real estate agent by your side can be invaluable. Great agents have a wealth of experience and knowledge about the local market and sales trends that can help you get the most out of the sale. Their cost dims by comparison to their value. Plus, with changes happening fast in today’s market, having an experienced eye to help guide you through the process can take a lot of the stress out of selling. Consider getting professional advice and assistance when marketing your home – it could make all the difference!
Pro-Tip: Penny Smart, Dollar Rich
Cost-efficient cosmetic enhancements that increase the curb appeal are smarter investments than costly remodels and renovations.
Negotiate the best offer not just the highest offer
When negotiating an offer, it is important to take into consideration not only the highest price offered but also the terms of the sale. Sellers beware: Often offers contain contingencies that must be met for the contract to be valid. Many offers on face value look good, but the devil is in the details.
Such contingencies may include a financing condition that allows for the buyer to reject an offer if their loan is denied. Therefore, sellers need to consider such contingencies when evaluating the offer, as failure to do so could result in a prolonged listing period and additional time spent searching for a qualified buyer.
Furthermore, it may be beneficial to seek advice from an experienced real estate lawyer to ensure that your interests are being fully represented throughout the negotiation process.
Research Your Ideal Homebuyer
Prospective buyers of real estate come in all shapes and sizes, each with specific needs. Investors may be more interested in the potential appreciation of a parcel than its current condition, often making cash offers to acquire properties quickly. On the other hand, first-time homebuyers may have different criteria they are looking for such as move-in ready homes that require fewer repairs, especially when using a mortgage. Likewise, veterans and seniors may have different needs when it comes to buying a home such as more accessible features or better-equipped bathrooms.
Value is in the eye of the beholder. By researching the ideal buyer you can target the right type of people who are interested in what you have to offer. This will help you move forward with your sale in the most efficient way.
Pro-Tip: Working With A National Broker to Help You Find the Best Local Realtor
When choosing to sell your home, the devils are in the details, and in the end, the money you keep and the experience you have during the transaction are what will stay with you.
You can work with a national broker to help manage and lead your local agent if your local professionals aren’t great at their job! Many sellers choose to hire a newly licensed family member or friend to show them support without realizing the person they hired lacks the skills and experience needed to truly maximize their profit, oftentimes leaving thousands of dollars on the table, or worse, landing the owner in hot water. You can schedule a free call here to answer your questions.
What are net proceeds?
Often sellers will pick an arbitrary number relating to how much they believe their home value is and what they need to list for without taking the time, or having the know-how, to calculate how much they’ll make out on the closing of their property.
Net proceeds refer to the total amount of money sellers receive from the sale of your home after all costs related to the sale have been deducted. This includes agent commissions, title insurance, closing costs, and taxes. Gross proceeds refer to the total amount of money received during a transaction before any deductions are made.
Therefore, it is important to research and calculate the net proceeds from your sale to ensure you are receiving a fair price for your home. Furthermore, it is also wise to consider all costs associated with closing as these can significantly reduce the amount of money you receive from the transaction.
How do you calculate net proceeds from the sale of property?
In summary, net proceeds refer to the amount of money received from the sale of a home after all costs associated with the transaction have been deducted. This includes attorney fees, agent commissions, title insurance, inspection costs, closing costs, and taxes.
To calculate net proceeds, one must subtract all closing costs and mortgage balances from the closing expenses for the deal. Additionally, budgeting for repairs and improvements on the home before marketing, as well as staging costs, are important factors that should be taken into account when calculating net proceeds.
For example, if a closing cost is $500,000 with a mortgage balance and closing costs of $50,000, and a budget of $5000-$7000 for repairs and preparing the home for sale, the net proceeds from the sale would be approximately $440,000.
What should I do with a large lump sum of money after the sale of the house?
You have worked hard to get to this point and now you are ready to reap the rewards of your efforts. After closing on the sale of a house, many sellers find themselves with a large lump sum of money that can be difficult to manage. It is important to speak with an accountant or tax advisor before closing on your house to understand the tax implications of real estate sales. The value of this advice cannot be understated.
The IRS has certain tax deductions and exclusions that can be used to reduce the amount of taxes owed on a sale. Additionally, having a proper strategy before you sell your home will help ensure that all proceeds are managed in accordance with the law and increase your ability to build compounding wealth.
The Three Essential Elements of a Real Estate Sale
In any transaction, three major concepts cannot be ignored if you are to be successful. This document will guide you as a seller through these three cornerstones of your future success.
1. Marketing: If no one knows, no one cares.
- The bigger the reach, the bigger the net.
How do you compare to the best professionals in your area?
2. Negotiation: welcome to the shark tank.
- Real estate is a “winner takes all” transaction. Don’t delude yourself into thinking anything else.
How strong are your negotiation skills?
3. Legal: no deal is worth ending up in hot water.
- Real estate transactions require legal compliance. Do things the right way, and sleep well at night, no deal is worth an orange jump-suit.
How much do you know about legal compliance and do you feel 100% confident about the laws surrounding your future transaction?
PROS AND CONS of selling your house on your own – Perception vs. Reality
Paying the buyer’s agent, while doing all the work of the listing and marketing agents. Is trying to do a deal on your own worth it?
A serious seller should look at the potential pros and cons to find out:
Perceived Pro #1:
“You will save on the realtor commission and closing costs.”
- The Dream: you’ll save a ton of money and it’s easy to sell on your own.
The Facts: No one of quality works without pay:
- Statistically, there are two real estate agents in every transaction, a listing agent AND a buyer’s agent.
- If you do a deal that involves a real estate agent representing buyers they will require payment for their service.
- As the seller, the buyer’s agent will commonly expect you to pay a portion of the home transaction proceeds in the form of costs at closing for bringing the value of a qualified buyer.
If you don’t offer payment upfront:
- The buyer’s agent won’t show your property to their buyer. Or if they are a stronger real estate agent they will instruct potential buyers to discount their offering price by their needed commission rate so that the buyer can pay the buyer’s agent directly from the transaction price. This results in a discounted market value, and lowered net proceeds to your pocket.
- By not offering a buyer’s agent commission you severely limit more buyers to compete over your home. Since fewer people will see your home. This gives much greater leverage to any buyer that comes in, working directly against your interests!
- This may seem counterintuitive: A seller that does not offer payment upfront, gives the bargaining power to the side of the buyers.
- While commission costs vary, it is common to see a quality buyer’s agent charge a transaction commission anywhere between 2-6% depending on the market and circumstances of the home sale.
- When there isn’t a listing agent involved, a buyer’s agent may feel entitled to a larger commission from the seller BECAUSE they know they will be doing the work of two agents to get the deal done.
Discount real estate agents:
- Their clients are typically poorly qualified to do a purchase and are generally not potential buyers.
- Don’t believe me? If a discount real estate agent had the skills to demand a full fee, why wouldn’t they charge a full fee and work with better buyers? (People charge what their skills demand!)
- Discount real estate agents typically lack the sophistication required to do a transaction in a quality way, if at all. Because they don’t have the skills or support to fix problems when problems arise causing deals to fall apart.
- While commissions are not fixed and different agents can charge higher or lower depending on their skill and the circumstances surrounding the sale of the home, it is common that a listing agent charges 4-8% to list, market, and sell a home.
- Listing agents typically pay the buyer’s agent from the listing commission.
- A buyer’s agent can charge as much as they want if the seller needs the buyer.
- Commissions can greatly differ depending on the quality of the agent you choose. Generally speaking, you get what you are paying for.
Key Point: Commission Savings
To realize the potential gain of a commission discount requires that you can outperform the best realtors in your area and achieve a transaction price that is at least equal to what the best agents in your area can produce. If when you sell your home FSBO you discount the transaction price to get it sold, you are discounting your own value and will often net less and be out your time and energy. Is the opportunity cost worth it?
COMMISSION FINANCIAL BREAKDOWN:
To receive a higher net proceed you must get at least an equal sale price on your property as a top agent in your area would.
Real Estate Agent Commission Savings Example:
$300,000 home at 6% listing = $18,000 commission.
$300,000 home at 3% buyer’s agency offer sold FSBO = $9,000 commission.
$300,000 home at 3% listing agent fee potential savings = $9,000.
Oftentimes, a buyer’s agent in a FSBO transaction will charge the seller MORE because the buyer’s agent is aware that they will most likely be doing the job of two agents.
Let’s assume the buyer’s agent requires a 4-4.5% commission as a solo agent to the transaction, then your actual savings would be 1.5-2% of the transaction’s price.
In this example, your potential savings would range from = $4,500 – $6,000.
Provided you do better than an agent, is it worth the effort?
Key Point: Buyer’s Agents expect to be paid
- If you achieve an equal sale price, as you would working with the top agents in your area, you will only realize a NET SAVINGS of 1.5-2% for your efforts.
- If you discount your transaction by 1-2% because you are selling FSBO, then you likely did all the work for FREE, enhancing your costs because of lost time and money.
Prospective Buyers: Should you engage with Represented or Unrepresented buyers?
Alternatively, a seller can try to work with fewer prospective buyers exclusively that are unrepresented by an agent when selling real estate.
- Most buyers have an agent, so choosing this path severely limits your options in terms of getting the bring the most potential buyers to your home, which will directly impact your ability to see the most competitive offers.
- Statistically, the more buyer’s who see your home and are motivated to make an offer to purchase your house, apartment, condo, co-op, building, multi-family home, etc., the better your odds of getting the highest transaction price with the best terms of sale for your home.
- Reducing your target buyer pool and engaging with fewer potential buyers means you will likely receive lower offers with less desirable terms.
Perceived Pro #2:
You’ll have more control over your time and will be better able to control the people coming in and out of your home.
- While you may be the one scheduling your time, you will now be the responsible party for all scheduling, follow-up, qualifying, and vetting of the buyers.
- How will you work, and live, while also doing the work of someone else?
- Required meeting times with buyers are generally not convenient for anyone who has a job or career due to scheduling conflicts.
- Potential buyers typically want to see the property when it is convenient for them, not when it is convenient for you.
- QUESTION: When do most buyers want to see a home? ANSWER: During work hours, evenings, and weekends
You will need to set aside time and be available for communication to:
- Answer calls and be ready to respond to buyer questions about your property at the time people call, without accidentally giving away valuable information that can hurt you.
- Vet the potential buyer’s finances and motivation.
- Set up the appointments with each buyer (schedule and qualify).
- Expect to be physically present with buyers to meet at the required time of the appointments. (open houses, showings, return visits, inspections, appraisals, and the final walk-through)
Key Point: Every engagement with the buyer is an opportunity for negotiation
Every time you engage directly with buyers, your target buyer, or their real estate agent throughout the sale process it becomes an opportunity for them to negotiate with you for their interest and for them to gain insight into your circumstances so they can leverage this against you. Real Estate transactions are “winner takes all” interactions.
The Cons of selling your house on your own (FSBO)
TIME, SKILL, AND EFFORT
- You are choosing to do the work of multiple full-time professionals
- Wise people ask themselves honestly if they have the skills, time, and expertise required to do the job to its highest potential to get the most money at the time of sale.
- Is the time, effort, and headache worth the POTENTIAL gains?
- Do you feel the potential savings are in balance with the level of effort and risk associated with doing the home sale on your own?
- Are you willing and able to give up nights and weekends while also working two jobs during the day to get this done?
- Do you have the capacity, and the required time and resources needed to make the transaction happen while achieving more or equal money in your pocket than working with the best real estate professionals in your location?
- You may or may not have the expertise needed to generate the top dollar transaction impacting your bottom line.
- Are you a skilled negotiator, marketer, analyst, and salesperson?
- You will likely be negotiating against seasoned professionals who negotiate for a living. These negotiation experts understand the transaction process and how to use the terms of the Sales Agreement to benefit their client by deploying negotiation tactics and tricks that more often than not result in harm to the uninformed.
- A Buyer’s Agent’s sole responsibility is to help their client, THE BUYER, get the best deal possible.
- You open yourself up to legal liability beyond most homeowners’ realization that can burn thousands of dollars and even lead to criminal charges if you do not honor the legal requirements surrounding disclosure.
- You must know the rules around disclosure and fraud before selling your house and be confident that you are doing the right things required by law.
- Contrary to common belief an “AS IS” contract does not protect the seller against fraud and misrepresentation.
Key Point: AS IS Contracts
Contrary to common belief an “AS IS” contract DOES NOT protect the seller against fraud and misrepresentation.
***Sell a lemon and you are likely to get more than lemonade coming back at you unless you know the proper procedures to follow.
STATISTICS: Homes sold without a real estate agent
National studies show that the grand majority of properties sold without an agent commonly experience:
FAILURE TO SELL
- Your home may not sell, wasting valuable time due to a lack of know-how and the time, resources, and energy required to successfully sell the home, house, land, or any piece of real estate.
- If a homeowner is in distress, a home not selling quickly can cause devastating effects including:
- Unnecessary and avoidable foreclosure.
- In the best case, time is money: spending more money on expenses associated with owning a home that hasn’t sold, very quickly chipping away at any “perceived” savings they hoped to achieve by selling their home on their own.
LONGER DAYS ON MARKET
- May take longer to sell due to a lack of marketing, contract, negotiation, and transaction process know-how.
LOWER SALES PRICE
- May or may not sell for less than comparable properties because of many factors:
- SELLING TO SOMEONE YOU KNOW: Studies show that direct transactions (a transaction between a seller and buyers they know) often sell far below their potential home value due to the personal connection and a perception of “fairness”. Don’t receive less and allow yourself to be robbed of your equity.
- While there are conflicting studies, some reports say that homes sold without real estate professionals commonly sell for 26% below comparable properties, while other studies suggest the opposite.
DON’T GET EATEN ALIVE BY THE SHARKS
Lambs for the slaughter. Professional investors, skilled real estate agents, and even savvy prospective buyers know that property being sold directly by a seller is generally the easiest target for a price reduction as most direct sellers are unskilled negotiators. In other words, the sharks generally see properties being sold directly by the owner as low-hanging fruit.
Very few homeowners could negotiate to save a life if their life depended on it, and are grossly overconfident in their negotiation abilities when it comes to selling their own home.
Key Point: Selling to Someone You Know Can Cost You THOUSANDS More Than Paying a Commission
If you’re considering selling your home at a discount SIMPLY BECAUSE SOMEONE KNOWS YOU instead of selling for fair-market home value on the open market for other buyers and putting more profit in your pocket, you’re either: Uncommonly generous, fiscally irresponsible… Or, you better have a really compelling reason to do so…
Example: WHY would you GIVE AWAY thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, to someone else who is providing you with something you could get elsewhere at a lower cost under better circumstances? (aka. YOU CAN SELL FOR MORE MONEY!)
STILL WANT TO SELL YOUR HOME FSBO? Read on to learn how:
How to Sell Your Property Without an Agent, and what gets in the way
First impressions matter when competing with new listings. The main reason things do not sell is basic. Asking price and strategy. Because what I am about to tell you is so basic, most people overlook its importance. Selling anything requires the ability to see into the other person’s perspective and sense their needs beyond your own.
Put bluntly: Your feelings on what your home is worth are not half as important as what the buyer activity says your home is worth. If you intended to sell your home in a reasonable amount of time or have it ever sold you need to listen to how the market responds to your asking price. Make sense?
As a SELLER OF ANYTHING, you must put yourself in your TARGET BUYERS’ shoes looking solely from their perspective, not your own. This is generally very difficult, and in my experience nearly impossible for most people considering selling their home without someone to check their worst impulses and ground them in reality, which believe it or not, is one of the most important skills of a comprehensive listing agent vs. a basic listing agent.
USE THIS FREE HOME VALUATION TOOL FOR MORE INFO TO BEGIN DETERMINING AN INITIAL ASKING PRICE FOR YOUR HOME.
Top 8 Pre-Marketing Preparations You MUST DO To Make The Most Profit When You Sell Your Home:
The first impression is lasting. Prepare properly before going to market!
Price your real estate correctly BEFORE listing.
- Hire someone to help you assess the fair market value and the initial asking price of your property to overcome owner confirmation bias. A successful seller receives what the market can bare.
- Understand your local selling conditions and how they may impact your price to ultimately determine the fair market home value.
- Understand the best market position strategies before you list your property publicly by learning the 39 questions you should ask a realtor before hiring them.
Overcome your bias and avoid well-intentioned bad advice
- Know that homeowners almost always feel their property is worth more than it is and generally list it at an unreasonable asking price.
- A great real estate agent helps you check your worst impulses and grounds you emotionally during the marketing and transaction of your home, which for most people is a very stressful circumstance to help you get the most money possible.
- A bad real estate agent won’t tell you the hard information and will simply Yes-you-to-death losing you the best potential buyers and eating your profit.
Want to earn the most money when you sell your home? It makes sense that spouses, children, and neighbors are generally not reliable resources when it comes to business advice unless they qualify as active professionals in the field you desire advice within. Worse, because of a loved one’s goal to be liked and loved by you, and other emotional entanglements, a loved one seldom give objective guidance, if ever. A talented agent’s goal is to sell your home in an efficient, effective manner. Period.
How to increase your home’s appeal:
With curb appeal, a first impression is a lasting impression. Make sure your house leaves people dreaming of their first night sleeping in their new home.
Clean your house.
The importance of cleanliness can not be exaggerated in how it affects “curb appeal” and the price your home will demand. All human beings are impacted by their emotions, you need to pay attention to these free details. If you want the most money for your home make sure it sings cleanliness! For example, pay for pressure washing! Your front door, in addition to your sidewalk, and windows need pressure washing along with a fresh coat of paint!
Filth, clutter, and unkept exteriors can detract thousands of dollars from your final takeaway at closing. Clean those ceiling fans and vents, and fix all unsightly issues! Haven’t washed your windows since Aunt Beatrice visited… What are you waiting for? Pressure washing is good for your teeth, and it’s good for your sidewalks, windows, siding, and roof, do it. No seriously, the price is minimal and this should never be overlooked. Paying today equals savings tomorrow.
Check out this free home sale preparation guide and get more buyers and beat out the other homes listed.
Stage your home.
Have you researched the other homes listed? Staging your home is an essential step to making a good impression on prospective buyers and increasing your home’s appeal. Staging allows you to showcase the best features of your home and create certain emotional triggers in potential buyers. It also helps them envision themselves living in the property, thus creating better engagement and increasing demand. One of the most effective techniques when staging is performing all necessary repairs and minor renovations at minimal cost to you.
For example, doing necessary repairs before marketing your home is essential for making a good first impression on potential buyers and can save you the most money possible in a transaction. Consider selling early spring, replace broken fixtures, repair faulty wiring and plumbing problems, patch any holes in the walls or floorboards, and make sure everything functions as it should. Even seemingly minor repairs can go a long way in selling your property quickly and at top value leaving you with few buyers who will haggle during negotiation.
Make all necessary home renovations. Repair for a BIG impact on curb appeal and your money.
How does your home’s appeal compare to other homes listed for buyers? Dirty or broken ceiling fans? Old worn-out laminate flooring? Broken vinyl siding? Half done renovations? Most buyers desire curb appeal. Spruce up your home before listing it on the market to make a lasting positive impact.
Many free, small, and inexpensive projects like scrubbing every surface, a fresh coat of paint, deep cleaning carpets, vinyl siding, laminate flooring, replacing old ceiling fans, tidying up landscaping, applying a fresh coat of paint on the front door, resanding or finishing your exterior to make your deck look like a new deck, and updating light fixtures can go far in improving the overall look of your home for buyers. If you’re willing to invest more time and a bit more money into home renovations, you can also consider changing out your front door and cabinet hardware, replacing countertops, or refacing cabinets.
Replacing older appliances with Energy Star-rated models and installing new flooring are also great ways to add home value. Taking on major remodeling projects like extending or building a new deck, or adding a room addition can significantly increase the price of your home sale.
Makes sense right? Only investors and the truly desperate want a broken-down, dirty home, and these people will almost always offer you less money. You’re competing with all the other buying options.
This free home preparation guide is a detailed list of exactly what you should do to prepare your home to be sold to reap the most money possible from buyers!
Vet and assemble your real estate team.
- Hire the right real estate agent.
- Hire the right home valuation expert, typically a real estate broker.
- Pay for a pre-home sale inspection from a qualified and licensed home inspector.
- Find and enlist a preferred mortgage lender.
- Retain a trustworthy Real Estate Attorney.
- Retain a closing and escrow/title company.
Require the buyer to provide an earnest deposit.
- Give them time to close and get their money in order
- A strong mortgage broker can help restructure a buyer’s mortgage lending for free to you and help them purchase your home in as little as seven days!
Don’t let the target buyer move into the property before closing.
- Know the laws in your area, and don’t become a victim to predators and would-be opportunists. Talk to agents and attorneys for more info.
Be at all home tours and inspections to prevent burglary, damage, and potential squatters moving in.
- One of the jobs of a great agent is to keep watch over your property when the public is in the home. If you are doing this on your own, make sure to protect your personal belongings and property from buyers.
- Squatter laws vary from state to state. Squatters can pretend to be buyers. Be aware as an owner that you can be rendered powerless for an undetermined amount of time simply by not realizing someone has moved into your property without authorization and now has occupancy rights in your home. Be informed and protect yourself.
- Know who is coming and going from your property and if your home is being sold vacant, make sure to check in on the property routinely to make sure no “buyers” have moved in.
Key Point: Your Initial Offering Price Matters
- The initial offering of your property is one of the most fundamental steps in determining how to make the most money from your home sale.
- Investing time and money correctly during each stage of the marketing process will provide you with a greater financial return.
- Making mistakes in the initial offering, such as not employing professionals to help, can cause you to lose more money than the amount saved.
- If you price your property too high no buyers seeking a mortgage will qualify.
Pro-Tip: Marketing, If No One Knows, No One Cares
Marketing is one of the most important parts of any transaction. You can have the best product in the world and if no one knows about it, no one will want to buy it.
To win any game you must understand your competition.
Accurately evaluating your competition is one of the most important keys to your success when considering selling your home. Professional marketing and home sales agents will be your strongest competition for buyers. The great ones are master marketers, home sales professionals, and negotiation sharks who specialize in selling property every day. Let’s briefly look at the different types of “listing” agents.
How to Market Your Property Like a Professional:
Learn from the best in the business how to do what you intend to do to attract the best buyers. The only way to compete with others effectively is to understand who your competitors are and what they do to dominate their local housing market. In this section, we will overview the different types of listing agents and explore what sets them apart from one another. The rest is up to you to learn and deploy to ultimately sell your property for top net proceeds keeping more money in your pocket.
Comprehensive Listing, Marketing, and Home Sales Agents vs. Basic Listing Agents
Each legally working Realtor or agent holds a license and has the legal right to represent their client. However, this in no way guarantees that they can perform the same level of service or that they have similar skills and abilities. Money usually follows skill.
For example, if you are looking for a surgeon to perform a highly specialized and very high-risk medical procedure that can either save the life or deny the future of someone you love, are you going to look for the cheapest guy or gal with a knife?
Too often would-be sellers price shop for real estate professionals instead of looking for what the agent can provide and how this will best empower the owner to achieve their ultimate goals!
Choosing a professional to represent you should be directed by how good they are and what they can do for you. If one service provider is a bit cheaper but screws up the deal costing you significantly more money than you saved working with them you’ll end up losing more than you “saved”. Don’t be cheap when selling one of the most important assets in your life. Find the best in the business and hire them.
Comparing different quality levels of agents:
- A basic agent (puts the property on the MLS) produces fewer buyers
This commonly includes flat fee services and brokerages, and low-quality agents who have low confidence in their abilities, skills, and track record.
- A comprehensive agent (marketing, home sale, and negotiation expert)
If a realtor claims to be a comprehensive agent, then this person or team should also be a marketing expert, a seasoned negotiator, and a skilled transaction agent with the knowledge, skills, and team to complete a deal promptly while being able to overcome unanticipated problems with buyers when they arise.
Many agents pitch that they are a “full-service agent” and most uniformed consumers accept this without digging deeper. Learn to ask the right questions.
- A skilled realtor anticipates problems before they arise and has solutions already in place.
- A skilled realtor is a professional in multiple disciplines.
Read more here to learn about the 39 questions you MUST ask an agent before you hire them.
Key Point: Most Agents Don’t Know How To Market
- Most AGENTS don’t even know the difference between a comprehensive listing, marketing, and home sale professional, and how their offerings to list a home are flimsy at best compared to their competition and result in fewer buyers.
- Simply putting a home on the MLS is NOT a properly marketed home.
- Most agents DON’T offer performance guarantees and have little, if any, skin in the game when they take on the responsibility of selling your house!
UNDERSTANDING YOUR COMPETITION: The Key Differences Between a “Comprehensive Listing and Marketing Agent” vs. a “Basic Listing Agent”
The difference between a high-quality Comprehensive Listing and Marketing Agent and a low-quality Basic Listing agent is outstanding. You wouldn’t hire a first-year medical student to do brain surgery on someone you love, and since you deserve the best of the best to represent you in one of the most important transactions of your life you should only work with excellent home sales and marketing talent.
Pro-Tip: Choosing the Right Agent Matters
Most agents are “Basic Agents”, only the best are “Comprehensive Listing and Marketing Agents”. The best break records, the rest drive rusty cars.
When most people think of selling their home on their own without a realtor it is for good reasons. You want to live your best life responsibly managing your resources as best as possible for you and the ones you love. Growing your wealth, through investing it properly, is the key to building prosperity, security, and living a happy life.
As stated above, before you sell your home it is also wise to have an exit plan for your net proceeds in advance, in which you are informed on how to utilize the net proceeds of your home sale without giving the bulk of your proceeds to Uncle Sam and his ever-hungry taxation hands. In this article, you can learn how to protect your net proceeds of the home sale, advanced mortgage concepts, potentially avoid taxation completely, and grow your wealth.
The decision to sell your home is a large event full of many complex emotions, and demands, and as you can now see a multitude of advanced skills that require significant time and effort. Selling your house on your own is possible, however, four questions remain:
- Is it worth the time and effort?
- Do you have the skills, resources, and knowledge needed?
- Are you willing to trade the time and deal with the stress to do this alone?
- Are you confident that you can do a better job and net more profit than if you had hired the best professional in your area?
Whenever you consider doing anything in life, research is a valuable tool to make sure you are informed and walk boldly into your decisions with the knowledge, skills, and expertise to achieve your goals. If there is one thing I have learned personally and professionally over my 20+ years in business, managing my own growing family, and trying to balance a social life and personal time to remain healthy, it’s that sometimes its simply best to hire someone else to do the job so that my time and effort can better be used to live an enjoyable life.
Hiring consummate professionals starts with understanding what separates the real champions from the rest so that you can ask your potential hires the right questions. Leverage is the most powerful tool utilized by all people who achieve true wealth and prosperity. Leveraging other people’s knowledge is the beginning of personal growth.
Leveraging other people’s time and effort is the key to lasting scalable success. While doing things on your own may seem like the most productive use of time, for most people, it’s generally best to employ the highest quality professionals you can afford to do things right so that you achieve the best results possible.
No price can be put on happiness. If you save some change but it destroys your marriage, causes you to get sick, or leads to misery in some way, is it worth it? For me, the answer is, “No”, nothing is more valuable than the health and happiness of my home. You will have to answer this question on your own.
What can you do with the time and energy you save without taking on unproductive and unnecessary stress? Learning to leverage other people is one of the superpowers you must learn if you desire genuine prosperity. Leverage people’s time, and learn the difference between good and bad debt to build wealth.We love helping clients just like you find the best deals in the market, and sell their houses for the highest net return possible. In homage to my grandfather who truly taught this boy to fish and my mother who taught me never to give up, I hope you found this educational and that you use this information to build generational wealth. You’re welcome to reach out if you want to learn how to build wealth through real estate.
Best wishes to you in life and if you feel this article is valuable please share it with everyone you know.
James R. Ruff
About the Author
James R. Ruff – With 30+ years in real estate construction, investing, and brokerage, having studied at Harvard Business School, James Ruff leads The James Ruff Group Real Estate Brokerage Firm as Principal Broker and Owner.
Operating from offices at Madison Park in Manhattan, New York, The South of Fifth in Miami, Florida, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, his team of expert advisors specializes in luxury residential and commercial properties throughout the USA.
James Ruff’s team is dedicated to helping you build wealth, security, and happiness through quality real estate guidance, one transaction at a time, for a lifetime.
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