The 4 Methods For Selling Your House by:Steve Teta
There are several methods for selling your house, with advantages and disadvantages to each. How fast you will sell your house is dependent on how many other houses are on the market; the current desirability of your neighborhood; the price you are advertising compared to the others on the market; and how your house compares in size, condition, and amenities to the other houses on the market.
There are four methods you can use to sell your house. The first is to employ the services of a real estate agent. They are trained professionals who will assist you in finding a buyer, and will help you with various steps along the way. They charge a commission based on a percentage (usually between 5% - 7%) of the sales price.
You can also go for the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route and save the commissions that are charged. When you choose this method, you do the marketing and advertising of your home to find a buyer. You are in control throughout the whole process. It will be up to you to handle the incoming phone calls; schedule the showings; sell the house; negotiate the terms of your agreement; and complete a Purchase and Sales Agreement.
A variation of the FSBO is to use a flat fee listing company like BuyOwner.com which will charge you a flat rate fee to help you market your house to find a buyer. They provide marketing tools and some training on how to locate a buyer and negotiate a deal. The difference between them and a real estate agent is that they show you what to do, and you do it. The agent, on the other hand, handles everything for you.
The final method is to sell directly to a real estate investor. These are individuals in your community who are looking to buy homes on a regular basis. You contact them, tell them about your house; and if they are interested, they will make an offer to purchase your home very quickly.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Each of these methods has advantages and disadvantages to you based on how much you want to pocket yourself from the sale, how much work you want to do yourself, your knowledge of the home selling process, how quickly you need to sell, and the current condition of your home. No one can make this decision for you. It is a personal decision. You have to think about what you need and want at this point in your life and make the best decision for you. The difference is what you want from the whole experience. With that in mind, lets explore the advantages and did advantages of each of these methods so you can make the decision for you based on your current situation.
Real Estate Agents
The biggest advantage of using a real estate agent that they handle the marketing and sales process for you, and you only have to pay them if they find a buyer. They will advertise your home in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which is the service that other realtors review when their clients are looking to buy a house. You home has immediate exposure to all the buyers agents. A good agent will also look for other ways to market your house. They will do open houses, place ads in homes for sale magazines, and invite agents from other offices to preview your home. And since they provide a lockbox on your door, you do not have to be home for agents to be able to show your house. When an offer comes in, they will help you with the negotiations, and they will follow up on all steps required to get you to the closing table.
The disadvantage of using an agent is that you pay a commission on the sale of the house. As I said earlier, this can amount to 5% - 7% of the sales price of the house. So on a $100,000 sales price, you would pay them between $5,000 - $7,000 for their services. Since they are not paid unless they sell the house, many agents will not spend any additional money to market your house. They are afraid that they may not sell your house, and so they will never get back the money they spent. My question for agents with that attitude is: If you arent sure you can sell my house, why would I want to list with you?
Which leads to another disadvantage: since the agent works off of commission, if your house it not easy to sell, they will often just list it on the MLS, but do little else to promote it in the marketplace. You should also be aware that some agents use a concept of listing as many houses as possible with the idea that some will sell, and some will not. Theyll make their money of whichever ones sell. Thats fine for them. But if your home is not one of the houses that happens to sell, it could sit on the market for a long time with no one working to locate a buyer.
Finally, real estate agents lock you into a listing contract for a specified period of time which prevents you from selling the house yourself without paying them a commission. This works fine when they quickly bring you a buyer, but if the process is delayed, it can be very frustrating not to be able to take matters into your own hands and locate a buyer yourself.
Selling Your House Yourself
If you decide to go the FSBO (for sale by owner) route, you retain full control of the process, and you save the 5% - 7% commission. You can invest your money into marketing to advertise your house by running ads in the paper or in real estate for sale magazines. You decide who enters your home, and when.
The challenge of FSBO is being able to get the information about your house sale in front of enough people quickly to get it sold. Also, everything is left up to you. You will also need to be available to show the house, negotiate the terms of the sale, and complete a Purchase and Sales Agreement with your Buyer. Be sure to consistently follow-up on the status of their loan application so you have no surprises and no delays before closing.
Flat Fee Listing Services
Flat Fee Listing Services such as BuyOwner.com offer that half way point between the real estate agent and selling the house yourself. They offer some marketing for you, show you ways to market your property, and show you how to walk through the negotiating and contract phase with your potential buyers.
The down side is that there is an up-front cost associated with this service, and no guarantee that you will find a buyer. After going this route, you may still find that you need to contract a real estate agent which means that you will pay for both this service and the agents services.
Real Estate Investors
All of the methods for selling your house that we have discussed so far depend on locating a buyer for your house. When you contact a Real Estate Investor, you are dealing directly with someone who wants to buy your house not list it for sale. If you are looking for a very quick sale, or if your house is not in prime condition, this is often your best alternative. Once you call an investor, they will ask you about your house, the repairs that are needed, your current situation, and why you are selling your home. Theyll use that information to create an offer that works both for you and for them. Generally, they will close (buy your house) as quickly as you need, or stretch out the closing date if you need additional time.
The biggest advantage is that you are dealing with a buyer, so once you come to an agreement, your house is as good as sold. All you need to do is start packing. You dont need to worry about if and when the house is going to sell. You wont have a bunch of strangers walking through your house at unpredictable times. And youll have no repairs to make since an investor will buy house in its current condition.
They have all of the necessary forms and will handle everything for you. You just need to show up to collect your money.
If you decide to work with a real estate investor, youll want to find one who is concerned with your situation and is looking for a way to structure the sale so you both get what you want. Unfortunately, not every investor is created equal. A good investor has numerous techniques for buying your house, and can create flexible programs that meet your needs.
Which Is The Best Method
The best method is different for different people in different situations. When you want to sell a house that is in good condition in a desirable area, and you have the time to wait for a buyer, then any of the first three methods will work for you. If the sales and marketing process scares you, then you should turn it over to a real estate agent to handle the process for you.
If you want to save he commission, and do not mind advertising to find buyers and feel comfortable with the sales process, then you should try the FSBO method. If you need a little help the fee-based companies like BuyOwners.com may be your best bet. You pay a fee up front, but they help you with the marketing and sales process. And you will save money.
If, however, your house is in poor condition and needs a lot of repairs; or if you just need to sell quickly with no hassles and no bother, then a real estate investor is your best bet. And remember, it costs nothing to call them out to give you an offer on your home.
About the author
Steve Teta is the owner and Founder of STS Real Estate Solutions, LLC and is an active real estate investor and wholesaler. To receive more information and your FREE report entitled How To Buy A Wholesale Deal Without Taking A Bath go to: http://www.stswholesaledeals.com/