When most people sell their homes, they do so with the help of a realtor. This is because real estate transactions are confusing, and realtors have a unique understanding of how to navigate their complexities. Yet, you may dislike the idea of paying a realtor a substantial commission.
To maximize the proceeds of your home’s sale, you may feel inclined to list it by-owner. Before moving forward with this decision, it is important to understand the pitfalls that could come with it.
Pricing your home
As you prepare to sell your home, you will need to make sure its listing price is fair. While you can use websites like Zillow to research the value of comparable homes in your area, you must also account for the factors unique to yours. Depending on your home’s features and condition, this could be difficult, and you may end up settling on a listing price that is too low or too high. If you choose to work with a realtor, though, they can gauge these factors – and use their knowledge of the current market – to determine an appropriate listing price.
Showing your home
If you work with a realtor, not only will they show your home for you, they will make it easy for other agents to show it to their clients. If you sell your home on your own, this will not happen. Without a realtor’s assistance, you become responsible for scheduling your own showings. Furthermore, due to the absence of a professional on your end of the transaction, many agents will not schedule showings of your home for prospective buyers. And if you do not have a real estate license, you cannot list your home on the Multiple Listing Service that realtors use. As a result, you will have to do more work to market your home to potential buyers, which could drag out its sale.
Filling out paperwork
The most difficult part of real estate transactions is completing the paperwork involved. This begins with the seller’s disclosure, which details any known issues with your home, and extends to documents related to the offer, sale and closing. By selling your home without a realtor’s help, you must complete all your paperwork on your own. Any mistakes you make, specifically on the seller’s disclosure, could put you at legal risk. To avoid this outcome, you must make sure you execute your paperwork in the proper manner. An attorney with experience in real estate law can help you navigate this process.
While some people can their home without a realtor’s help, they are the exception, rather than the norm. To determine whether this course of action makes sense for you, you will want to consider if you can handle most aspects of the transaction on your own, if you can learn about the aspects of the transaction unfamiliar to you and if you are willing to seek legal help as needed.