While the thought of selling your home without a Realtor may initially sound appealing, with thoughts of saving thousands of dollars by cutting out the middleman, in the end, it will probably cost you more than you think.

You are not the first person to think that you can go it alone when trying to sell your home, with the advances in technology and information at your fingertips.  The internet has sparked a DIY attitude for many home sellers who have wished they would have had a little professional help.

There is a long list of what Realtors bring to the table, but for those of you who still think you can do it on your own, here are just a few things to think about before you plunge ahead.

Pricing Your Home

There are several elements that go into pricing a home, and it takes an experienced professional to price a home the right way. Pricing a home accurately is a skill that experienced real estate agents spend years developing.

For the DIY seller, if you are using one of the many internet sites to assist you in pricing your home, you may want to think twice about the accuracy of the information you are getting.  According to an NBC Nightly News Report on May 26, 2017, there is a lawsuit being filed against Zillow stating that their  ‘zestimates’ are wrong.   Zillow estimates values for 110 million homes across America as “zestimates,” but many have questioned the company’s accuracy.

Listing Your Home

The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone.

Realtors list your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS.) This is the gold standard database used by almost everyone who is looking for homes. While you can sometimes pay a fee to get your house on the MLS, the Realtors for buyers are also not going to be willing to bring buyers to your house unless you are willing to pay them a commission.

Not to mention that most buyers are searching for their homes online.  Recent studies have shown that 92% of buyers search online for a home. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

Negotiations

For most people, buying and selling a home is the largest transaction they will make in their lives. Negotiating the selling price of a home is not the same as trying to get a few dollars off the used car you want or trying to get that great hotel room at a discount price.

There are a lot of people in the mix.  Not only do you have to be an expert communicator, but you have to understand the language and make sure all parties are happy with the deal and that you are getting the amount of money that you want in the first place.  Here is a short list of the people you will need to speak with.

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value
  • Your bank in the case of a short sale

The Closing

If you’ve made it this far on your own, congratulations!  House closings are extremely complicated and there are a lot of details to attend to before the closing can be done properly. If you are not a lawyer or an experienced real estate agent, then you run the risk of not having all of your paperwork and information ready for closing, and that means you may lose your buyer at the closing table.

Yes, you could have made it this far and lose your buyer.  If you want to make a profit and avoid problems at closing, then the best bet is to hire an experienced real estate agent and let them do all of the work.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.