Do I Have What it Takes to Sell my Own Home?
When it comes to being frugal, a general rule to save money is to DIY wherever you can. But are all tasks translatable, or are there some things that are more effectively (and more profitably) handled by a professional?
Certainly, with the emergence of the For Sale by Owner market in real estate, there has been an increased level of participation from the average person in the sale of their own home. It’s true that by selling your own home, you can save tons of money on commission. However, it’s not necessarily as cut and dried as that. There are things to consider before you stick your sign in the ground.
What do you know about the Market?
There are numerous variables that will impact the potential sale of your home. Things like where you live (not just what city, but what neighbourhood),price point and what kind of housing type you have (condo, detached, townhouse, etc.) that will impact both the ease with which and speed of how you sell.
If you plan to sell your own home, make sure you have studied the market. What do similar houses in your area go for? What sort of extras and amenities do they have? Are they similar to what you have to offer? How long were these houses on the market? What percentage of asking price did sellers get?
You may be able to gather much of this information through media reports and through online resources, or you may be better served to make use of a realtor’s ready resources.
Don’t Underestimate the Time Commitment
If your work schedule and/or personal life permits you great flexibility, then selling your own home might be a cost-effective way of doing business for you. Be aware of the fact that you are the one responsible for scheduling and conducting showings and hosting open houses- in addition to the other rigours of selling your house (keeping it clean, staging it effectively etc.).
If accommodating this kind of schedule sounds like a bit of a scheduling nightmare, you may be better served to defer to the pros.
What is Your Motivation to Sell?
Are you curious as to what you might get for your home, and would be happy if it sold, but also wouldn’t be crushed if you had to take it off the market? A flexible timeline and price point is supportive to DIY when it comes to real estate.
However, if you are looking to generate a certain return (even minus commissions) and are constricted by tighter timeline (i.e. you’ve put a bid in on another property), than you might sleep easier if you could defer some of these tasks.
What Kind of Negotiator are You?
Do you relish the thought of sparring and talking numbers with potential buyers, or are you either too emotionally attached to the property to be reasonable or the thought of engaging in head-to-head price and condition negotiations make you nervous?
Are you comfortable with paperwork and fine print, or is that something that you feel that is not within your realm?
Again, both points to consider if you are planning to DIY your sale, or if you are looking for professional guidance.
Take into All Accounts all of the Costs
Many people are put off by the large commissions associated with real estate. If keeping as much money as you can in your own pocket is your strongest motivator, then make sure that you are calculating all the costs.
If you are in a hot market, than these are not as much of an issue, but if you are taking a less aggressive sales position, your home may be on the market for longer. If that is the case, include carrying costs (things like extra mortgage payments and extra interest payments) that can effectively eat away at some of the savings you might have on straight commission.
If You Do Bring in the Professionals…
There huge competition amongst realtors. If you are going to pay out commissions, make sure that you find a realtor that fits with your objectives. Interview several. Get references. Ask about things like advertising, networking, staging advice and sales strategies. You might even be able to negotiate commissions. In short, find out what you are going to pay for, and if it makes sense for your budget, risk tolerance and home sales objectives.