If you are looking in NC, there is the NCFHA program that helps you pay down debt and increase your income to improve DTI. This program is part of the lending package with specific lenders that are qualified to write it. It is a state program designed to help first time home buyers. Let me know if you would like some more information as there are some income guidelines and such. I have a client that used it to move out of an apartment and get their very first home that I would be happy to get you in touch with as well. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-759-6168... more
Selling your home by owner (FSBO) takes the investment of time, energy and money. A "For Sale" sign in your front lawn is typically not sufficient to sell a home, even in a "hot" real estate market.
Home buyers nowadays search online real estate sites for homes in the area and they know what homes like yours are selling for. FSBO sellers often overprice their homes based on what they want to get out of the home, not what comparable homes are selling for. A report on FSBO sales from NAR (National Association of Realtors) showed that do it yourself home sellers find that home pricing for the market is one of the most difficult aspects of selling on their own. Buyers are aware that most sales thru agents involve a 5 to 7% commission. You, the seller, wants to put that extra money into your pocket. But so does the buyer. Some sellers can negotiate a better deal on their own but many do not and the statistics prove this. Most home sellers are using real estate agents to sell their homes because they know the home will sell for more money, even factoring in the commission.
If you decide to sell without the assistance of a Realtor, you will need to consider the best ways to market your home. You'll need high quality photos of the exterior and interior of your home and write a marketing description of your home that advertises it's best features and invites buyers to contact you. You will have to write and pay for open house ads in your local newspaper. You'll need to be able to handle criticism of your home from strangers.
One of the main marketing tools not open to the true FSBO is the local MLS. Thousands of agents will see and promote your listing to customers if it's listed thru an agent in the MLS. The MLS data feeds are picked up by many other real estate web sites as well, so your property will be seen by a much larger volume of potential buyers vs hand posting your property to a few FSBO listing sites.
Another aspect of selling your home without an agent is time required. This is not just the time needed to prepare your home for sale by doing things such as painting, removing clutter, making repairs to make it more appealing to buyers. Do you personally have the time to market your home, posting it on individual web sites, holding open houses, setting up showing appointments with prospective buyers that may not even be qualified financially to purchase your home? Are you available seven days a week to show your home to buyers?
Safety can also become a factor. Exactly who are you inviting into your home? Are they qualified buyers or someone with other motives?
What if your home sits on the market for any length of time? A real estate agent can provide valuable feedback from showings (what buyers did and didn't like about your home) and keep you updated on the current market and sales.
An experienced real estate agent has a large network of contacts and resources to effectively market and sell your home. They will screen potential buyers for you, they will go over offers and contracts with you, provide you with the estimated closing costs associated with any offer, help you through the home inspections process and find the appropriate vendors to make required repairs if necessary. They will make sure you complete the appropriate disclosures when required. This is a litigious society and a lawsuit by a disgruntled buyer can quickly cost you more than the cost of the real estate commission had you listed your home with an agent. A real estate agent won't have an emotional attachment to the home and therefore can be objective regarding marketing, negotiations, inspections, etc. An experienced agent can help you effective negotiate with buyers on contract terms without it getting "personal." They will go thru closing documents and the closing numbers with you and attend to the multitude of other details involved in getting your transaction to closing that you have not even thought of at this time. A real estate agent wears many hats.
If, after reading this, you decide to go it alone, I would suggest interviewing at least 2 or 3 local attorneys who deal in real estate transactions and hire one to give you representation for writing the actual contract, making any state required disclosures and handling the actual closing on your behalf.... more