I'd also suggest finding an agent like Luther. (I'm not specifically recommending him, but certainly someone with his outlook and perspective.) Someone who's willing to assist you, run comps, etc. If you ARE able to sell on your own, great . . . and odds are you'll recommend the agent to others who want to sell, but don't want to go FSBO. And if you aren't able to sell on your own (and the statistic is that about 85% of FSBO end up selling through agents), then you've likely found an agent who can help you when you decide to list.
Hope that helps.
I'm in Baltimore Maryland so obviously I can't get your business. And I don't know enough about your market to tell you whether or not an agent is more or less certain to get you more of what you want. But I will encourage you to see whether or not the advice I am giving Maryland fsbo homesellers is applicable in your market.:
- stage your house and put up your sign. Write your phone number big enough so that people can see it without stopping their car
- call the broker at 3 or 4 real estate offices. Tell them that you want to sell by owner but that you'd love to meet with a well qualified agent and give them a shot to convince you that you are wrong. Insist on the same comparative market analysis that they would prepare for a stronger listing prospect.
-take notes when you meet the agents. Ask questions. Listen. Listen. Listen. See what they think of your price. See what they think you could stage differently. Find out how much commission you need to offer the agents of prospective buyers. Ask them for sample marketing materials.
-now, if you decide to continue on your own, take some good pictures and invest in flyers/brochures. Market your home on at least all the free internet sites
-send thank you cards and a token of appreciation to the professionals who helped you and their brokers. Send them multiple copies of your marketing materials. If there is one agent that you really connected with, let them know that if you are not successful on your own then you may call upon them for service. Let everyone know what you are willing to pay a buyer's agent.
There are websites that will help you sell your own home (Google "for sale by owner" to learn more.) However there is much to think about when considering whether you want to do it yourself or hire an agent to do it for you. Selling a home is a lot of work in this market! I would suggest that you talk to some agents in your area, think about what they offer and what you can do for yourself. You also should consider the possibility that a professional sometimes (but not always) can get you more money for your home by professionally marketing it. And provide you some advice about staging the home so it sells more quickly (which can save you the carrying costs of owning the home.) Finally, even if you decide to sell it yourself, you will learn much from talking to agents, who are usually happy to help. In the process, you will probably find an agent that you would like to work with if you try selling it yourself but change your mind later.
I can appreciate the fact that you would like to try and sale your home on your own for a while. I would suggest looking into the just becoming familiar with the paper work and disclosures needed to present to your potential buyers required by PA and RESPA. I do service the Monroeville area and if you'd like shoot me any email and I can provide you with some copies of the documents you'll need. I've done it for others selling on their own. Some were successful and others decided to enlist my help after trying for some time on their own.
Other agents ask why do I help owners trying to sell on their own. My answer is because the most important thing to me is my reputation in the communities I work in. If I could just help you in a small way, so that in the future if you or someone you know would need a real estate agent you would think of me. My contact info is on my site please feel free to take me up on my offer to help.
I like to save money as well.
You can do some of the work yourself that a Realtor does (buy and install a sign in your yard, buy advertising space, place and maintain the listing on the internet, pay for and place advertisements, contact everybody you know and let them spread the word, show the property to prospective Buyer's, and negotiate a sale to name a few).
But a Realtor will get you more because a Realtor has a larger network of contacts including the multi-list system to get your property maximum exposure to the largest pool of Buyers. Also a good experienced Realtor knows the intricacies and how to maneuver through this trying market and the challenges with financing as well as to help you by preparing the necessary paperwork (Agreement Of Sale, etc.), negotiate the sale, and coordinate the sale all the way through closing, etc. A good experienced Realtor knows these things because they do it everyday and have been doing it for a long time and their livelihood relies on them doing it well. Many years ago I read a book on mechanics and tried to do work on my car. After many hours of work, I took it to a mechanic. He had to undo what I had done and quickly he had my car working well. It cost me more then if I would gone to the professional mechanic in the first place.
A good experienced Realtor can save you money.
If you would like to view some of the many forms involved in the sale of real estate please visit http://www.BlairCohen.com and click on both the "Seller" and Buyer" sections. You will need to know about buying as well as selling if you want to go it alone.
I live in Monroeville and have been helping people sell homes in Monroeville (including University Park) for 34 years. if you would like an advocate, someone in your corner to help you sell your house, someone who has been doing it for a long time or you just have questions , feel free to call me.
I think that you are making a mistake by not hiring a Real Estate Professional. The current market is very challenging and every Seller needs all the help available to get the highest possible price through creative marketing. You will most probably get the commission more than paid for if you use a Realtor to properly market your house by getting a higher sale price. Please at least interview a few Realtor's that work in your area to see what that they can do to sell your home.