How Can I Sell It Myself?

Asked by Deep Woods, Cookeville, TN Wed Dec 24, 2008

What is the best way to get my home sold if I am planning on selling it myself? I have the upmost respect for Realtors and what they do but I don't believe that my home is going to get sold in this area with the mark up necessary to pay one, especially considering that I haven't lived here very long. Is there any way that I can get my home listed on MLS without getting into an exclusive agency agreement with someone? Where can I advertise? How should I calculate exactly how much to add to my sale price above the amount that I owe so that I can cover all of the additional costs of selling?

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Lois Greenlee, , Quartzsite, AZ
Wed Dec 24, 2008
Seller, you have a good start. Find out exactly what the costs are in your area by asking a closing agency (in California they are called *escrow*) and ask them to give you an estimate. You are going to use one of them in the future when you sell. Look at your home and *stage* it. Does it need paint? Do you have clutter to remove? If you are were the Buyer, what do you see that catches your eye and detracts from the home. Fix these. Even so, you may be right: the market in your area may be such that you may not get the money from your home that you would prefer. The real question is: do you *have* to sell? Maybe you should wait until the market changes. Another question is *why* are you selling? If it is to capture a real estate investment that is incredible, maybe it is worth getting less (or writing a check to close the transaction) for a home that may go up 20% in the next 3 years versus an investment that may be 300% the value in the next three years. If you still want to sell. Make an information sheet that explains the property...everything you can think about the property... good and bad. Better for people to know what they are buying. You may be wise to interview area Realtors to see what they recommend about your home considering similar properties that may have sold in the area. You seem savvy about where your property should be advertised (the MLS). There are areas you can post your home for sale on the internet. Do people in your area read the newspaper? listen to the radio? just gather over coffer somewhere? Put your advertisements there. Ask everyone you know if they or someone they know would like to buy a home you your area? on your street? (hand them your info sheet). Who is buying in your area? The people from the *city* who would like to get-away? Advertise in the *city* paper. Make a list of everything you should do and check it off as it's done. You may be successful. You may choose to wait to sell. You may see the time, effort and eventually legal, procedural or technical expertise that's needed and go with one of your *respected* Realtors. The National Association of Realtors stats show homes listed with Realtors usually sell for 10% more than those sold by owner. You may want to save the strain on yourself. Or you may like it and just decide to become a real estate agent yourself someday. Since I'm not in your area, I cannot be more specific. You may ask for a *trade off* with a real estate professional. Ask them for a *staging* list in exchange for the name of a Buyer who came to see your property but learned it didn't fit their needs. (Ask the Buyer first if you can pass their name number on to a real estate person). Wish you success.
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David Chambe…, , Saint Petersburg, FL
Thu Dec 25, 2008
Should you choose to use an agent later please view my blog…

Since you are starting FSBO you could start collecting cards of realtors to interview later as they stop by.
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andrewblach…, Agent, Baxter, MN
Sat Jun 1, 2013
If you are in Australia you would use an agent assisted private sale company like PropertyNow and hopefully in teh USA this same methodology is possible when trying to do for sale by owner

Andrew Blachut
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Reham Hassan, , Cookeville, TN
Sun Aug 16, 2009
This is an old question so by now you should have an answer as to whether you can seel by yourself or not, but just in case others read this. As a realtor I have helped many FSBO sell their homes after being on the market for a long time. However, I have also seen some successful FSBO and some of them are sold in record time. From the successful examples I have seen, FSBO are either very successful within the first few days and maybe weeks or they will not be able to sell without the help of a realtor. It really depends more on location of the property which may sell the property on its own. I think you should of course follow all the rules that a listing in the market have to follow to attract those buyers from the curb to see the inside of your home and once insider make them want to buy it right away. I would be happy to give you more info.

Reham Hassan
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Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Thu Dec 25, 2008
MLS you have to be realtor post any property.

For Sale by owner homes last longer on market most likely seller contacts a realtor list home.

SUGGESTION: There are some flat fee listing agents who can post in MLS, everytime we have buyers as busy realtors drive past many homes that could a buyer interested however buyers like to leave up to realtors search for homes within there specification. Buyers dont have time investigate homes sold by owners.

NOTE: Seller no matter what must follow laws of that state to sale any property. Season veterans are out there who search for sellers take advantage of you next your sued.

REAL ESTATE AGENTS: must follow laws of states, e & o insurance if any gets sued its broker/agent not the owner.

SAFETY FOR FAMILIES: Real estate agents confirmed buyers are qualified by lenders prior to working with family, we ensure your safety when showing a home. FSBO (for sale by owner) how are you confirming who your showing the property to. REALTORS ensure our safety, some agents have lost their lifes or assualted by person(s) they did not qualify prior to working with them SAD but true !
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Megan Manly, Agent, Nashville, TN
Wed Dec 24, 2008
Good info, Lois. Thanks for covering a lot of that. I'd add this. Deep Woods (good name by the way), you are certainly in a tough spot needing to sell in such a short turnaround time.

You were asking about ways to get your home on the MLS. That is called a limited services flat fee service. I'm not sure who in Putnam County offers those services.

As far as figuring out how much the additional costs will be, I'd contact a real estate attorney who handles title and closings and have them walk you through that process. Of course, that may be costly based on who you choose.

Your best bet on advertising will be to reach out to the REALTOR community for buyer's agents to bring clients your way. The latest national statistics show that 84% of today's buyers are connecting to their home through their agent. That leaves only 16% of all serious buyers out there to connect with. You'll want to consider that in the budget also.

Baxter's a great place! I hope you the best to get it sold at the price you need and the time frame you want.
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