Do You Really Need An Estate Agent To Sell Your House?
The housing market can be tough, and as such, sellers are looking to cut as much costs as they can.
One of the opportunities that many consider is to sell the house without an agent and save on the estate fees.
If you have ever browsed through property listings, you have probably come across the phrase “for sale by owner” or simply FSBO.
This move will potentially save you thousands.
If the estate agents cost that much, do you really need them? Well, before you go all out on your own, ask yourself these 5 questions.
1. Do You Know The Value Of Your Property?
One of the main purposes of hiring an estate agent is to know how to price the property right for the prevailing market.
One of the main mistakes that FSBO sellers make is to price the property too high. This results in properties languishing in the market listings for long periods.
And when the property has been in the market for too long, buyers start wondering what could be wrong with it, and avoid it even more.
If you are not conversant with property pricing, it would be advisable to research on the final sales pricing of similar houses in the locality.
You can check out online estate sites for pricing on similar properties.
You can also check out online estate agents and see at how much they can value your house.
Since pricing information is not readily available, you’ll need to be prepared to look at loads of data and figure out the right price for your house.
2. Can I Work With the Buyer’s Estate Agent?
In a typical transaction, the buyer’s and seller’s agents deal with the details of the transactions. Usually, the seller usually pays both agent an agreed upon commission once the sale goes through.
The commission given to either agent is negotiable.
However, when selling the house on your own, you may not know whether the buyer wishes to engage an agent or not.
If the buyer wishes to engage an estate agent, you will have to deal with him throughout the entire process, including the legalities of property ownership exchange.
Additionally, you will need to pay the agent the normal commission given to the buyer’s representative.
If you are not willing to pay any estate agent commission, including your buyer’s, chances are that there will be a considerable number of potential buyers that will be locked out.
This is mainly because the incentive for buyer agents to show their clients the property will be no more.
3. Are You Willing And Able To Take Up The Marketing Responsibilities?
If you have never sold property before, it is highly likely that you’ll underestimate the efforts involved in property marketing.
If you decide to go it alone, be prepared to aggressively market your house like the agent would: take photos and create a floorplan, prepare promotional fliers, and list the property in the right property portals such as Zoopla, Rightmove or OnTheMarket.
If you have no idea which portals are right for your property, you need to do a thorough research on the directories that your preferred buyers are visiting.
Additionally, you have to be prepared to handle the legalities of a house sale or hire a conveyancing solicitor to help you with the process.
4. How Will You Handle Criticism Of Your House?
One of the most overlooked aspects of selling property is the emotional bit, yet it is among the most important.
You have to bear in mind that buyers who are trying to negotiate for a lower price will probably criticise your house.
Alternatively, if your house is too highly priced or the marketing efforts are too shallow, you may not attract any interest from buyers.
Therefore, you can only objectively look at situations if you do not have any emotional attachment to the house.
5. Are You Able And Willing To Screen Potential Buyers?
If you have done your marketing and pricing right, chances are that you will attract a lot of interested buyers.
This means that you will get an array of people; those who can afford and those who can’t.
Therefore, you need to know how to sort out those who qualify to buy houses and those who do not.
You do to want to take your house off the market for someone who will not buy it.
Before you get excited and sign the selling contract, you need to know if that the buyer has enough funds to complete the process.
Some people may be willing to buy the property but are not eligible for mortgage and have no other means of funding.
If a speedy sale is your primarly goal then you may also want to approach the growing number of specialist cash house buying companies that are out there.
Be warned, there are many sharks in this industry and so there is a wrong way and a right way to sell your house fast for cash.
Do some research before calling these companies because before you know it you could easily be in over your head.
As you can see, it’s important that you know how to screen buyers and ask for pre-approval letters from lenders before you sign out your house.
Some Final Words of Caution
Selling property without an estate agent is an alluring idea. The thought of being able to sell the property and pocket the estate agent’s fee is often strong motivation.
However, before you take that leap, make sure you are adequately informed and prepared to take on the challenges of selling property on your own otherwise you do stand selling your house for less than you deserve to.