Using a Realtor

 

Selling Your Home Yourself (FSBO)

Preparing the Home for Sale   Can give an expert opinion on what repairs and updates would give you the best return on investment in your home sale. The Realtor has talked with many buyers in your market about their preferences and desires, so is in touch with what appeals to the consumer.   You do the repairs or updates that you think will be the most cost effective, doing your own research as you see fit.
         
Pricing the Home  
  • You have the final decision on the price using the Realtor’s market research, consulting advice, and your own insight as tools.
  • The Realtor has easy access to all of the recent sales information for your area, and is experienced in comparing the value of properties. He/she will prepare a thorough current market analysis (CMA) for your review.
  • Through his/her continued experience in the real estate market and analyzing sales information, the Realtor has thorough insight into current market activity and trends in your neighborhood and the area as a whole. This enables the Realtor to give you advice on pricing your house most optimally in light of your goals, your home’s condition and the market conditions.
  • List prices do not need to be ‘padded’ to account for a real estate commission. A Realtor will price your home comparable to the sales prices of other homes listed in the MLS. The average price per square foot of homes listed by Realtors sell for is quite often well over 6% more than the average price per square foot of homes sold For Sale By Owner in the same neighborhood. For this reason, even after paying a full commission, a seller who lists their home with a Realtor often puts more money in their pocket from the sale than they would if they were selling it on their own.
 
  • You decide this on your own based on your research and insight.
  • You can talk to neighbors about the sales of their homes and sometimes go inside their homes to see the exact upgrades, features, and condition of neighborhood homes.
  • Records of tax sales are available in the city or county’s public records for you to compare your home vs. others in the area.
  • Based on what you think is best.
         
Showing Your Home   You have many choices; you can decide with your Realtor which one will be best for your situation.

Here are a few of the more commonly used options:

  • Have your Realtor put a lock box on your home and have all Realtors call ahead to let you know when they will arrive for showings. The lock box requires special keys that Realtors use to unlock it, and it allows your Realtor to track exactly who is showing your home and when.
  • Have all Realtors call to ask your permission before the home is shown
  • Home can be shown in your absence if there is a lock box on your home or you give your Realtor a spare key.
  • Require your Realtor to be there during showings
 
  • You schedule showings as you see fit for times where you will be there to let a prospective buyer in to see your home.
  • Or, you can give a spare key to a trusted friend or neighbor to let prospective buyers see your home while you are away.
         
Timetable for Selling Your Home  
  • Home can go on the market as soon as the listing paperwork is signed; the home will go in the MLS within 24 hours.
  • In general, varies widely depending on the market conditions, location/amenities, condition, and other factors. A fairly priced home will usually sell more quickly.
  • With the market conditions in the Metro-Orlando area as of April 1, 2005, most homes that are listed in the MLS go under contract or ‘sale pending’ within 2 days to a week. This can vary with the price range your home is in, as well the factors listed above
 
  • Home can go on the market immediately; just put a sign in your yard
  • Sale can be quick if a neighbor or friend has already approached you with an offer to buy the home
  • In general, varies widely depending on the market conditions, if it is priced fairly, location/amenities, condition, how easy/difficult it is for potential buyers to find out about your home, and how aggressively you want to market it.
         
Marketing/Exposure  
  • A good Realtor keeps you informed of the market activity on your home, and keeps you in the loop throughout the entire transaction.
  • Marketing tools are used depending on what has proven to be the most effective for the type of home, location, price range, etc. Some examples of these tools include yard signs, flyers and virtual tours.
  • Your home is exposed to buyers all over the country through online marketing via Virtual Tours, Realtor.com (the most widely used real estate search engine), and other widely used websites. Today 71% of people begin their home search on the internet. Realtor.com has over 5.5 unique visitors per month, and 79% of all time spent on real estate websites is on Realtor.com.
  • Through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), your home’s info is readily available to all real estate agents in the area; who have direct connections with clients who are actively in the process of looking for homes.
  • Realtors get the word out about a property to their clients, sphere of influence, and other Realtors.
  You are in charge of marketing your home as little or as much as you desire. Some commonly used marketing techniques are:

  • Yard Signs
  • Info Boxes
  • Flyers given to friends and associates
  • Newspaper ads
  • For Sale By Owner websites
  • For Sale By Owner magazines
  • Any other marketing tool that you deem appropriate
         
Negotiation   There are myriads of negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment.

Your agent can help you objectively evaluate every buyer’s proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing — a lot of possible pitfalls. Your agent can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.

  You are responsible for negotiating the terms of the contract, as well as any additional negotiations afterwards directly with the buyer.

Some people who do For Sale by Owner enlist the services of a real estate attorney to review the contracts that buyers bring to the table.

         
Dealing with Potential Problems  
  • Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. Your agent can objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing.
  • An experienced Realtor has been through the home selling process hundreds of times. He or she knows what to expect, is familiar with the potential problems, hang-ups, and pitfalls of the process, so is therefore more able to ‘think ahead of the game’ to get you through the ‘turbulence’ of the transaction much more smoothly, easily, and cheaply.
  • A realtor is an advocate for your interests, and a consultant who listens and keeps your needs and goals at the forefront.
  • Is familiar with the normal pricing structures for title charges and other fees for selling a home, and can prevent you from being unknowingly overcharged.
 
  • You are responsible for dealing with problems as they arise during the transaction and doing any additional negotiating with the buyer.
  • Some For Sale By Owner sellers hire a real estate attorney to deal with potential legal problems and liabilities during the sale process.
  • Some For Sale By Owner websites have articles coaching sellers on how to deal with some problems as they arise. However, since real estate laws can differ from state to state, sellers may still need to consult a real estate attorney.
         
Additional Resources  
  • The required paperwork for a home sale alone can be overwhelming. A realtor will handle all of the paperwork and communication with the buyer’s agent, title company, and lender for you to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
  • A good realtor will know of a good title company to close your transaction, and will also have a list of reputable vendors to recommend for doing repairs and improvements to enhance the appeal and profitability of your home.
  • Your Realtor can refer you to another excellent Realtor to help you purchase a home in the area you are moving to and stay involved in the process to ensure you get the best service.
 
  • Do your own research about the home selling process via the internet, friends’ experiences and books written on the subject.
  • Some For Sale By Owner websites have lists of recommended real estate attorneys, title companies, and other vendors to help in your sale process.
  • Friends, neighbors, and business associates can be a source of referrals for reputable vendors.
  • Check the local Better Business Bureau for additional businesses.
         
Costs & Fees  
  • The sales commission is negotiated with the Realtor. A typical real estate commission that a seller pays at the close of the transaction is 6% of the sales price of the home. This commission is split between the buyer’s and the seller’s agents.
  • For all real estate sales, sellers are charged some customary fees such as taxes for the portion of the year that the home is owned by the seller, document stamps on the deed, etc.
  • A title company or attorney is paid to close the transaction. Title costs are determined by the sale price of the home, and include the title policy, title search fee, title exam fee, and closing fee.
  • Costs of repairs to items that are found in home and termite inspection reports vary according to the types of repairs and conditions negotiated into the contract.
  • Any of the buyer’s closing costs that you have agreed to pay as per the sales contract.
  • Your Realtor will give you an up front detailed estimate of all of the fees and costs involved in the sale so that you can plan ahead and have a good idea of what will be required of you.
 
  • You don’t have to pay a real estate commission unless you want to. Some FSBO sellers agree to pay a reduced commission when an agent representing a buyer brings in an acceptable contract. The commission is in exchange for the agent’s taking care of the paperwork necessary for the sale.
  • For all real estate sales, sellers are charged some customary fees such as taxes for the portion of the year that the home is owned by the seller, document stamps on the deed, etc., document stamps on the deed, etc.
  • A title company or attorney is paid to close the transaction. Title costs are determined by the sale price of the home, and include the title policy, title search fee, title exam fee, and closing fee.
  • Costs of repairs to items that are found in home and termite inspection reports vary according to the types of repairs and conditions negotiated into the contract.
  • Any of the buyer’s closing costs that you have agreed to pay as per the sales contract.
  • If a real estate attorney is hired, he/she is paid a fee (often by the hour) to review the sale documents and consult with the seller.
  • The seller is responsible for the cost of any marketing that they decide to use, such as the costs for marketing via a For Sale By Owner website, signs, flyers, etc.
         
Time, Energy and Other Intangibles  
  • The peace of mind knowing that your sale is handled by an experienced professional who will be your advocate, consultant, and ‘go-to’ person for everything that needs to be done to get to a successful closing.
  • While you have the final say in the decisions regarding your sale, the details, paperwork, negotiating, and marketing are delegated to your Realtor.
  • You have an expert handling the details of your sale.
  • Your time and energy is spent on the following:
    1. Consultation appointment with your Realtor
    2. Preparing your home for sale
    3. Some time spent keeping the home clean for showings
    4. Phone conversations with your Realtor for updates on how the sale is progressing
    5. Several short appointments to sign paperwork as necessary during the transaction
    6. Coordinating the times for vendors to come make any necessary repairs you agree to make as per the contract.
    7. Attending the closing
 
  • The reward of accomplishing something yourself; the ‘Do It Yourself-er’ satisfaction.
  • Control of and Responsibility for all of the details of the sale from the marketing to the contract to finding all of businesses you need to help close the sale
  • You don’t know who is more of an expert on the home buying/selling process, you or the person buying your home.
  • Your time and energy is spent on the following:
    1. Researching what you need to do to make the sale process run smoothly
    2. Researching sales in your area to be able to price your home appropriately
    3. Preparing your home for sale
    4. Marketing your home via yard signs, internet, flyers, word of mouth, etc.
    5. Answering phone and web inquiries about your home
    6. Some time spent keeping the home clean for showings
    7. Being home for showings and telling prospective buyers about your home and its features
    8. Meeting and negotiating with prospective buyers
    9. Making sure that the buyers are financially qualified to purchase your home.
    10. Finding and consulting with a real estate attorney ( if you choose to use one)
    11. Working through any problems that arise with the buyers, title company, etc.
    12. Finding vendors and coordinating times to make any repairs that you agree to make as per the contract
    13. Finding a title company to close the sale
    14. Attending the closing