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We're moving and I'm trying to decide if I should try to sell my house myself or pay a realtor. Our market is pretty good, but if I'm doing the selling I will probably price well under market value so that it will sell quickly (plus I won't have to pay realtor fees so I can afford to price it lower). However, if I hire a realtor it will get more "coverage" and I won't have to do so much work. DH is moving to our new town (renting) while I get the house packed up and sold.<br><br>
So, if I sell it myself, what am I getting into? Are there contracts I can print out online to make all of this easier? Good websites? BTDT advice?<br><br>
Thank you bunches!!<br>
Mel<br><br>
P.S. I'm terrified of somehow losing money! And we can only support two houses on one income for a few months.
 

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In general, a rule of thumb about that sort of thing is that if you need to sell the house quickly - use a realtor. If you can afford to wait a few months for it to sell, try a FSBO. If it doesn't work out you can always use a realtor.<br><br>
When I looked at houses the FSBO's were always overpriced and had some weird "features" (detriments) that the owners seemed unaware of. Like they were really proud of the the island clubhouse bar in the basement or some weird thing that any competent realtor would tell you to paint over or genericize so potential buyers could project themselves or their OWN personalities onto the house.
 

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Honestly, if you're concerned about supporting two houses (ie- you NEED this house to sell fast) I'd get a realtor and let them know you need it sold asap. Yes, you have to pay a fee/percentage but they know the market, they have the contacts, and they know what it takes to get a specific property sold. They also can help you with the legal aspects since they probably have lawyers/banks/inspectors they work with which can help the buyer get the money/paperwork they need and they'll save you time/money by knowing what tests/forms/inspections are necessary.<br><br>
We managed to sell our old house "before" it went on the market... our agent knew a buyer was going to be visiting the town to start the house hunting process. Our house wasn't on the market yet (we had a few projects to finish) but she asked if she could bring the buyer around "just to see". The buyer liked it, told us not to finish the projects we had planned, and the house was listed the following week already under contract. Yes, we had to pay a percentage but we met our goal of a fast fair sale (the buyer offered more than we had anticipated).<br><br>
Now for the other side... my mom sold her house on her own. It took longer (roughly 6 months) but that is actually a pretty quick sale given the market and the condition of her (very rural, 200+yo farmhouse). She did have a friend who was a lawyer walk her through the process, and there were some delays since the lawyer wasn't a real estate "dude" and he didn't know which tests "had" to be done and which could be negotiated with the buyer/bank. However, she knew the buyer prior to putting her home on the market and she did have the pro bono help of her lawyer friend. So if you have good community contacts, are willing to put in the leg work, and are either legally trained yourself or are comfortable learning about real estate law and/or you have a lawyer you like then it's not a bad option if you're in a good market.<br><br>
Maybe try FSBO for a month and then go to an agent? Since it seems like you really do need the house sold and with the move (and your partner being away) you may not have the time/energy/money to spare?<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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With the market being the way it is now, your best bet would be a realtor. They can prequalify buyers and help those buyers obtain financing so your house can be sold quicker. Lots of buyers haven't a clue on what buying a house entails, and a realtor can do that footwork for you so you don't have to.
 

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I'd definitely hire a realtor if you need to sell quickly.<br><br>
The only time I've seen a FSBO sell fast was in a booming market that in a highly sought after neighborhood. 4 years ago a friend of mine sold her house by herself well above market value in 1 day! That just doesn't happen anymore though.
 

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I could have written the original post here; so glad OP chose to pose the question, as we are struggling with the same decision (and benefitting from the responses). Have a home we lived in until last year, that we have been renting out. Opted to not renew the lease and are getting the house tweaked and ready to sell this week.<br><br>
We have purchased two other rental properties in the past 15 months without using buyer realtor, and both purchases went very well (included trouble-free closings and large reductions to asking prices).<br><br>
The house we are selling has been upgraded in nearly every way imaginable, in a generic fashion (new roof, boiler, windows, siding, electrical service, kitchen, bath, ...). DH is very comfortable with all things mechanical/construction, so can speak knowledably and respond to any questions in these veins. I am quite comfortable with the paperwork, so can guide that.<br><br>
With all of this said, our current position is to attempt a FSBO for 1-2 months, and engage a realtor if the house is not sold by then.<br><br>
We are planning a few unconventional (for this area) approaches. Set-up a blog with all the house specs/photos, planning an open house with gas cards given to first 20 attendees, offering $1K cash at closing to any friend/family/colleague who refers a buyer to us...<br><br>
One of my primary concerns with using a realtor is being stuck in a contract with a realtor who is not intensely trying to move the house. We have no issue paying a percentage to buyers' realtor.<br><br>
Hope this thread continues; looking forward to hearing more responses!<br><br>
Kim
 

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In terms of finding a motivated agent... asking around is a good idea. When you meet with an agent ask them about their track record, and if they are part of a larger agency you should be able to ask the agency for their numbers as well. When you drive around town do you see this agent's name on sale signs? Sold signs? On the website for the agency check out how many listings that agent has, and how quickly they turn over. That sort of thing.<br><br>
And in most cases you can sign a limited contract with an agent (3 months is standard here but some agents offered 1 or 2 month contracts) or you can offer a higher percentage or straight bonus if the house sells within a certain time frame.<br><br>
The region I live in is a patchwork of up and down house marketing, blogs are pretty common... as is listing on Craigslist (even the agents put listings on craigslist that refer the buyer back to the agency listing page). I have friends who FSBO'd... one sold the first day they listed, one sold a few months later. But both (and my mom actually) owned their homes free and clear so there was no money pressure. And one offered owner financing which really opened up the buyer market.<br><br>
Actually, depending on your financial picture/need owner financing can attract buyers (especially in this financial climate). But there are risks.
 

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When we were looking for our home we didn't even look at any FSBO houses. It was too much hassle to track them down. We tried at first but had a hard time reaching any of the owners so we gave up. our relator had plenty of houses for us to look at without going to the trouble.<br><br>
Just saying.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Usually Curious</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11592019"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">A lot of buyers will not even look at FSBO homes. There is a lot of prejudice against them.</div>
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I never looked at them when I was shopping for a home. Mainly for two reasons.<br><br>
1) We were looking to move quickly and a FSBO does not strike me as a motivated seller. Many FSBO are people that just stick a sign out front to see if they get an offer, but if they really wanted to move out fast they would use an agent.<br>
2) I think someone who is doing FSBO is doing it that way to be cheap. I don't want to deal with someone who might try to screw me on every penny.<br><br>
It might be "prejudice" but I think that is a common attitude out there.
 

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I know I've posted this here before... but in this market, it doesnt have to be an all or nothing deal.<br><br>
Interview a couple realtors, and see if they would be willing to work with you on commision if you agree to do some of the leg work.
 

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only if they were reasonably priced! Most FSBOs are overpriced but not all of them.<br><br>
We're going to sell our house soon and we're doing it FSBO on advice from our previous realtor!!<br><br>
Best wishes to you!<br><br>
Sincerely,<br>
Debra
 

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We considered trying FSBO but decided against it. We just moved, so this was fairly recent. The market is a little slow, for one, and secondly due to my husband's job moving him we really needed to sell sooner rather than later. It is a ton of work getting a house ready to sell and I didn't want to mess with actually dealing with the selling part on top of all the other issues. Additionally, advertising the home and paying for MLS isn't free - it can cost several thousand dollars. We choose to list with a realtor who was one of the top producers in our area and she marketed the heck out of the house. We had 36 showings in 26 days. She called every realtor and followed-up, she served lunch to other realtors at our house, she sent mailings, she pur our house in the newspaper, the local business journal, and online. She was very reassuring to us about the process, dealt well with the buyers, and closed the deal.<br><br>
I tend to agree with the PP who stated that many people won't look at FSBO. My experience house hunting was that FSBO were often very over-priced (because the price was based on what the owner feels the house is worth, rather than being based on recent real estate market data), had "unqiue" features that I didn't want, and were weird to go see since the owner was generally home.
 

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We sold our house through a flat-fee realtor, so basically it was a FSBO, the realtor only gave us a sign, listed us on the MLS, and signed us up with the showing service for a fee of about $300. It was well worth it for us to save the money. We priced it at what we felt was fair, our comps were fairly easy since there were 2 houses of our exact floorplan for sale in our exact neighborhood. We priced it a little lower than the one we felt was reasonably priced since it had more upgrades (the other one was priced way too high and they ended up reducing the price twice before it was sold).<br><br>
My dad has sold houses through a realtor since then and we got about the same amount of showings. If you offer the regular buyer's agent commission, they will show your house, I really don't think it's an issue.
 
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