M.F. asks from Novi, MI on January 12, 2008
Should I Use an Agent?
I would like as many opinions as possible here. My husband and I purchased our first home last Spring and have been making small imporvements here and there to bring the place a little more up to date. We were expecting to be moving out of this home after two or three years for his job. Well, it turns out that he got the job early! We have about 7 months to sell our home. We are thinking of putting it up in March or May (to give us time to paint, prep, and pack our uneeded items). We are having trouble deciding whether or not to go with an agent right away. He wants to try things on our own at first then see what happens. I however am terrified that we will get duped into a bad deal.
The house is in a great area and is in great shape. Clean, the rooms are all neutral, updated appliances and counter tops, manicured lawn etc. . So I am not worried about getting people in to see the house. I am worried that someone will take advantage of the fact that we have not a clue what we are doing.
So...what is your opinion? Should we sart interviewing agents? Or should we go it alone and see what happens?
UPDATED FROM ABOVE: I wanted to add that we do plan on heavily advertising our home if we sell on our own. We have a list of sites that will let us post our home for free as well as sights that you pay for. We plan to use every outlet possible.
We are also planning to add "agents welcome" in all of our ads. We have no problem paying a 3 or 4% share as opposed to a hefty 8 to 12%.
Also, for those who asked or are wondering...the house is located in South West Lexington.
Thanks for all of the responses so far.
So What Happened?™
Thanks so much everyone. You have pretty much confirmed my suspicions of needing an agent. I think my husband is coming around to the idea as well. I really appreciate all of the great advice and reasurrance. Now...does anyone want to buy a house? lol
L.S. answers from Dayton on January 14, 2008
I'd definitely begin with For Sale By Owner, as I had 2 very positive experiences doing this. Put together a brochure about your house with a color picture on top, just as real estate agents do. Get a good sign made by a professional and put it in your front yard. Place an ad in the local paper and have a couple Open Houses on Sunday afternoons. Ask a reasonable price, based upon what you payed, what you've put into it, and the market value (based on neighboring home sale prices recently). To close the deal, have an attorney with real estate law experience facilitate the mtg. The savings you can realize are great (at least 6%). If you don't sell the house when you have 3 mos. until you move, you could list it with a realtor then.
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C.R. answers from Cleveland on January 13, 2008
I work in Classifieds for a major newspaper, and I KNOW how bad the real estate market is. You'll be a slave to the sale. You've already done the research on where you are going to post. You will keep a calendar of when you need to renew what ads. You will be constantly updating and refreshing your ads with new text and photos because you don't want it to get stale...and there must be a reason why you aren't getting responses. Sorry to be such a downer, but, in today's economy, it's reality. Here's a new reality: agent fees are QUITE negotiable these days. Give one a try - after 90 days, if you see no progress, you can always do it yourself. C.
A.B. answers from Louisville on January 13, 2008
M., in this market you should absolutely use an agent. Trust me, if your house isn't priced right it could sit on the market forever. The longer it is on the market the harder it is to sell. In addition many houses sell because agents network with eachother to get the houses sold. I do agree with your idea of interviewing agents. There are many out there and it is important for you to find one that you like. PM me if you would like some names, I have friends in the business.
T.D. answers from Dayton on January 13, 2008
If you had more time you could sell it yourself but given the fact that you have to sell quick I would suggest using an agent. Let the agent worry about all the details; you have to pack and purchase a new home!! Coldwell Banker is an excellet agency--- if you would like I can give you there number. They helped us find our home-- quick, simple and easy.
C.A. answers from Lexington on January 12, 2008
First find out all the information you can gey about selling houses. Know all the details, how it operates before you make up your mind with your husband. Where is the house located?
C.C. answers from Indianapolis on January 13, 2008
We sold our home last year without an agent - BUT, it was to our neighbor and friend. It took FOREVER - cuz he had to get his finances in order, etc, etc... And, i did hire a title agency to prepare and execute the documents and closing - which cost some money on both ends - but was much cheaper than going with a realtor. In the market the way it is, things are sitting on the market much longer. My only advice i would give about selling it on your own is that you have to price it well (don't price it too high) & market it (you can't just put a sign in your yard anymore). I don't know how you can get your home marketed on the MLS (realtor's multiple listing service) - but, when we were looking for homes, we did it almost exclusively online through realtor search engines (which pull from the MLS site, i think). You might want to at least get some advice from Help U Sell about marketing.
M.M. answers from Lexington on January 13, 2008
Let me begin by saying that I am an active Realtor in Lexington.
I, obviously, think you need to begin interviewing realtors. In December homes sales were down in Lexington by 18% according to LBAR statics. New listings were also down...that's a good thing. I give you those statistics because at an 18% decrease in sales your home needs the exposure it will not get if offered For Sale By Owner (FSBO). Over 85% of buyers find their new home on the internet. If you list your house FSBO will you have internet exposure? The marketing of your home is also an important piece to selling your home. It's wise to have an agent who knows where to spend the advertising dollars. Of course the biggest obstacle is pricing. You need someone who is not "emotionally" attached to guide you.
Visit realtor.org for more information and statics to share with your husband. Also, my website www.maryannmorris.com has great information for buyers and sellers to help you make your decision. I would be happy to give you a free, no obligation, market analysis if you would like. You can find my contact info on my website.
K.C. answers from Columbus on January 12, 2008
If you do your homework, you may be able to find an agent who takes a small percentage of what you make off your house as opposed to the incredible amount that most agents take...5%-8% is what we encountered when we sold ours last year. We found an agent through a collegue of my husbands, basically word of mouth, and she only took 3.5%. She was a godsend! Basically there to do all of the legal paper work and she dealt with the incoming offers thru the other agents. I would personally not do it alone. There are so many legalities involved. However, there are Help U Sell programs that guide you thru the process for an upfront fee...If you plan to go that route.