When selling your home everyone wants the same three things to happen:
- Get the most amount of money
- Make the transaction as easy for your family as possible
- Avoid getting yourself in a bad legal or financial bind
So how can you get the money while avoiding those pitfalls along the way? There are really 3 ways of going about the sale. Sell it yourself, sell it using online companies, or sell it by using a local real estate agent. Each of these three options has its own benefits and challenges. Which is the easiest route to making the most amount of money? Here are the pros and cons of each:
Selling On Your Own
This option always seems appealing because, HELLO; NO COMMISSION! When you start to run the numbers it may look like the obvious choice in a seller’s market to try it out. Let’s make sure you are considering all the numbers involved. An important factor to consider is your neighborhood’s absorption rate. That is the average price homes are actually selling for compared to the asking price. If you see that your local stats show most people are getting 91% of their asking price, and a local real estate agent or team are selling at 98-101% of their asking price, then you are looking at a 7-9% difference on your bottom line right there. You also have to calculate the price you are paying for any marketing online fees, MLS fees, professional pictures, seller-provided home warranties, and an attorney to review any offers you might get for errors in the contract and pitfalls you may not have picked up on. Considering all of those costs will be coming out of your pocket before the home actually sells, they will need to be deducted from your walk-away profit. Also, convenience goes out the window when you are selling the home on your own. Be prepared to spend A LOT of time on the phone with agents trying to get you to list your home with them and unqualified buyers who can not actually afford the house. When you break down the costs involved, you may not be saving money when doing your own thing, and you are opening yourself up to some of those possible financial and legal binds we all want to avoid.
Selling Using Online Companies
Here is an option for many people who want help to get the sale done with a professional, but don’t want to be bothered by pesky salespeople to get it done. You just fill out an online form with your home details, snap a few pictures, and you’re done, right? Not quite… these companies are VERY skilled at throwing so many perks in their marketing pitch that the term “too good to be true” often applies here. Many of their fees dwarf local agent fees by charging 7-13% for selling your property. They are also not using any extra tactics or skills that you or a local real estate agent are not using to sell the home. Their goal is to make you think that only they can get you a cash buyer who is willing to close fast and without a ton of showings on the property. The reality is any realtor, who is actually a local expert, can do the exact same thing for much much less money out of your pocket. And I know what your thinking, “I will happily pay the extra amount to not have to deal with a commission-hungry realtor out for blood,” and I hear you…no one wants to deal with that agent. The false promise is that you’ve avoided that kind of interaction by going with those big internet-only companies and really you are signing up for the same money-hungry situation and with no ONE person to actually answer any of your questions. Often they pass you off from one salesperson to the next as your transaction progresses and it gets harder and harder to keep track of who is handling the sale of your home at the end of the day. As enticing as they make it seem, you are making less money and not avoiding any of the headaches that can come along with the sale of your home.
Selling Using a Local Real Estate Team
What an old-fashioned idea, right?? Surely, we have evolved past this being the best way to sell homes. Well, hear me out…if you want to net the most amount of money, sell in the most convenient way possible AND avoid the significant risks of selling your home, then this might be one that works for you. A local real estate team often offers to pay for all of the marketing fees as well as a seller-provided home warranty upfront, has access to good legal documents at no costs to you, and can very easily guide you through a transaction to avoid the most common hiccups that occur in your local market. When you hire the team, you also avoid calls from all the other agents looking to snatch up the sale of your home and they vet every buyer that comes through your home to make sure they are solid and worth the showing appointment. So where is the downside with this option? We have all heard horror stories of someone’s sale going terribly wrong in every way possible, so it may seem like this is another “too good to be true” scenario. Why does that happen? More often than you not, they hired the wrong team! Not everyone who claims to be that ideal local professional actually is! So this does require some homework on your part to be sure you are hiring the best agent, who not only is going to provide excellent service but also nets you the money you want. These agents are no unicorns, just regular ol’ horses as long as you know what question to ask. How do you weed out the agents who should be put out pasture from the stallions? Stay tuned; our next blog post will give you a very specific list of questions for you to do just that!
Want to add The Lemoine Team to your list of agents to interview? Of course, we’d be thrilled to be considered for that all-important job of making this work best for you. Click here to be schedule an appointment with our team.