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Should You Try To Sell Your Own Home?

It's a natural question to ask. Everyone has seen the sign "For Sale By Owner," so it's clear that some home owners do try to sell their own property. It's also clear that they don't have to pay the real estate agent's commission on such sales.

How much work and risk are involved in these sales by home owners isn't so clear. And whether the price received is high enough to make the savings on commission a real savings is also open to doubt.

Before you consider selling your house yourself, ask yourself if you are going to have the time needed to sell your house - even if you just cover the basics.


The Basics

  • Complete an extensive research of local market conditions, including:
    * the listing and selling price of all houses in your area for the last six months,
    * the listing price of houses currently on the market, and
    * the listing prices of houses that were on the market but did not sell.
  • Put together a marketing plan.
    * How will you market your house to Realtors? Most buyers use a Realtor, so marketing to Realtors is essential. At a minimum, you'll want to send a letter and sales flyer to all Realtors within a 25 mile radius.
    * How much money can you afford to devote to advertising? Call the local newspapers to determine how much it will cost for advertisements. You'll want to run daily and Sunday ads in the newspapers.
    * Who will create your sales flyers? Buyers expect fact sheets to take with them when they drive-by or tour a house for sale.
    * Where will you place signage? In addition to your front yard, is there areas leading in to your neighborhood where signage would be appropriate?
    * How will potential buyers find information about your house on the Internet? You'll want potential buyers who begin their house shopping on the Internet to find your house. Be sure to build a website to help sell your house.
    * Who will take inquiry calls and schedule appointments? You'll want someone to be available to answer inquiry calls and schedule appointments. Be sure to schedule showings as quickly as possible - even the same day.
  • Confirm that the potential buyer has pre-qualified for a mortgage loan.
    * If the buyer is buying with cash, confirm that they have the necessary resources.
    * If the purchase is contingent on the buyer selling their own house, confirm that the buyer's house is on the market. (You may also want to determine how long the buyer's house has been on the market.)
    * Negotiations, Contracts and Closings
    * Are you prepared to negotiate the contract?
    * Do you know what the legal responsibilities of the seller are in your area?
    * Who will write the contract? Will you need to hire an attorney? If so, what will be the attorney's fees?

Dear "For Sale by Owner,"

Selling your own home can be both rewarding and lucrative. However, carefully consider the amount of time and effort you will be investing, and weigh it carefully against the possible monetary benefit. IS IT WORTH THE HASSLE?

* The endless questions...
* The constant phone calls...
* Strangers knocking at the door...
* The never ending paperwork...
* Lack of exposure...
* Holding Open Houses...
* Security risks..
* Competition...
* Wondering whether you're on track to sell...
* Not knowing if you're getting the best price...

After You've Made The Sale

Your job isn't over yet. Appropriate deposits must be made. Financing must be arranged. Certain third parties must be brought in. And a vast amount of paperwork must be completed. The potential for costly errors at this stage of the transaction is considerable.

Selling your home is one of the most important financial transactions you will make in your life. Do not take risks. Let us help you.

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