For Sale By Owner Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Money Can I Save? -
Most Real Estate agents charge a commission based on the selling price
of the home, which has traditionally been 6% but may be 7% in some areas.
On a typical $240,000 home, the 7% commission would amount to $16,800.00
There may also be other charges relating to the sale or closing. In most
cases, you only pay if the Agent successfully sells the home for you. Some full
service Real Estate Agents also offer discount full service assistance or offer
a la carte pricing based on the services you choose.
Why do Real Estate Agents Charge So Much? -
Make no mistake about it, there is a lot of work involved with selling
a home. Advertising, working with potential buyers, assisting financing
and guiding through closing are all services performed by licensed Real
Estate Agents. However, it is very well paying work indeed which you can also
accomplish yourself with a little diligence and assistance.
The main reason the cost of selling has been so high is because access to
the mass market of buyers has been controlled by the MLS system. While still
very important, this is starting to change with the advent of inexpensive
masss market advertising through the internet.
Who is Available to Help Me? -
Two of the tasks necessary to sell most homes are easy to accomplish with the aid of
qualified professionals who will work for you at no cost to you. Financing is needed
to sell most homes, and the assistance of a mortgage professional is both invaluable
and free to you, as they are payed by their fees when the mortgage closes. Enlist
the help of a qualified mortgage broker or banker early on, and send your prospects
to them for qualifying, assistance applying for a mortgage and more. This professional
will gladly handle all of these details for you at no cost to you.
The second professional available to you at no cost is the closing agent or attorney.
In some areas, real estate closings are traditionally done through attorneys while in
other areas Title Insurance companies handle all of the paperwork and details. These
closing costs may be paid by the buyer or shared by the buyer and seller depending on
local custom and the contract. Your mortgage professional can guide you in who to seek
out for closing help. The closer will handle the all of the paperwork, financial issues,
title insurance and more with no effort on your part. All you have to do is present
them with the contract for the purchase and they will do the rest.
How Long Should It Take to Sell My Home? -
The average time on the market varies greatly depending on the area and the
local economy. In a hot market, houses may sell in a matter of days, while
in a rural area houses may take much, much longer to sell.
Most Agents require
listing contracts of six months to give them adequate time to advetise and complete
the sale. If your house has been on the market over a year, you need to look
closely at whether you have a depressed market or some problem with your home,
usually a selling price problem.
Do I need a Lawyer? -
You may or may not need the assistance of an attorney depending on the circumstances
and your own knowledge and experience. Many people would recommend always having the
contract reviewed by an attorney before signing.
If you need help with the contract due to inexperience or special circumstances, here
you can obtain the help of a qualified real estate attorney who can advise you and draw
a standard contract for purchase and sell. Fees for this service would typically only
be a few hundred dollars.
How do I handle Financing Questions? -
Your professional mortgage broker or banker discussed above should be the first
person on your team. Most can quickly pre-qualify a prospect over the phone, get
them approved for an approriate mortgage and handle all of the mortgage paperwork
at no cost to you. Keep their phone number handy, they will be glad for the customer
referrals you send them.
How can some advertising be free? -
Many people have asked why some sites offer wide exposure for free while others charge
$50 or even hundreds of dollars, many times for less exposure. On the For Sale By Owner
Internet Network, your property is listed free with photos on five separate websites
including Yahoo.com, the world's most popular website completely free. The cost
of the site is paid by the advertisers and those who choose to pay to have their
property featured for even more exposure. Their popular flagship site at
draws over a million hits and thousands of property inquiries monthly, all at no charge.
How do I post photographs to list my property? -
You can scan your photographs with a scanner, or have a friend, local print shop
of Kinko's do this for you. Digital cameras are becoming inexpensive and popular
optionas as well. A third option is ordering a photo disk, usually just a few dollars
from your film processor when you have the photos developed.
In any case, be sure to save your photos in a standard format such as jpeg and in an
appropriate size. The software that comes with your scanner can assist you with this.
The better web sites allow you to upload and manage the photos yourself or you can mail
them in for assistance.
Is Advertising on the Internet Enough? -
Absolutely not! While some homes may sell quickly off an internet ad, to obtain
the best quick sale you should expose your home to the widest array of potential
buyers. You should always use a yard sign, classified advertising in the local
paper, free internet advertising can also attract out of area buyers and you might
want to consider an MLS listing, typically about a $500 cost as an a la carte service.
Yard signs with a tube for flyers are inexpensive and effective.
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