How to Sell Your Property without Paying Commissions to an Agent
Though using a real estate agent to help you sell your property has its benefits, the main drawback—the cost you’ll pay in commission fees—might make you think twice. Listing agents can take up to six percent of the selling price of a house and, if you’re also in a position where saving money is critical, potentially spending tens of thousands of extra dollars in fees is probably not optimal.
Even when you don’t necessarily need to save, thinking about what you could do with that cash can make you question using an agent. For example, if you’re getting married and both own property, it could be time to officially move in with your future spouse and put money aside for the honeymoon so saving money may be your goal. If a parent is getting older and you’re selling to simply move closer, anything that might make their lives better is easier to afford when all of your costs—including home selling fees—are low. And, in this day and age, it’s not a bad idea to simply be frugal.
How to Sell Your Property Yourself
Selling your house without paying a commission to a real estate agent, however, means you’ll probably have to sell it yourself. After all, commission fees are how agents make their money and few, if any, will ever work for free. Though this option is sometimes difficult, it’s certainly not impossible. To show you, we’ve outlined the basic steps you need to take to sell your house fast and without the help (and costs!) of an agent.
Get your property ready to sell.
Whether you use a real estate agent or not, prepping your property to sell is going to be job number one in attracting most buyers. That means you’ll likely need to clear away clutter, clean the home from top to bottom, and perform minor repairs—at the very least. So that potential buyers can also imagine your home becoming their own, it’s always a good idea to hide personal items like your favorite throw hanging over the couch or the family photos nailed up on the wall.
Staging the house to create an open feel—and to just make room for visitors to move around—will boost your home’s appeal, too. And, if you really want to go all out (and, possibly, sell at a higher price as a result), consider doing the major repairs like replacing that leaky roof.
Advertise your house.
A task that typically falls on the shoulders of real estate agents, and is part of why they often charge so much, will now necessarily fall to you: advertising. The fact of the matter is that, in order to reach the highest number of potential buyers and encourage them to make an offer, you are going to have to market your house. The more places you can do this, the faster you’re likely to sell, too.
Hanging flyers at the community center and putting a sign in your yard may help, but catchy ads in local papers and sleek listings posted online will cast the net wider—and, hopefully, get you a decent offer sooner.
Take calls and hold showings.
If you don’t use an agent to help you sell your home, you’ll need to make sure you can make the time to take calls from prospective buyers and their agents as well as show them the house. Buyers always have questions and, to help them make a decision, you’ve got to be available as much as possible.
When you’re also working full time, raising kids, or caring for an elderly parent, this may require more time than you’ve got to spend. But, without knowing what they’re getting into, most buyers will not want to move into your house—no matter how clutter-free, clean, and renovated it may be.
What may be the most difficult, even intimidating, task to tackle is negotiating a contract once you’ve accepted an offer. Without the training that real estate agents receive, however, the legal terms you’ll encounter can get you into trouble—if you misinterpret the language and, as a result, don’t fulfill accidentally agreed-to obligations.
Even when you have a good grasp on the verbiage that’s used, or can budget to hire an attorney who does, the time it takes for all parties to settle on sale terms—like who is responsible for what closing costs—can drag the process out longer than you can afford, especially if you need the sale of your house to go through quickly.
Unfortunately, unless you’re able to sell your property directly to someone who doesn’t have representation, you will have to compensate the real estate agent who brings you your buyer. That can, and really should be, about two to three percent of the final sale price. At least, that’s what the buyer’s agent will likely expect.
Since all agents are paid on commission, in a traditional transaction your agent would share their fee with whoever helped close the sale. Without someone representing you, however, that responsibility becomes yours. In fact, if you don’t offer compensation that makes working on your deal worth it, agents may not bring their clients—or any offers—to you at all.
As you can see, it’s hard to get around paying any commission at all to an agent if you want to sell your property. Though you might save several thousand dollars by not having your own agent, you’ll still spend at least as much to secure a buyer who does.
You may have already guessed that the expenses you’ll incur to sell the house yourself won’t stop there, either. It’s expensive to clean and stage a home, perform repairs, advertise, and hire an attorney to help with the contract.
It also costs a lot in time, whether you handle these tasks yourself or pay more to experts to handle them for you. So, if need to sell your house quickly—or simply want to—you could come up short by investing extra time in doing more work.
How the Right Buyer Doesn’t Have to Cost You
The best solution to getting around each of these problems is to sell your property directly to a buyer who is willing to take your home as-is and at zero cost to you.
And, at Sell Your House Direct, that is exactly what we do.
None of our clients have to declutter or clean, make minor repairs or perform major renovations, pay for advertising, hold showings, or learn legal talk—unless they want to.
In fact, the only thing we ask is that you take what you want and leave the rest. Whatever is left to do, we’ll take care of it—and we’ll put cash in your pocket to let us do it, too. You’ll spend zero in commissions, zero in fees, and not a day longer in the house than you want.
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