Ideally, you want your home to be a good investment. The goal is to buy your home, live in it and then sell it years later for a profit. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Depending on when you purchased your home, you might not have enough equity built up to generate much, if any, profit when you sell.
You might even be underwater on your home, meaning that you owe more on your mortgage loan than what your home is worth. If you have to sell a home in this case? You’re looking at a loss and at cutting a check to your mortgage company.
What, then, can you do if you have to sell a house with low equity or, even worse, no equity? There is one way to save money on the sale, maybe even enough to eke out a small profit: You can sell your home by owner without the help of a Realtor.
The For Sale by Owner Strategy
When you work with a listing agent to sell your home, that agent gets paid out of the proceeds of your home’s eventual sale. Usually, listing agents charge a total of six percent of your sale in commission, splitting that fee with the real estate agent representing the buyer.
If you sell your home for $300,000, your listing agent will take a commission of $18,000. That’s a lot of money, and this is money subtracted directly from your profits. If you are selling a house with low or no equity, that’s money that you might desperately need in order to walk away with at least some profit.
But if you sell your home by yourself, without an agent? You won’t have to cough up that six percent commission. You might still have to pay three percent of your sale proceeds to the real estate agent representing the buyer of your home. But you’ll keep that other three percent, thousands of dollars, as profit.
It Does Take Work
Of course, selling a home by owner does take work on your part. You’ll have to set the right price by studying comparable home sales in your neighborhood or by asking local Realtors to tour your home and provide you with suggested listing prices.
You’ll also have to pay listing services to list your home on real estate Web sites such as Zillow and Realtor.com. You’ll need to stage your home so that it looks its best, and you’ll need to be available to let potential buyers tour your property.
And when it’s time to sign the paperwork that transfers your home from you to a buyer? You’d be smart to hire a legal professional to guide you through the process.
But if you are selling a home with low equity, the for sale by owner approach can save you a significant amount of money. This can make the difference between at least a small profit or no profit at all.
If you don’t have much equity in your home, give us a call. We’d be happy to talk you through the benefits and challenges of selling a home without the help of a real estate agent.