Considering selling your property? Since the average homeowner moves once every 7-10 years, you’re probably a little rusty, especially since it gets more complicated as new rules and regulations are added all the time. So lets take a moment to review your options.
The three most common ways:
- Hire a real estate agent to promote your home
- iBuyer – sell to an instant buyer
- Sell on your own (for sale by owner)
Hiring a Real Estate Agent
Selling real estate is a complicated process and as a result, 90% of sellers choose to list with a real estate agent. It’s more than just sticking a sign in your yard and hoping for the best. Real estate agents are trained (and motivated) to help you get the highest possible price for your home. They’re your marketing, sales and legal advisor (working in coordination with your lawyer). They are focused on coordinating all the moving parts for you so you can just focus on finding your new home and packing up.
First, for quick definition, a broker is like a store owner, they oversee the work of all the agents in the office, even though the agents are independent contractors. They help keep their team of agents abreast of national, state and local issues, regulatory changes and legal compliance. Agents, are each in charge of their own sales business and compete with other local agents. They cooperate with each other by sharing a single database, and agreeing to share commissions with buyer-agents to encourage them to show the homes they have listed for sale.
A listing agent’s services can vary widely from one to another as well as their fees. Most work on commission but there is no hard and fast rule, so some may offer flat fees, or limited service plans.
Benefits of a Seller’s Agent
The selling agent is the agent for the homeowner. They help you in three areas 1) Preparing your home for sale and setting the right price based on condition, 2) Managing and coordinating the showings on your house and the purchase offers that result, 3) Contract-to-Close efforts to keep everyone on schedule, protect your profit by navigating the inspection and appraisal demands from the buyer.
Services may include:
- Marketing materials and their expert selling systems
- Quality photography and virtual tours
- Internet exposure on other sites
- Promotion at company meetings and to other agents
- Price expertise to ensure you don’t overprice your home and miss opportunities
- Connect you with home stagers, inspectors and reputable repair contractors
- Share buyer feedback and offer private showings
- Confirm potential buyer qualifications & alert you of risks
- Negotiation & counteroffer expertise, and help with multiple offer scenarios
- Monitor the buyer’s mortgage loan application progress/status for potential issues
- Coordinate the inspector(s), appraisers deadlines and access
- Guidance on dealing with home inspection and appraisal issues to save you money
If you need an agent, check our directory of quality listing agents.
iBuyer – New Concept
You may have heard the term “iBuyer” in the news, or maybe you have received a letter or email asking to buy your home. An iBuyer is an Instant Buyer or Internet Buyer. Think of them as cash buyers, no questions asked. This option has become more visible with the hot market but it’s been around for years.
The advantage of the iBuyer is that you can simply call a number and get an offer on your property. It can be close to or at the actual value, but it can also be extremely low. That’s why it’s good to get multiple price opinions. An iBuyer’s objective is to lock in today’s price, take quick possession, then fix up your property and turn it for a profit. These offers typically close in a matter of weeks since there are no mortgages to deal with, and often no inspections.
In a hot market, seller’s miss out on potential profit from multiple-offer scenarios which can go well above the asking price. However, the advantage is a quick, no hassle sale.
iBuyers normally focus on metro areas, but may also be an option in your area. If you need to move quickly and don’t want to (or cannot) use an iBuyer, your real estate agent may be able to provide other options such as a bridge loan or private buyers they may have access to.
For Sale By Owner
Less than 10% of homeowners sell their home on their own. The biggest reason is marketing exposure for the listing since agents in the area will not know about the property. A close second is the contract-to-close management, which involves contract preparation, inspections and the buyer’s logistics and timing.
It’s important to understand that big portals that offer valuation estimates have a 10% margin of error and vary widely if you have an unusual home for the area such as much larger square footage than average or high-end finishes.
You are welcome to list your property on LifeandHomes, but if you’d like to expose it to our real estate professional members, you must offer a commission to the buyer’s agent. To learn more, click here.