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Last Update: 11/3/19

Across the country, more and more home owners are opting to sell their homes themselves instead of working with a realtor or real estate agent to help them get their home sold.

Why?  One of the biggest reasons is demand: with the tight inventory of real estate available for sale, many homeowners are thinking that they can find a buyer without the help of an agent or broker take a percentage of the sale.  The typical 6% commission alone is a big incentive for many to try and sell their home themselves.

Tips for Homeowners Wanting to Sell Their Home on their Own.

1.  Owners Must Know Their Market – Study the Neighborhood and Avoid Getting Emotional

Real estate agents and real estate brokers are presumed to know their neighborhoods and communities, as many of them have worked in these locations for years.  By undertaking the sale of the home yourself, you must undertake the work that these professionals would have done for you.  This means that you will need to study the market in your area, learn the pros and cons of your property, like the location and quality of schools and medical professionals, and then determine a sales price that is reasonable for the area.  This can be hard to do if you can’t set your emotions aside, like being sad that you’re selling the family home or being angry that you’re not going to be able to sell it for the same amount that you would have been able to sell it for in years past.

2.  Owners Must Get Their Home Ready to Sell

Having an inspection will be part of any sale (or at least it should be); however, just getting the home ready to sell means more than dealing with those items that an inspector will point out. Landscaping the front yard for a good first impression is important.  Paint should be touched up, carpets should be cleaned, lightbulds replaced, toilets fixed, the garage and your closets should be organized, you get the idea.  A homeowner has a lot to do even when there is a real estate agent involved in the process.

3.  Owners Must Do Their Own Marketing, Showings And Negotiations

Real estate agents have lots of techniques to market properties to potential buyers. By opting to sell a home without a real estate agent helping, the owner is going to have to advertise and market the property, answer inquiries and questions, negotiate and show the property to real estate agents and prospective buyers. There are some web sites that can help here. Also, using street signs as well as local ads in the community papers, etc. can also help.  However, a “for sale by owner” may miss out on access to the multi-listing service (MLS) used by nearly all real estate agents.

4.  Owners Must Deal With The Title Company, Inspector, Surveyor and Property Appraiser

In the sale of real estate, there are many professionals involved in the sales and closing process:  title companies and title insurance comes into play; inspectors, surveyors and appraisers must have access to the propery. Omitting the real estate agent does not omit the scheduling issues for other professionals involved in the transaction. Cutting out the real estate agent means the owner has to do the mundane and time consuming work that the agent would have otherwise undertaken.

5.  Lawyers, Contracts, Disclosures And More

When an agent isn’t in the loop, a real estate attorney is usually called upon for help with issues like the preparation of the Purchase and Sales Contract, preparing the Seller Disclosure form, confirming the receipt of the the earnest money deposit by the escrow agent, getting a copy of the buyer’s mortgage loan commitment, timely delivering the condo docs to the buyer, etc.

What Should You Do?

A good piece of advice if you are thinking about selling your home on your own, is to speak with an experienced Florida real estate lawyer to learn about some of the issues you may face. Most real estate lawyers, like Larry Tolchinsky, offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person, whichever you prefer) to answer your questions.



Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Larry an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.


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