Selling your home can be a pleasant or very stressful experience! You may wonder if you should sell privately or use a professional real estate agent. In a very hot market you may be able to sell privately, but it is not an easy task.
Knowing what to say to the potential purchaser can sometimes make or break a sale! You have a strong emotional attachment to your home and this alone can make it very hard to remain objective! When people come through your home if you hover over them and appear anxious to sell, the customer may think you are desperate. This could trigger a lower offer. A good agent knows how to talk to the client and bring them to the table with a fair offer.
It is difficult however not to hover over a potential purchaser when you are selling your home yourself. You would not want a buyer to go through your home themselves, as there are criminals out there that will steal valuables while touring your home. They can also case the home to get a feel for where they can easily enter your home later, when they burglarize it. You really do not know who is coming through your door. Agents however do meet with their clients to assess and screen them for their needs. They have records of their names, etc. and stay by their side when going through a home. Much safer!
Buyers feel much more comfortable when the owner is not home. They want to open kitchen cupboards and closet doors to get a feel of the quality and space in these areas. When you accompany them, they may feel apprehensive to do this. Buyers feel they are invading your privacy. You want them to feel at home and at ease and not rush out quickly. This is why agents ask you not to be home (if possible), when they are showing your home.
Knowing what to do to your home to make it more saleable takes a tremendous amount of knowledge. Courses are offered to real estate agents on "staging". This provides agents with the background to advise the potential seller on how to organize and decorate the home inexpensively to get top dollar. Often agents will bring in professional stagers to do just that. This can get you many more thousands of dollars for your home, when professionally done.
For sale by owners often over price their home. Firstly, this is due to the emotional attachment to the home and secondly, not having the training to evaluate a home's worth. There are many variables to consider when pricing a home. Your home could be worth substantially more or less than a similar home on the same street. This can affect your bottom line and lose you many dollars if you appraise your home incorrectly. You really should pay for an appraiser to price your home properly, if you are going it alone! Agents are trained to do proper market assessments of the neighborhood and homes that have recently sold.
Make sure you get a top notch lawyer that specializes in real estate. Because you are not familiar with the legal forms that are required to sell a home all offers should be conditional on your lawyer's approval.
When you sell your home your only mode of advertising is on the Internet, newspaper ad and the sign you place on your lawn. This can cost a few bucks. Advertising is not cheap these days. This limits the amount of buyers that will see your home, thus reducing competition. Less competition can lead to a lesser selling price. Alternatively, an agent has access to thousands of agents and their buyers, through the multiple listing services. You reap the benefits, as more buyers will know about your home. With more competition from the multiple listing services you could get a much higher offer. In a hot market it is quite common to get multiple offers. Often times with multiple offers you can get more than your asking price!
In conclusion, it has to be your decision whether you sell privately or hire a professional. Sellers certainly have successfully sold on their own and have done very well. One question to ask is, could the sellers have done even better had they used a professional agent? We may never know!
You may consider trying to sell your own home for a month or so. If you get discouraged because no offers are coming in, you may want to hire a professional realtor. There are lots of books out there that can help you sell privately. Just go to a local bookstore. You should read and educate yourself before trying to sell alone. This could give you the edge you need! Good Luck!