Once you've decided to sell your house, your next big decision will be whether to list your house with a realtor, or try to sell your house yourself. There are pros and cons on either side of the discussion, and good reasons why you'd choose one or the other. Should you sell your house yourself, or hire a realtor to do it for you?
You should sell your home yourself if:
1. You bought the house that you're selling less than five years ago.
Usually, owning your home for only a short time means that your equity in the house is low. Since the realtor's commission will come out of your equity, any commission that you pay will cut directly into any profit you might realize on the house.
2. You can afford to pay for advertising and listing costs up front.
When you list with a realtor, advertising and listing costs will come out of the sale price. Without a realtor, you'll need to pay for your advertising, printing and listing costs with internet For Sale By Owner sites out of your pocket and up front. This will typically cost you several hundred dollars - but it's still considerably less than the commission you'd pay to a real estate agent.
3. You have the time to show your house to buyers.
The more flexible you are time wise, the easier it will be for you to show your house. When you sell your house yourself, you must be able to make arrangements to show your house when buyers can see it.
Typically, when you sell your home yourself, you should expect to pay between 2 and 3% of your final price in sales-related costs - which is considerably less than the 4-6% that a realtor would charge.
What are the advantages to using a realtor instead of selling your home yourself? They include the realtor's specialized knowledge of the real estate industry and their available to show your house. A real estate agent can help you set the right price without you having to do all the legwork, help you get through the tangle of legalities and paperwork and negotiate with buyers on your behalf.
An experienced real estate agent can point out needed repairs and make suggestions for cosmetic changes to your home that will make it more attractive to buyers. In return, they'll take 6-7% of the selling price of your home as commission.
The advantages of selling your home yourself are obvious. In the current realty market, that 6-7% commission can amount to a healthy chunk of change - as much as $11,000 t $12,000 on an average house sale. By contrast, if you sell your home yourself, you'll be saving $8,000 or more on the sale - and all of that goes into your pocket.
In the end, the choice is yours - sell your house yourself and put more of the money in your pocket, or engage a real estate agent to do the work, to save you time and effort.