How I sold my house without an agent.(video at bottom)
I initially hired a real estate agent to sell my house in 2015 and followed their advice
on how to stage the house, times to list yada yada. So the agent wants 6-7 percent to split between the buyers agent
and themselves. I figured they are the professionals so they will earn their commission by using the experience to get
the house sold fast. Needless to say the advice and effort didn't work and initially I thought it was a waste of time
but it actually taught me what not to do. The pictures published by the agent were not at the best angles and the lighting
provided very little that was appealing.
After the first few weeks I had a neighbor check out one of my open houses to see what he thought of the agent. He reported back the he was able to walk through my entire house before she noticed he was there and she never once got up from my dining room table to ackonwledge him and was on the phone the entire time.I decided then that this agent was not acting on my behalf and had to go. We unlisted the house that fall and toward the end of winter we started interviewing agents for the eventual listing for the upcoming spring using what I had learned from my previous experience.
I started asking questions like:
- What they would do for marketing and it was cookie cutter to what I had already been doing.
- Were they flexible on the commissions? No, they were a rigid 4% seller agent 2% buyer agent
- Could they give me a list of comparables to my house? They didn't even come close to what we were selling.
- How long would I be locked into a contract with them? 6 months to encompass the entire selling season.
It didn't take me very long to figure out I needed to try to sell my own house because no one would have a bigger stake in wanting it sold then me. Fortunately my previous agent wasn't able to make a couple of open houses and I hosted them myself. I asked for peoples feedback as to what their likes and dislikes of the home. It turned out some of the potential buyers were under the impression that my siding was asbestos but in fact it was a composite shingle, similar to the roof shingles but thicker. You can't properly market the house if you have to defend & explain something like that.
Armed with this knowledge I started pricing out certain upgrades like residing the house and adding a half bath. I ended up getting prices on these things but quickly found out I will be doing this myself also. That will be another video discussion topic.
Back to selling the house.
So after I resided the house, added the half bath and staged the rest of the house now it was time to get the marketing plan in place. We decided to use a flat fee broker in order to add our listing to all the MLS websites that were once restricted to full service real estate agents. The fee was about $400 to list for the 6 months instead of 3-4 percent of the sale price the full service agent wanted to list it.
I deciced to give the buyers agent 4% versus the 2-3% that they normally get. This would put me on the top of the list for most buyer's agent to look at when with their clients. So instead of splitting 6-7 between the buyer/seller agents I decided to give the person doing most of the work the extra 1%. Let's face it without the buyer's agent we don't sell the house. So my total payout was close to 4.25% between the flat fee broker and the buyer's agent instead of 6-7%. Big savings!
So we scheuled our first open house and we got alot of interest. I was intent on listening to what the agents were saying to their clients as they walked through. You could tell they were trying to talk their clients into the house and get the 4% commission even if the house wasn't a fit. It didn't take but 2 open houses over 3 weeks to get close to full price offer.
If you haven't tried to sell a house before maybe visit some open houses in your neighborhood to see comparables for yourself and maybe visit a flat fee broker's website to see if selling your house on your own is appealing.
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