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The Drawbacks of Selling a Home Yourself

(A continuation of How to Sell a House)

By - 2006

We continue here with our list of problems you might face when selling a home yourself without the help of a real estate agent. Pay special attention to the last reason if you are thinking of selling on your own.

You May Not Know The Laws

What about written disclosures, and does the law specify who pays the real estate transfer tax? When you sell it yourself you don't get to ignore the laws. Again, you can learn these things, but don't ignore the value of your time.

Are You A Good Salesperson?

Can you develop rapport and properly answer objections about your home? Could your defensiveness scare off a buyer who criticizes your home? Think back on your own purchases, and you'll realize that a good salesperson makes a difference.

Paperwork

Will you be able to help the buyer properly fill out an offer to purchase? An agent would. If the buyer puts special clauses in the offer, will you understand what they mean? Do you have the other closing documents ready?

Are You A Good Negotiator?

When did you last learn a new negotiating technique? Do you know how to counter-offer without scaring off a buyer? A good salesperson is trained in these skills, and does the negotiating for you.

Do You Really Want The Hassle?

You can learn what you need to know, and some of that will be covered in the coming chapters. But do you really want to do everything it takes to sell your home on your own? It's a lot of work for what may be the same outcome as with an agent.

You May Not Save A Penny

Buying documents, and possibly paying a lawyer to review offers will be your expense. Newspaper advertising, signs for the yard, mailing out information packets to prospective buyers - it's all your expense when you sell it yourself. Then after your hard work, you may get low offers and perhaps even negotiate poorly. Honestly, sellers often net less money from the sale when they try to save the commission.

Most "FSBO" sellers eventually turn to a real estate agent for help. You could learn the things an agent does, but is it worth it to spend all that time and maybe not even save any money? Selling a home yourself probably isn't worth the effort unless you really know what you're doing. But if you choose to...

The book continues here: How to Sell a House Yourself - How to do it right when you try it alone.


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