I want to sell my own house...

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Posts: 119
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 9:36 pm
Location: Metro Detroit, MI

I want to sell my own house...

Post by blood_donor »

I'd like to try to sell my own house to save money on real estate agent commissions. I live in Troy, MI FWIW. Condo.

Does anyone have any recommendations on where to list, how to list, etc.?
Yahoo seems to have a $50/mo. real estate classified service, and of course there is Craigslist. What other places should I consider? ForSaleByOwner.com?

Any other advice?
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 12:47 pm
Location: Oklahoma City, OK

You may still find yourself dealing with an agent...

Post by x36900 »

...for example, if your buyer(s) used an agent to find your place, that agent may still want/expect 2% to 3%.

So, have a plan for what you'll do about that, should it come up.

Best of luck!
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Post by jms969 »

We sold our last couple of houses ourselves without an issue (realtors don't like it one bit, one local large realtor had a guy that did nothing but harrass FSBOs). Of course the market is much different now.

I would suggest that you sign up for one of the very low cost services to at least get your house listed on the local MLS, still doesn't mean realtors will show it but at least buyers can more easily search for it. In any ads that you run use the words brokers welcome, and be prepared to pay them 2% to 3% for bringing you a buyer (for that fee they should also handle the paperwork).

When we sold our last house the market was going great guns so we refused to work with brokers and sold the house in less than 30 days.

The one major thing that you have to get right is the price, this not 2004, we are in the midsts of the worst housing market since the depression (maybe the worst ever and Detroit is the worst of the worst). Price well below your competitors and you should move the condo.

Good luck

I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming like the passengers in his car.
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Other tips here:

Post by iceport »

Hey blood_donor,

There was another thread on this topic a while ago. There might be some useful tips and/or links here: Selling House By Owner

Good luck,
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Location: California

Post by Tony »

There are Nolo Press books on selling your own house. A special one for California and a general one, I think. We sold a house ourselves without any problem. That was in a seller's market though. Very different from today's market.

Most libraries carry many of Nolo's excellent self help law books.
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Post by rwwoods »

This topic was disussed at length on the forum a couple of months ago. Do a search to find the suggestions.
"I'm not so much concerned about the return on my money as the return of my money" - Will Rogers
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Post by sailor234 »

I've sold three homes with variations of FSBO.

My best suggestion: create a visitor log and encourage everyone to sign in; include names, phones and emails. If you at some point decide to list with a broker, include in the entire "visitor log" in listing agreement as EXEMPT. If anyone on the list comes back and buys, the RE agent is SOL.

This has worked for me twice, where I eventually listed with a broker but an exempt buyer came back to bid, which forced the broker to get his buyers to bid more to cover his commision.

I concur with the earlier poster to get the price right. I get a weekly email with links to all of the current homes in each of several towns. Amazing how many folks have been listed for over 200 days and maybe reduced the price by 1 or 2%. You must be absolutely realistic in pricing to get some action in this depressing market.

Finally, do everything you can to make the house presentable. Ask a few friends to come by and encourage them to be brutally honest on what they see as potential buyers. We all grow comfortable with the half-dead shrub, the scratched or dented door or wall, or some other damage that jumps out during a visitor's first tour. It might help to do a search on STAGING, an industry trend for preparing a house for sale.

You will have to work hard but you will earn the commission you save, even if it just means selling sooner to a buyer who is really saving the money.

Best of luck.

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Post by Boris »

I don't know if this is the case everywhere, but where I live the agents have to get compensated by the buyer if the seller is not offering a commission. Most will make you sign a contract to start showing you houses. They do this because they can provide you MLS listings and then you can contact the selling agent on your own and help them get full commission (no buyer/seller split) or you can get that knocked off the price, since the seller would be paying it regardless.

Using an agent saved me a lot of time and because the fee structure hurts the seller, not the buyer, it really didn't matter to me. Most people use agents, keep that in mind.

When I was looking for houses and I went to see some FSBO properties I was completely turned off by the process. First of all, everyone thinks their house is worth a lot more than it really is, because of all the sentimental value. It's much easier/less personable negotiating through an agent, not to mention quicker. Second of all, when I entered someone's home (note that I used the word home, not house) I was told about the things that happened in that house, all about their family, how it's so comfortable that there's a second kitchen in the basement, or other BS I didn't care to hear. When I go buy something, I don't want to deal with "touchy feely" and talk about our ethnic backgrounds. I guess I'm just cold like that. I don't think it's very different from how other people shop. Finally, it took me ~1-2 hours on average to see a FSBO home and about ~20 minutes to see an agent shown home. I value my time, especially if I'm forced to look at these properties during business hours.

Trust me, in many cases, unless you have something very desirable, talk to an agent and negotiate a better fee structure. For example, the house I bought was paying 2% commission to my agent instead of the 3% standard. I'm sure you can negotiate something like that where you pay 4-5% instead of 6% or maybe lower if the property is desirable and priced to sell and/or is a high dollar figure. Make sure you're picky about your agents too. Some are very aggressive others are very laid back and you wonder why they're even in the business. Try to get several "offers" from various agents too and see how they value the house.

I have no financial ties to any real estate agents nor do I work in the field, just thought you'd want to hear how at least one shopper was thinking.


EDIT: If anything, use this information to present your home better. Get an agent in the house anyway, even if you go FSBO route, just to get an idea of what they're thinking. They can tell you a lot about the local market, they live it every day.
Short term moves in the market are like "a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing." | - John C. Bogle quoting Shakespeare
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