Buying A Home
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To use a realtor or not (when selling)?

We might be trying to sell our house within the next couple of months in order to purchase our "forever home".  I would hate to pay a realtor fee since we've only been there 2 and 1/2 years and still owe a good amount on it.  Do you think a realtor would be worth the money or would you try to sell it on your own at first? [Poll]
My Blog: www.heatherjo05.blogspot.com,Married August 2009,Diagnosed insulin resistant & PCOS, Ditched BCP-Sept 2009, First RE appt. - March 2011, Success- Sept. 2011 Injectables and IUI BabyFetus Ticker

Re: To use a realtor or not (when selling)?

  • We seriously considered trying to sell our own home. We're in a very popular neighborhood, usually a quick turnaround (well, before the housing slump) and are not afraid of hard work, time commitments to show, etc.

    Then when we started looking to BUY- I realized that a quote I heard on a real estate intervention show really stuck with me. "You only get one chance to be new on the market."

    We have so much at stake in selling our home that to us it is worth the $ to sell faster. We read Home Selling for Dummies, interviewed realtors and in the end decided we would rather work with one and save ourselves the stress.

    The worst case to me would be to start out FSBO and then go with a realtor- you're already old on the market AND you're out the commission.

    It's a personal choice but we felt it's better left to the expert (but we were very choosy about who we selected,etc.)

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  • It would depend on the market in my area.  In the area where I WANT to move to, a house comes on the market and if it is nice, it's pending within a week.  Seriously.  EVERY SINGLE ONE is pending w/in a week!  In that area, I would have sold myself.  Where I live now, there are a lot of houses (similar to our house) that are for sale and have been for some time.  We need the realtor...

  • When you pay a realtor the fees are going toward marketing your home, their time spent advertising/showing it to buyers and even hosting open houses. Once you go into contract their job doesn't just stop they take care of more than you think. They are coordinating between the banks, attorneys and they are making sure your house is up to code with laws around fire prevention, sewer, water they are ordering final readings. Alot goes into selling a home why not just leave it to the people who do it everyday. 
  • As a buyer, I refused to look at FSBOs b/c usually they were unrealistically priced and/or they didn't offer a commission for my buyer's agent.  I also didn't see them listed, so it was by chance that I might drive by one.

    If I were a seller, I'd absolutely save myself the time/stress and go with a realtor right away.  Most FSBOs end up listing with a realtor anyway and I agree w/ the PP about only having one chance to be new on the market. 

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  • As I buyer we didn't look at any FSBO. They seemed overpriced and home owners clearly don't have as much experience selling homes as realtors do, so I just felt like the whole process had more of a chance to hit snags with an FSBO. But I live in an area with a lot of homes on the market, so there was plenty to choose from without FSBO. But as a seller in this market, I'd give yourself every advantage.
  • Use a realtor right off the start. My partner's Mom posted a For Sale sign outside of her house back in the fall. 2 weeks ago, she finally listed. So, now her house has been sitting on the market for months, literally, and no one is interested at this point. She was asking too much when she was trying to sell it herself, and it's still over-priced.

    We're starting to look at places ourselves (very informally, just browsing online), and I'm not interested in FSBO. It's much simpler to look at places that are formally listed. 

    Life is good today.
  • We've sold 2 houses by owner and are probably about to list our current house by owner in a couple of weeks (we're still trying to decide if now is the time to sell). Personally, I would recommend selling by owner, but you do have to be proactive and willing to do some work.

    Our first house was on a busy street, so it advertised itself. Our second house was tucked away and we had to work to sell it. We used a flat rate listing service that listed our house on all of the MLS sites. We advertised open houses in the paper and staged our house really well. We also had nice looking signs made instead of just the typical "For Sale by Owner" signs. The listing service was wonderful, professional and led us through all of the paperwork as it was needed - we were very impressed. Altogether, we estimated that we spent around $1,000 - much less than the over $14,000 that we would've paid a realtor to list our house.

    Most buyers see a house listed by the owner and figure they have more wiggle room in their offer price - so our house listed at $249,900 sold for $241,000. We were thrilled with that. It worked out better for us and for the buyers b/c had we had to pay a realtor fee (it also worked out that they didn't have an agent), we wouldn't have been willing to come down on the price so much.

    Anyway, I think it was well worth the time invested to save so much money. In my opinion, if you can get your house on the MLS, that's the most important thing - that's the biggest advantage to having a realtor, but you can do that without a realtor now. This is nothing personal to realtors - they're wonderful and no doubt make the process easier. But if a few thousand dollars makes a difference to you like it does us, it's definitely worth trying to sell by owner first. Good luck with your decision and have a blessed day. :)

  • image MEL73104:

    We've sold 2 houses by owner and are probably about to list our current house by owner in a couple of weeks (we're still trying to decide if now is the time to sell). Personally, I would recommend selling by owner, but you do have to be proactive and willing to do some work.

    Our first house was on a busy street, so it advertised itself. Our second house was tucked away and we had to work to sell it. We used a flat rate listing service that listed our house on all of the MLS sites. We advertised open houses in the paper and staged our house really well. We also had nice looking signs made instead of just the typical "For Sale by Owner" signs. The listing service was wonderful, professional and led us through all of the paperwork as it was needed - we were very impressed. Altogether, we estimated that we spent around $1,000 - much less than the over $14,000 that we would've paid a realtor to list our house.

    Most buyers see a house listed by the owner and figure they have more wiggle room in their offer price - so our house listed at $249,900 sold for $241,000. We were thrilled with that. It worked out better for us and for the buyers b/c had we had to pay a realtor fee (it also worked out that they didn't have an agent), we wouldn't have been willing to come down on the price so much.

    Anyway, I think it was well worth the time invested to save so much money. In my opinion, if you can get your house on the MLS, that's the most important thing - that's the biggest advantage to having a realtor, but you can do that without a realtor now. This is nothing personal to realtors - they're wonderful and no doubt make the process easier. But if a few thousand dollars makes a difference to you like it does us, it's definitely worth trying to sell by owner first. Good luck with your decision and have a blessed day. :)

     

    Thank you for posting a positive reply about FSBO! We're thinking of going this route with our house.  

  • Thank you for all your responses!  They really helped.  We haven't decided whether to sell or not yet but if we do, I will probably list it with a realtor.
    My Blog: www.heatherjo05.blogspot.com,Married August 2009,Diagnosed insulin resistant & PCOS, Ditched BCP-Sept 2009, First RE appt. - March 2011, Success- Sept. 2011 Injectables and IUI BabyFetus Ticker
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