We live in tough times and if we can conduct our lives in such a fashion that we can save dollars, we should consider those options. When you have decided to sell your property, you can use the normal route of using a real estate agent or you can do the selling yourself. By selling the house yourself, you will be saving a lot of money in commission.You can also get real estate agents to list your property. The agents who represent buyers, however, have no incentive to show their clients their listed FSBOs (for sale by owner) properties. The FSBO seller can opt to work with the buyer’s agent only. This agent will pay 2-3% commission, as opposed to the 6% fee paid to the listing agent. In this way, the seller’s agent is removed. The buyer’s agent now has an incentive to show the FSBOs to their clients and the seller saves the expensive listing commissions. As an example, your potential savings at 3% ($9,000) on a $300,000 house is a lot of money that you can save or use towards the next property.
Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
The MLS refers to the practice where a seller enters into an agreement with a real estate broker, paying them a flat fee for the listing of their property, as opposed to a percentage of the sale price. The broker who acts for the buyer still receives a percentage of the price, although this could also be a flat fee. A Flat Fee MLS brokerage basically ‘unbundles’ the services of a traditional real estate agent. The broker lists the property for sale, but the seller is under no obligation to use the MLS’s other services, which include negotiating, valuation of the property and the management of the transaction. These kinds of brokers are referred to as à la carte brokers because their services are not limited.
Agents use the MLS database to look for and research homes and properties. There are a number of online vendors available who will act as your listing agent and who will list your house for a flat fee. If you do your own search, you will come up with the names of the agents in your area who are licensed. These agents will have a couple of listing options on offer and they will differ in levels of exposure, fee and service. Preferably, you will choose one that allows you to add pictures and that has enough exposure to make it worth your while.
On the MLS listing site, you will find the information with regard to the commission you ought to pay the buyer’s agent. This is a piece of information that will not be missed by the buyers’ agents. A commission of around 2% will be a good enough draw card and incentive to attract the attention of the buyers’ agents and prompt them to show your home.
What You Can Do
When you want to sell your property by means of a FSBO or MLS, it means that a lot of the legwork will be done by yourself. The first thing to do is to determine what the right price will be. Study the sales in your own area within the last six months or so, drive around to look at the properties that are currently in the market and ask about the sales prices. The sales price for your house should not be too low, because then you will lose money. The price should also not be too high because it will not sell. Once you have determined the price, add another 1% to it to give you some negotiating power.
Put up a “for sale” sign. People need to know your house is on the market. Potential buyers drive around in the areas they prefer and they must be able to direct their agent or broker to properties they like.
You can have flyers printed and distributed to bring the sale of your home to the attention of buyers and brokers. Apart from the MLS, you can also put your house onto various free sites, such as Craig’s List, Zillow.com and Trulia.com. Also, try Google’s Roadmaps. Support your advertisement with lots of good pictures of your home.