For most people the decision to hire a real estate agent in Raleigh, North Carolina is an easy one. For the do-it-yourself crowd it’s selling a home by owner or “FSBO” (For Sale By Owner) pronounced “fiz-bow”. The home owners who want to hire a professional to sell their most valuable asset either research realty companies in their area or simply use the same realtor who helped them buy the house.
Either way here are some guidelines to help you with your decision.
This is where most of those selling a home by owner go wrong. Some of the things I hear when asking a home seller how they determined their asking price is: the house across the street is on the market for x$ more than ours. Unfortunately the asking price of another home does nothing for
yours. You want to find 2 or 3 similar homes in the immediate area which are comparable in style, size, age, amenities, and that has sold no more than 6 months prior to yours. You can do research on sites such as Zillow, Eppraisel, Wake County tax records, Realtor.com, Trulia, Movoto, etc.
This is where real estate agents have an advantage. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) allows agents and appraisers to research very detailed and specific data about comparable sales not available to the general public. While it’s true that other websites can pull data from the MLS you will not have access to the specifics such as closing costs, days on market, particular data on features and amenities, days it took to find a buyer, and so forth.
Cost of sale
Take into consideration how much it will cost you to sell a house. Hiring an agent will be the most expensive way to sell your house. Agents in Raleigh NC charge as much as 6% of the total selling, which can easily add up to $10,000 – $20,000, or more.
If you’re selling by owner you will save a lot of money on commission. You will still have to pay closing costs such as revenue stamps, prorated taxes, attorney fees, recording fee’s, and the biggest expense will be your loan payoff.
This is one of the most important aspects on how to sell a house fast. You will not be successful without proper marketing. If you hire an agent in Raleigh your home will be put in the MLS and will be advertised to over 3000 agents in the triangle area of NC. If the agent markets your house properly your home will also be featured on all the other websites that are directly available to consumers.
If you’re selling your own home there are key websites such as Zillow that you will want to advertise your property on. Also, you should employ directional signage to drive extra traffic on the weekends.
Contracts & negotiating
This is where the advice of a professional will add a lot of value. Realtors will be using their offer to purchase and contract drafted by their attorneys. Which is complex and is over 11 pages long. Your realtor will be able to explain the important points and contingencies.
If you are selling by owner you’ll want to use something more simple but something that is applicable in the state of North Carolina. The other discussion you’ll have to make as a FSBO is whether or not you will cooperate with a “buyer’s agent”.
One of the most important aspects is proper qualification of the prospect. The last thing you want is for your home to be tied up off the market for 60 days only to fall through because of an inability to obtain financing.
Remember that when dealing with first time home buyers they have to come up with a lot of cash for closing costs, down payment, application fees for their mortgage application, moving costs, maybe they just got married. Most of these buyers need the seller to pay some of their closing costs to be able to buy the house.
Be flexible, it costs money to sell a home. If your house sits on the market too long buyers will think there is something wrong with it. Be careful not to negotiate yourself out of a sale.