When I’m planning how to sell my home, one of the many homes I own as a real estate investor, I consider the various steps in the process of selling a home. The first step is to locate a buyer, and after that step is accomplished the actual goal changes to getting the buyer qualified financially and getting the house appraised. Those two components can take longer than finding a buyer in the first place!
I buy and sell houses for a living as a real estate investor, so I’m familiar with the process of getting a buyer qualified and getting the whole transaction closed. It can take several weeks, even in a best-case scenario. Getting documents signed, delivered and reviewed, following up on inspectors, title companies and lenders, and making sure the buyer and seller are on track to move, can feel like managing a 3-ring circus under the big top! I might think I know everything about how to sell my home but every closing is a chance to learn something new!
You can sell your house yourself anytime you like! Especially if it is not listed with a real estate broker it’s your responsibility and yours alone. Many homeowners don’t realize that when you list with a broker there is a way for you to sell the house yourself and pay no commission. If you find a buyer and he or she is ready to buy, well, that is when you had better hope you’ve prepared well in advance. You will need a sales contract you need to know how to fill it out. After that you need to know where to take the contract and what happens next. It’s a complicated process, but you can do it if you’re prepared.
Sometimes I find the buyer myself when I need to sell my house quickly, but I hire a broker to do the paperwork and close the transaction. This works for me as a real estate investor because I’m always talking to people about houses and also about money. You will have to talk about money to any prospective buyer in order to qualify them financially. I’ve discovered that a lot of sellers are really not comfortable with sales or real estate or talking to other people about their money. It’s just part of the process.
So, although I can sell my house quickly, and you do the same thing when you learn the process, you need assess what you already know and what legal forms you have on hand. If you are well prepared, let’s talk about the listing agreement, the first form you may be signing.
Should you decide to list your house with a broker and yet you want to retain the right to sell your house on your own without an obligation to pay your broker, you need to pay close attention to what I’m saying here about listing agreements. The usual listing agreement is one called an Exclusive Right To Sell. By signing it you give your broker the right to collect a real estate commission no matter who brings a buyer to the closing table. If another agent brings a buyer, you still pay a commission to your broker and he gives part of it to the other agent. If you bring a buyer yourself, your broker gives you nothing. That’s right! You owe the commission no matter how much you do!
But there is another form called an Exclusive Agency Agreement, which is the form to sign if you desire to sell your house yourself without paying a commission. This agreement gives your broker the right to collect a commission on the sale, but you are allowed to sell it yourself and not pay a commission. As you can imagine, brokers don’t promote this type of agreement because it is not in their own best interest. However, it may very well be in your own best interest. When I want to sell my house quickly I only sign an Exclusive Agency Agreement if I list my house at all.
Why am I telling you all this? I am trying to make one crucial point: you need more than a buyer to get a house sold. You need knowledge and patience with the process, that’s a fact. Real estate professionals get paid for their ability to assist homeowners in getting through the complexities of selling a house, and that’s why I list with a broker sometimes myself. I know very well how to sell a house myself, but I often decide to list my house in order to get it through the closing process, my least favorite part of being an investor. I’d rather be improving yet another house in preparation to sell it than spending my time making phone calls and sending emails making sure a sale is making its way through the closing process.
So, let’s recap. You have the legal forms and you’ve acquired some knowledge, you’re thinking you have the patience to sell your house yourself, so you’re all set, right? Oh, and you’ve interviewed some brokers in the event you decide to list your home on the multiple listing service because you decide that a professional is better suited to get your sale closed properly. Looks like you are set to go ahead and get started. My congratulations to you., When I was starting out and just learning how to sell my home it would have been nice to have this advice upfront. It would have saved me a lot of time and money in the long run, that’s for sure!
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