Many of us like to try and be as savvy with our money as we can and when you are considering selling your home you might decide that the DIY option rather than using a real estate agent could be a great way to save a few thousand dollars.
It is certainly tempting at first glance to think of the savings you might be making if you try to sell your home on your own without instructing a professional, but there are downsides to consider and you might not be as better off as you might believe.
Here is an overview of the pros and cons of DIY home selling, including a look at how finding a buyer is harder on your own, why the internet matters so much for selling your home, plus an insight into how emotions can get in the way of a good deal.
In order to sell your home as quickly as possible and for the best possible price you want to attract a decent number of house buyers and generate some reasonable competition amongst them.
The way people search for a new home has changed dramatically over the years and is primarily down to the internet becoming a global marketplace that the vast majority of us tend to use as our starting point when looking for something.
It should not come as a surprise to you to learn that an estimated 90% of home buyers search online for a property, which completely overshadows the estimated 15% or so who will trawl through print newspaper ads to look at homes for sale.
If you are going to find someone to buy your home you will need to gain maximum exposure to the internet and potential buyers need to be able to find your property when they are carrying out searches online.
Most competent real estate agents have a strong presence online and gear their selling strategy towards promoting your property via the internet.
Unless you are prepared to spend good money and have the SEO skills to get your property noticed, a compelling reason for using a real estate agent rather than going the DIY route is the fact that you need to be visible on the internet these days to find a buyer.
You could argue that if you put your own yard sign up and your home is in an area where plenty of people pass by, you might be able to attract a buyer that way.
You might also conclude that someone locally might want to buy your home and could see an advert you place in the local newspaper.
These two initiatives combined account for about 10% of house sales, so it’s not impossible to find a buyer this way, which would save you money compared to paying agents fees, but do you really want to exclude about 90% of your potential buyers by taking these narrower options as your route to a DIY sale?
Many of us have some level of emotional attachment to the home that we are contemplating selling, which is no bad thing as such, but it could hinder your ability to sell your home quickly and at the right price.
Common mistakes made by DIY home sellers include overestimating the value of their home and not treating offers as seriously as they should do.
You may well love your home and think it’s a great place to live but everything has its price and if you allow emotions to cloud your judgment and put too high a valuation on your home, you are going to struggle to sell it.
Another problem to consider when you are handling all the negotiations yourself is that you could let your emotions get in the way of what could be a sensible offer and take offense that someone is trying to give you such a low price for your property.
You could also inject too much enthusiasm or desperation into your negotiations with potential buyers.
It is often much better to take a back seat and let an agent handle all the viewings and subsequent negotiations. They will have your best interests at heart when they are acting on your behalf, but they will have that crucial emotional detachment which allows them to see what is the right offer and how to secure a buyer on those terms.
Trying to sell your own home is a bit like taking on someone else’s job and expecting to be good at it from day one.
A real estate agent is a property professional and if they secure a higher price for your home than you could manage by yourself, their fees will suddenly seem very worthwhile.
Georgia Leonard works as a realtor and has been in the profession for close to a decade. Her real estate articles appear on a variety of blogs and websites.