Tips for selling my house

What small tips and tricks have you found that made a difference in your personal finance life? What great article did you just read? Found a great blog?

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Adam
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Tips for selling my house

Postby Adam » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:57 pm

If I choose 'for sale by owner' is there anything in particular I need to be aware of?

Adam
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Postby Adam » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:10 pm

Nothing?

I have a target market and means of reaching them (two large military installations in the area, both with bulletin boards). I know of a few things I need to do to clean up the inside and outside. Maybe get some ideas on how to stage it. A fresh coat of paint on the inside, a deep cleaning of any carpets... what else? Freshen up the landscaping..... I'm just looking for ideas.

sandi_k
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Postby sandi_k » Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:14 pm

Adam, at least in CA, the legally required disclosures are daunting. Asbestos, lead paint, water damage, mold...I'd much rather have an agent in between me and a suit-happy buyer.

YMMV.

Sandi

Blueberry Scone
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Postby Blueberry Scone » Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:50 am

I'm with Sandi. I'd rather be out the expense of going through a Realtor. They sell houses all the time, I don't. And, it's such a sticky, legal thing - they know what they're doing, and they can tell me what to do to help sell (like you suggested, maybe painting the walls, doing some landscaping work, etc.). I have a friend who sold his home on his own, but it was a nightmare. And all he had was a small, 2-bedroom condo. He says time and time again (and this was about 4 years ago that he sold it, too) that it was NOT worth the savings of doing it himself.

I'm all for DIY things, but I also know my limits.

Cely
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Postby Cely » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:36 am

Not sure you still need tips, but...

1. Move out if at all possible. Then clean, paint, and stage the house to look its best. If the house is small it's better to stage with furniture to make rooms look bigger.
2. Yes, do landscaping. Curb appeal matters. At the very least make sure everything is mowed and edged, and add some potted plants on the porch or near the front door.
3. Be sure you know all disclosures that you'll need to make. I would hire a real estate lawyer if you don't want an agent. For a few hundred dollars you can make sure you're covered.

ChelleWeezie
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Postby ChelleWeezie » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:20 pm

Clean and nuetral color sells.

Ask the buyer to bring their own realtor and negotiate a 3 % fee.
ChelleWeezie

DoingHomework
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Re:

Postby DoingHomework » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:36 pm

sandi_k wrote:Adam, at least in CA, the legally required disclosures are daunting. Asbestos, lead paint, water damage, mold...I'd much rather have an agent in between me and a suit-happy buyer.

YMMV.

Sandi

Very true. But it is the escrow agent that takes care of this in most cases. The real estate agent will prepare offer contracts and/or responses but you CAN wait to the closing if you want to. The issue would be that if things come up at the closing that are surprises you may not close when you think and this could cost you dearly.

I would not hesitate to sell a house without an agent IF you can effectively market it yourself and if you are familiar with the laws in your state/area concerning issues and disclosures. This is, however, very much a buyer's market so a good agent might be very helpful when you start negotiating with buyer's. A good one could easily make up the 6-7% commission.

Also bear in mind that almost anything you read about the behavior of lenders that is more than 6 months old is likely WRONG. The person who buys your house will likely need a loan and that might mean the lender requires all sorts of special language or concessions on your part that were unheard of a year or two ago.

You mention military bases...are you in encroachment zones? Runway approaches? Are there noise disclosures required? Disclosures on height restrictions because of military operations? Can a buyer sue you because you did not mention the helicopter noise you hear now and then?Are you redlining because you plan to advertise on military bases? Do you know what redlining is?

All in all, there are a lot of things you need to know. You can learn all of them on your own. But a good real estate agent gets paid to know that stuff.

SaxtonSells
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Re: Tips for selling my house

Postby SaxtonSells » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:57 am

Realtors are professionals. Would you install electrical service yourself simply because you read a book or reviewed a website? No.

As a Realtor, I can tell you that there are more pitfalls, laws, and legal reprecussions that we are all trained on how to handle, than you can even THINK about. Negotiate with your Realtor and tell them you want them to cut their commission because you're paying for advertising out of your own pocket instead of building it into their commission. Also, pay for the fliers, booklets, printing etc out of your own pocket instead of building it into their commission.

I've done this with many clients and have gotten a great amount of referrals from folks who HAVE to sell but really cant afford what the "going" rate is. Of course, Im not doing it for free, but I do help out when I can.

Rebecca

Adam
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Re: Tips for selling my house

Postby Adam » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:03 am

I talked to the realtor I used to buy the house 3 years ago and she thinks it would be a stretch to even get $170k. The commissions would typically be what, $10k? So effectively I get $160k for a $178k mortgage. Assuming I don't pay any other closing costs.

That blows.

DoingHomework
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Re: Tips for selling my house

Postby DoingHomework » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:00 pm

SaxtonSells wrote:Realtors are professionals. Would you install electrical service yourself simply because you read a book or reviewed a website? No.


Absolutely! I would and have done my own electrical work after reading a book, understanding the principles, and reading the NEC to learn the rules and good practices.

I have nothing against real estate agents (Realtor is a name trademarked tradename owned by the biggest monopolistic group of real estate agents in the US). I would use one for the convenience just like I have an accountant prepare my taxes. Real estate agents have acces to great marketing networks that will really help. (And, for the record, I am trained in real estate law though I have no interest in being an agent.)

That said, I think real estate commissions are way to high and reflect the monopoly the NAR has built. Years ago, stock transaction costs were about 2%, mutual funds were about 5-6%, and real estate commissions were 6-7%. All of these reflected the paperwork and effort required to close the respective transactions plut small profits. The only one that has not come down to reflect improved technology, communication, and regulatory simplicity is real estate transactions. That does not make economic sense to me.

SaxtonSells
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Re: Tips for selling my house

Postby SaxtonSells » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:04 pm

You obviously missed the point I was trying to make. You remind me of the type of clients I fire.

DoingHomework
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Re: Tips for selling my house

Postby DoingHomework » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:24 pm

SaxtonSells wrote:You obviously missed the point I was trying to make. You remind me of the type of clients I fire.


How exactly do you "fire" a client? Do you breach your contract or do you breach you professional ethics by failing to vigorously work on behalf of the client?

As you know, real estate commissions and the monopolistic behavior of the NAR are under attack by regulators in many states. I'm not the only one who has noticed the problem!

Savarel
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Re: Tips for selling my house

Postby Savarel » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:25 pm

Would you install electrical service yourself simply because you read a book or reviewed a website? No.


Why not? Electrical wiring is not that daunting if you know the basic principles and can look up the specifics.

Same with selling a house. People do it all the time. There is no reason a person could not successfully sell a house themselves, nor install electrical wiring/equipment themselves. Its just a matter of patience and committment.

julia.sadie
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Re:

Postby julia.sadie » Mon May 17, 2010 12:26 am

Adam wrote:I have a target market and means of reaching them (two large military installations in the area, both with bulletin boards). I know of a few things I need to do to clean up the inside and outside. Maybe get some ideas on how to stage it. A fresh coat of paint on the inside, a deep cleaning of any carpets... what else? Freshen up the landscaping..... I'm just looking for ideas.


It's fine if you want to sell your house yourself, but you might want to do some research so you know how to proceed. If you are just planning to post an ad on a bulletin board, you should at least add some pictures of the house. Curb appeal is important, so make sure you keep your lawn trimmed and free of animal feces or any kind of dirt, and then maybe plant some flowers. Clean drains, replace any moldy or rusty fixtures and remove anything installed that you don't plan on including in the sale. If you want to paint, choose neutral colors; bold colors might throw some people off. You might also want to hire a home inspector so that you'll be ready to answer questions by buyers later on.

kman100
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Re: Tips for selling my house

Postby kman100 » Tue May 25, 2010 8:44 am

Some good advice here. The wife and I are thinking of trying to sell our house, and are really clueless on what to do.

Using a Realtor is the easy choice, but how much do they take. If I remember correctly I think it at least minimum 7%


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