For Sale By Owner

For Sale By Owner (Source; theprovince.com)

Are you considering selling your own house without a Realtor?  Are you motivated with the amount to take on this challenge?  Are you interested saving on commission?  Well, you are not alone.  In a recent online survey of home owners by Marin County more than 55% of home owners answered Yes to a question about their interest in selling their own home.

However, there are some tough challenges ahead for you in your attempt to sell your own home.  In fact, according to National Association of Realtors, 28% of the homes sold by their owners were under-price which means as owners they did not make as much money as they could have if they had used a Realtor.  Below are the Top 4 risks of selling your own home:

1) Price:  How do you plan to find the right price to market your property?  Do you know how much your home is worth?  Homeowners often use a neighborhood sale to associate w value to their home without any adjustments for:

  • Age
  • Living Space
  • Lot Size
  • Functional Utility
  • Upgrades and Amenities

Pricing is a combination science and art.  The science part is used to find matching comps and the subjective part is the ability to make the right adjustment based on the differences between your home and the recent sales.  We have priced homes for banks for resale for the past 10 years and every bank requires different criteria for valuations.

2) Contracts:  Sites like RocketLawyer or LegalZoom offer some ideas on what needs to be included in your real estate purchase contract.  However, not all of these contracts are valid in ALL the States and they can be easily be challenged in California courts.   In fact, you would help your cause immensely if you retained a California attorney to develop your contract for your purchase.

3) Marketing:  Marketing your home without access to MLS could be difficult, but there are some valuable  resources such as Craigs List that you utilize.    There are are rumors that services such as Trulia and Zillow would soon permit owners to list their homes for sale to challenge the MLS’s hold on the home listings.

4) Disclosures:   If you fail to disclose material information to your buyers, the transaction could be challenged up to five years where you would be liable to legal costs and damages.  Disclosures are the number one source of disputes for real estate transactions.

Finally, challenges to selling your own home are not insurmountable, but it requires serious planning and education on your part.


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