Many homeowners feel they can successfully market their home and save the broker’s commission, or perhaps they are worried a broker will pressure them or make them uncomfortable. If you have thought about selling, but do not wish to engage a professional real estate agent’s help, here’s what to do:
1) Do everything BEFORE you put your home on the market. The longer the house is on the market, the more likely prospective buyers are to suspect there is a some sort of a defect. Before advertising, make your home into its most attractive and desirable condition. This includes making repairs, cleaning, neutralizing (removing as much personal taste as possible), and de-cluttering .
2) If you decide to place any advertisements, begin the text with the words “By Owner.” This will differentiate you from the other listings, which may increase your traffic (also remember, it may also attract buyers looking for a “deal”.)
3) Price the house realistically. Brokers interested in getting your listing might offer to do a free market analysis of comparable home sales in the area. Let them! Zillow is not a replacement for a real live person! This is a great tool to help set your asking price and a good way to start to establish contact with a real estate agent to give you an idea of their personalities, should you decide you later need one.
4) Negotiate the price of the house dispassionately and bargain creatively. You may be thinking you are going to save on a commission, but so will the buyer, so be prepared for low offers that may come in, and try to respond to them in a rational way, without feeling offended.
5) It is especially important here on Long Island to hire a very good real estate attorney to guide you through the inspection and closing process. It would be a shame to have come this far on your own, and then to lose a buyer on the way to the closing table. Make sure your attorney will give you full attention, and concentrates on real estate transactions only.