One of the most asked questions that I have had asked to me is, “Should I use a real estate agent to sell my house?”. The answer to this is very situational and cannot be given a “one size fits all” response. In fact, my response usually sounds something like, “Why are you wanting to sell your house?”. The answer to this one question is actually what dictates the answer to the original query.
So, why should someone use a real estate agent? A good real estate agent does provide some invaluable resources and skills that make the house selling process so much easier. Some of these resources and skills are things like intimate knowledge of the local market, superior marketing and negotiation skills, and even industry connections with other local agents. These things can be very beneficial to the agent’s clients who are wanting top dollar for their property.
There is a catch to all of this though. By using an agent, the home owner may get their asking price for their property (or at least close to it), but about 12% of that will be skimmed right off of the top and go to paying for the agent’s commissions and also helping the buyer with closing costs and other concessions. So if an owner has a significant amount of equity and the property is in perfect condition, then this may appeal to that person.
But if you need to sell your property quickly for whatever reason or if you have little to know equity in the property then there is another alternative, you can sell it yourself and offer to carry the financing for the property. This type of strategy of selling the property has shown that owners still get top dollar for their property, and it sells quicker.
You can structure the sale anyway that you want. I would recommend at least asking for a down payment of some sort and, as part of the terms, a balloon payment due in three to five years. Studies have shown that the higher down payment that a person places down on a property, the less likely that they are to default on the loan. The balloon payment ensures that the buyer, whose name will transfer to title once the property closes, will refinance the property and you, the seller, will get the remaining equity and your name is removed from the loan.
By selling your property in this manner is a great way to move your property quickly and is a great alternative to the traditional route of selling through a real estate agent.