Q & A for the seller of real estate

Q: Can’t I sell my own house better than a real estate agent?

A: That’s certainly possible. It depends on your answers to some questions:

— Will you always be available to show the house when a potential buyer wants to see it?

— Will you market the property effectively including an easy-to-find presence on the Internet?

— Can you detach yourself from the house emotionally and handle criticism and objections like a pro?

— Are you a good negotiator who remains calm under pressure?

— Can you create a binding legal agreement with a buyer that protects you against a default?

— Can you follow up with a buyer to make sure he or she is obtaining financing and meeting other obligations?

If you’re not fully confident in your ability to meet these requirements, you’d be smart to turn the marketing of your property over to a professional. Untold numbers of sellers have started with a For Sale by Owner sign in the yard only to turn to a real estate agent after months of frustration.

A common mistake sellers make is overpricing their property. This is easy to do because of the seller’s emotional involvement and a desire to recoup all of the costs of improvements made over the years. Unfortunately, this approach flies in the face of reality in too many cases. The market value of your property is not necessarily what you think it is “worth.” And some improvements don’t translate into a higher selling price.

You and your buyer must agree on a value in order to get the property sold. Clinging to a subjective concept like “worth” may prevent you and your buyer from ever reaching an agreement. A real estate agent can help you arrive at a value for your property based on objective criteria, and keep you from having unrealistic expectations and the disappointment they produce.

One real estate company, mine, will actually advertise For Sale by Owner property free of charge or obligation. Why would I do this? For one thing, it costs me nothing except a little time to take pictures and put the property on one of my Internet websites. Since the property is not listed with me, I can’t lose something I don’t have. But, who knows, some day you may decide to list the property with a REALTOR, and you may choose me. At least I’ll have a shot at it.

What’s more, while your property is displayed on my website I may get calls on it. You may agree to let me show the property, and prepare the written agreement if there’s an offer and you accept it. In that case you can compensate me with a partial commission based on my level of involvement. It’s a win-win-win situation for you, the buyer and for me.

If you’d like to talk with me about your property, and consider your options, call me at 229-924-3089. Would you like to get an idea of the value of your property in today’s real estate market? Would you like to know what properties comparable to yours are selling for? Call or email me at:  dixo1113@bellsouth.net.

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