You have an Albany or Saratoga county property you need to sell. You have evaluated your options and looked at all the hidden costs of selling a home.
You do not like the idea of paying the 5%-6% commission to a real estate agent. As a result, you decided to explore other options.
You might consider selling the home yourself via the “For Sale by Owner” route. This might seem like an attractive alternative to hiring a real estate agent to sell your property in order to save on commissions. After all, in this day and age, you do not need an agent to get your property a large viewership. Not only do you have Craigslist available to you, but you can just pay a flat fee listing site, such as FSBO.com or ByOwnerFlatMLS.com, a fee of less than $1,000, to connect you to a wide range of audiences via the MLS.
Before you take that route, consider the pluses and minuses.
On the plus side, you avoid the 5%-6% commission. However, the commission does not go away altogether. With a real estate agent sale, the commission is split between the the buyer’s and seller’s agent. Homeowners listing their properties FSBO usually offer an incentive of up to 3% to a buyer’s agent. Without that incentive, a buyer’s agent is unlikely to present your property to their client. And unrepresented buyers typically want to split the savings with the homeowner. At the end of the day, you might have to fork out a commission of 2%-3%, or give an equivalent discount to an unrepresented buyer. Yes, that is a significant saving of the 5%-6% commission you would pay to list with a real estate agent, but perhaps not as much as you would have like.
Also on the plus side is that you are in control of the listing price and showings. And quite frankly, you may be more motivated to sell your property than your agent is, and to push for as high a price as possible – after all, leaving a few thousand dollars on the table means less work and a faster sale for your agent, while sacrificing relatively little of the commission. That said, you really have to do your homework to get top dollar. After you do the necessary repairs and sprucing up to make your property attractive to a buyer, you will need good photos and a solid grasp of the neighborhood comparables to justify the asking price, which are usually a listing agent’s job. If you do not do your homework, potential buyers may be turned away or give you lowball offers for your property.
You will also have to educate yourself on the paperwork required to sell a property in Albany or Saratoga counties. New York State has a variety of disclosure requirements. For example, you might have to include information on lead-based paint or disclose a mold problem in the home. Usually, a real estate agent would help with those disclosures so you do not end up inadvertently skirting the law.
Finally, there is also the consideration of the timeframe of a sale. If you are selling a property FSBO, you might well have to deal with buyers who need to loan to purchase your property. First, you have to make sure that the buyers have sufficient funds for a down payment and closing costs and are approved for a mortgage that will cover the balance of the purchase price. Additionally, for the sale to go through, the bank will want an appraisal to be carried out, to make sure that the loan is protected by the value of the property. If the appraisal comes below the agreed upon purchase price, then either the buyer might have to put more money down upfront – which they might not be willing or able to do – or walk away from the purchase, leaving you with either having to find another buyer or having to give a discount on the purchase price to get the deal done.
Selling The Property To An Investor
If find that the time, effort and risk of selling the property by the FSBO route is not worth the relatively small financial savings, then you can nevertheless sell the property without hiring a real estate agent. Investors like Capital Region Home Buyers purchase properties in any condition for cash (no appraisals or bank approvals required) and can close on the property in 2-3 weeks (or longer if you prefer). This is a quick and hassle free process that will give you the peace of mind to prepare for the next chapter in your life.