How to Sell Your House in a Under a Week
Part 1: Home Improvements
Part 2: Clean Up
Part 3: Staging Your Home
Part 4: Listing for Sale
Please note, I’m not a real estate agent, nor do I play one on TV. This advice is strictly from my experience. My experience was tremendous, and it just happened. Not during the big real estate boom of 2005 (or whenever it was, exactly). This all happened in May 2013! The market does seem to be changing for the better!
Like it? Pin it or REPIN it!
To list your house you can either find a listing agent or list it yourself on a site such as FSBO.com (For Sale By Owner). While you can save a lot of money by listing yourself, it might not garner the highest price for your home so you’re losing by saving a little. Personally, I didn’t want to leave one of the biggest transactions of my life up to chance, and felt it was worth finding a good agent to handle it.
In my experience, we paid realtor fees of right around $10,000 to sell our house. Yes, we could have saved TEN GRAND by listing it and selling it ourselves, BUT we also sold our house for $20,000 over market price. Would we have if we’d listed ourselves? I really don’t believe we would have. Maybe, but maybe not. There’s another house in our neighborhood with the exact same floor plan, older bathrooms (we remodeled everything) and it was listed for $25,000 more than we listed for. It was on the market for more than 3 months and did not sell as high as ours did. We listed a prettier house, at a lower price, and it sold in 5 days – for more than we were asking. Retaining a Realtor worked very well for us and more than paid for itself. Note: this comparable house I mentioned was also listed by an agent. Apparently, an agent with a different plan of attack.
Deciding to get a Realtor® was easy for us, because we have a good friend that is an agent. We trust her, so it was a no-brainer to ask her to list our house for sale. If you don’t have a good friend or a family member who is a Realtor, consider asking around for recommendations. Ask real questions to qualify the person, and don’t be afraid to pass on someone you’re not totally comfortable with. Remember, this is a big deal (literally!)
Ideas for questions to qualify a Realtor to sell your house:
- How long have you been selling homes?
- What is your success rate?
- On average, how long are homes you’ve listed on the market?
- Do you represent seller more often, or buyer?
- When selling a home you listed, how often do you find the buyer?
- Do you consider yourself an aggressive agent?
- What’s the longest a house you’ve listed has been on the market in the past year?
If you’re in the Southern California area, especially the Inland Empire, consider using our Realtor: Century 21 Experience. They were amazing! Be sure to tell them Gimmie sent you!
Realtor commission: The way it works is that when a house is listed, the Realtor fee is usually 6% of the selling price. On a $100,000 home that would mean the Realtor fees would be $6,000. Since there is usually a Realtor representing the seller and another Realtor representing the buyer, the 6% commission is split between the two. Each gets 3%. And, if your listing agent finds a buyer too, they get the full 6% commission. You should always choose the best offer for you, not the best offer that will benefit your listing agent! Our agent offered to sell for less than the normal 6% commission because she was a close friend. Sometimes, you can ask your agent to give you a better deal. Or, you can negotiate if they bring the seller to you. Talk to them and see what’s reasonable in your situation.
Keep in mind, if the market in your area isn’t booming, asking for a reduced rate can be a red flag to agents who will be bringing potential buyers to you. If you say, “bring your best offers” but then say “and we’re only paying you 2%” (as an example, that’s half of the commission if you’ve negotiated 4%) it might work against you in the long run. Depending on the housing market in your area though, you may have room to negotiate.
You can negotiate so many things, it’s a great time to get creative! Ask your agent to give you a reduced rate. If you’re buying a home, consider using the seller’s agent and ask for a reduced rate. The selling agent is already making the seller’s commission, so if you buy using them they’ll make the buyer’s commission too. That is how I actually bought this home ten years ago, and I was able to use it as a negotiating point.
A real estate professional’s title often indicates how much of the commission they’ll make. There are Brokers, agents, Realtors, sales consultants and everything in between. Agents normally work under a broker and share the commission with them. Someone in the lineup should be licensed by the Board of Realtors.
Today’s market is changing, I’m happy to report. It seems like great properties in desirable areas are selling like mad! We are in Southern California, about 65 miles East of Los Angeles in a nice area of a nice suburb. Not a super expensive area, but not a run-down area either. Personally, we absolutely love our neighborhood and neighbors, but our zip code is also known as “up and coming” as the buyers told us from their research. We had 26 offers at or above our asking price in just 5 days when we had to put our listing in “quiet mode” to keep more people from coming to see it. This has all been a dream come true, and a real blessing.
It’s hard to sell your house, especially when you love it like we do. But, this could not have gone better for us. We weren’t trying to make a million dollars. We asked a fair price in the median values of our neighborhood comparables. Our house has quite a few more updates than many, so it was very popular.
Tune in tomorrow for Part 5: Show and Sell!