If you want to avoid paying a real estate commission when selling your house, you could do so if you can find a buyer yourself. To do this, you could list your home for sale by owner. While this can help you save money on the commission, you will face a lot of challenges that you would not have if you hired a real estate agent for help. One challenge you may face is dealing with unqualified buyers. Here are several things to know about this.
What Is a Qualified Buyer?
When you hire an agent to list your home, the agents that show your house will typically only show it to buyers that are qualified. A qualified buyer is one who has been preapproved for a mortgage loan through a lender. While a preapproval does not 100% guarantee that the person can get a loan to buy your house, it does offer a high probability that the person will not experience any issues when he or she closes on the loan.
Real estate agents screen buyers before showing homes, but this is not something you can do if you are selling your house yourself. You could ask potential buyers if they are preapproved before you show your house, but buyers might not always be completely honest about this.
What Problems Could This Cause?
If you begin showing your home, at some point someone might make an offer on your house. If the person has not been preapproved for a loan and you accept the offer, you might waste your time on this deal. As the person begins looking for a loan, you will be stuck waiting for the person to get the loan, and this may take some time. In fact, you might find out weeks or months later that the person cannot get a loan. If this happens, you would have just wasted all this time with this buyer when you could have been showing your house to other buyers.
One other problem you may face is buyers wanting to use unconventional methods for buying your house. When people see a home listed for sale by owner, they often think that the seller is selling the house on land contract, also known as seller-financing. If this is the case, you may have people begging you to buy your house on contract, which is a very different event than selling a house outright.
What Other Challenges Could You Face?
Dealing with unqualified buyers is one of the problems you might face when selling a house by owner, but there are other challenges too. One challenge is safety. Do you feel comfortable letting complete strangers come into your home to see it? This is usually a safe thing to do, but you can never be too sure.
One other challenge is exposure. Can you advertise enough to get the news of your house out there to enough people? This is one of the main challenges sellers face when they try selling alone. It is hard to advertise enough to find a buyer, but it is also hard to know how to negotiate a sale.
Finally, you should realize that some buyers simply will not buy a house that is for sale by owner. They prefer working with a real estate agent so they have an advocate helping them through the process.
If you want to avoid all these challenges and problems, you should list your home with a real estate agent. An agent can help you find a buyer for your house, and the agent will assist you through every other step required when selling a house.Share