My wife and I considered the options we had for selling our house. We could list it with a real estate agent, or sell it on our own. There were pros and cons of each. If we went with an agent, we would save time and stress. If we chose to sell it ourselves, we could save thousands of dollars, but there would be an extensive learning curve. Our primary goals were to maximize profit and make a timely sale.
After extensive research and careful deliberation, we made the uncommon choice to sell our house without a real estate agent. The deciding factor was the considerable amount of money we would save. Second on the list was the fact that we knew our home of thirty-three years better than anyone else.
Most people (over 90%) use a realtor to sell their home because the prospect of selling on their own is too daunting. For that reason, our choice may sound like a surprising decision for a HSP to make, given the potential for overwhelm. Although it was an intimidating process, I figured that we could at least give it a try. If things didn’t go well, we could always change course.
There was a seemingly endless list of things to be done! We found a company that offered a fee-based service to help us list our property in the multiple listings systems (MLS) in our area. It would be up to us to research the current market, photograph the home, create promotional materials, show the home to prospective buyers, and negotiate the sale.
We had to undertake the following activities:
- Evaluate the current real estate market by studying the price of similar houses that were recently sold and listed in our area. It was a challenge to determine optimal price, since we wanted to sell quickly but didn’t want to short-change ourselves by setting a price that was too low.
- Fill out many forms to list it our home on the MLS. These forms were extensive and needed to have honest and exact information.
- Hire a real estate photographer to take pictures of the interior and exterior of our home. We wanted the photos to be professional, so that we could show our home in the best light possible and attract more buyers.
- Keep our home “showcase ready” for potential buyers at a moment’s notice.
- Hold regular open houses for the public and for realtors.
- Create promotional materials. We posted open house signs at different locations. We hired a graphic designer to create flyers that we could distribute at the house showings.
- Negotiate the price of our home with the realtor/buyer. Hire a lawyer to legally outline the terms of the sale.
The process of showing our home was more stressful than my wife and I could have imagined! It took a lot of effort to keep our house clean and clutter free all of the time. We also had to move our cats out whenever people came by. Sometimes, during the open houses, lots of people arrived at once. My wife and I kept our composure and did the best that we could. We gave the prospective buyers a personal and honest perspective about our house. Sometimes it was hard to show the inside and outside of our house at the same time without bumping into each other!
We sold the house in two weeks to a buyer that was brought in by a real estate agent. We only had to pay half of the commission to the buyer’s real estate agent…a substantial savings for us. Was it worth the extra effort? It absolutely was, despite the stress that went along with it. My wife and I gained a lot of confidence in ourselves! After that experience, we felt that we could take on anything necessary to meet our primary objective, which was to move closer to our daughter
Have you ever taken on a seemingly impossible project and then were able to deal with the many obstacles? After reaching your goal, did you feel like you could conquer anything? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.
Blog post 11 is about How I used my highly sensitive instincts to sell my house