If you’re selling a house by owner in Georgia, there are a few things to consider. You can expect to pay for realtor commissions, your mortgage balance, any liens, an Owner’s policy, an appraisal, transfer tax, home warranty, and attorney fees. With 3 to 6 percent realtor commissions in Georgia on top of other costs, it may seem appealing to sell your home on your own. But it might not make sense for everyone given the amount of time and effort involved.
There’s also the option of selling your home to a property investor for cash. Because no realtors are involved, you eliminate all realtor commissions (both buying and selling commissions). Also, because most property investors buy homes ‘as-is,’ there is no need for advertising, prepping, or staging the home for sale.
If you’re curious about listing your home on the real estate market all on your own, here are some key considerations.
What Research Needs to Be Done When Selling a Home By Owner?
Learn About the Local Real Estate Industry
Real estate laws vary from state to state, sometimes even from city to city. For example, certain states, like Georgia, require a real estate attorney to handle the closing when doing a For Sale By Owner (FSBO). Also, marketing platforms may vary from city to city. Some cities have a centralized real estate website to market all property listings across the city while other cities rely on a variety of real estate websites to advertise and shop properties.
If you’re selling a luxury property, word of mouth and networking might be the most effective tool for you. Find out what kinds of real estate advertising are most used and effective for your specific listing and area. You’ll also want to research the best time of year to sell your home and read up on some real estate negotiating techniques, so that you can get what you want out of the deal.
Gather Current Housing Market Statistics or Comps for Your Area
Your initial listing price is one thing you want to get right. Listing too high can cause your home to sit on the market for too long, which may turn buyers away and lead to multiple price cuts. You can determine the right price by hiring a professional appraiser and gathering comparable recent sales prices of similar properties in the area. Once you determine a listing price, you can double check with a realtor to see if the price is right.
Get a Survey of the Property
A property survey is important to determine the scope of your property, including your property lines, easements, and land placement. Lenders, title companies, or both require a copy of a survey to close on a home purchase. For picky buyers looking for a specific amount of land or for those looking to add to the home, having exact specifications can make all the difference in your selling proposition. You can usually get a copy of your property boundaries from the local tax office.
What Costs Are Involved in Selling a Home By Owner?
Selling your house by owner in Georgia means you won’t have to pay a realtor commission for the selling agent, but you still might have to pay a realtor commission for the buyer’s agent as part of the negotiation. Advertising your property will also be another major cost. Here are some ballpark estimates of what you’ll likely be paying when selling a property on your own.
- Mortgage Balance: if any
- Liens: if any
- Transfer Tax: based on the sale price of the property (In GA: $1 per $1,000)
- Buyer’s Agent Commissions (if negotiated as part of sale): ~3% of Sale Price
- Owner’s Policy: ~$500
- Appraisal: ~$350
- MLS listing: ~$250
- Photography and Advertising Costs: ~ $500
- Property Survey: ~$15 – $200
- Closing Attorney: ~$200 – $600 (cost potentially shared with buyer)
- Staging/Cleaning: ~$100 – ~$500 (optional)
What Marketing is Involved in Selling a Home By Owner?
Take Photographs of Your Home
Pictures make a huge difference in how quickly you sell your home. Sellers that use high quality photographs when listing their home reportedly sell 32 times faster than those that don’t. Homes with multiple photos on their listing sell even faster. One photo listings spend an average 70 days on the market while a home with 20 photos spends and average of 32 days on the market.
List the Property
Listing your home on Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a must. MLS is the database for realtors and brokers to list properties for sale and find homes for buyers. You can now purchase a flat fee MLS Listing from a state licensed real estate broker to have your property posted on hundreds of real estate websites, broker websites, and some of the most renowned real estate websites today. This service allows you to list your house on MLS without having to retain other services from the realtor. You still reserve the right to sell your house for sale by owner.
Post Signage on the Property and in Your Area
An attractive “For Sale” sign can help generate leads. A sign in front of your home encourages a buyer to immediately call you if they want more information about your house.
Send Out Electronic Flyers to Buyers’ Agents
In this day and age, you might fair better creating electronic flyers rather than print flyers. By emailing flyers, you can quickly and easily reach both local and out-of-state real estate agents by emailing electronic flyers with photographs of your house. But you’ll have to research local real estate agents to build an email list.
Advertise Your Property on Social Media
One big disadvantage of selling a home on your own is not being able to leverage a realtor’s network to find a buyer. In lieu of having to build your own network just to sell your house, you may have to do extra networking on social media, which may include connecting with local buyer’s agents on Facebook and LinkedIn and possibly boosting ads of your home in targeted areas.
Stage Your Home
Whether you’re selling your house by owner or through a realtor, you should stage your house for potential buyers. Buyers are willing to spend 1% to 5% more of the dollar value on a staged home than a non-staged home.
If you’re selling your home without an agent, you are responsible for setting up showings and open houses. Be easy to reach. Allow buyers to contact you through your email, social media, and cell phone. Get a lockbox that allows buyer’s agents to show your property when you’re not at home. Publicize your open house events with street signs and social media posts.
As an Alternative, You Can Sell Your Home Fast with Arbor View
Still thinking of selling your home on your own? Your decision should boil down to if the money you’ll save in realtor commission fees is worth the amount of time and effort needed to sell your home.
If you don’t have the time or patience to do the research, market your home, prepare it for staging, and coordinate showings, you can always sell it to a property investor for cash and forget about the hassle and the realtor commissions.
Interested in selling your home fast for cash without having to repair, clean, stage, or pay realtor commissions? Contact Arbor View Properties today.