Why Would I Want to Help For Sale By Owner When I Make a Living Selling Real Estate.

Because sometimes it just makes more sense.

I work with a lot of military families helping them to find and purchase real estate. The first thing I want to know is does this make sense for you at this time. How long are you planning to be here? If you’re not going to be here long, and you have to sell your house, you should consider a For sale By Owner.

Cartoon man leaning on for sale by owner sign
For sale by owner

Military families move a lot. I know because I grew up in a military family and we were always moving, or so it seemed. We never spent more than a few years in any one place.

If someone is only going to be in a place for two years it doesn’t make sense to buy a house. They will likely have to pay to sell their home when the time comes to move. Yes, pay…to sell their home. Literally have to bring money to closing instead of leaving the closing table with a check.

Let me explain;

When you buy a house there is very little cost involved in the real estate transaction itself. If one is financing there will be some closing costs associated with that but it’s separate from the real estate transaction costs. For instance in the state I live in if you were to pay cash for a house there would be half the closing fee, around $250, and half the title insurance, which depends on the price of the house but isn’t expensive. Generally under $1000 total. When you go to sell your home that’s where the transaction fees (real estate commissions) get paid by the seller, you, along with half the closing fee and title insurance.

It’s not legal to fix those transaction fees where I live but they are generally 6% of the contract price. That can get expensive. If one doesn’t have enough equity built up they will have to bring money to closing to sell their house.

So my client tells me the Air Force says they are keeping him here for 7 years. Great, that’s plenty of time to buy a house, make it a home and if the economy stays intact probably come out a little ahead when it’s time to sell. A year and a half later the same client calls me and says the Air Force changed its mind and they have orders to ship out. Can I please help them sell the house.  One and half years is not enough time to build  equity to pay those outrageous transaction fees. Especially with government backed loans like FHA or VA that require little or no down payment. Little or down payment equals little or no equity.

Please notice I call them transaction fees rather than what they are. Real estate commissions. Transaction fees comes off a lot softer.

And yes, I get paid those outrageous fees when someone doesn’t know how or is scared to sell there house for sale by owner.

It’s really not that tough if you know how;

  • To get your house market ready.
  • To properly price your house.
  • Where and how to market your house.
  • How to vet a prospective buyer.
  • And all the other things a real estate agent does.

And it’s not just Military either. Sometimes bad things happen to good people and they get jammed up. People lose jobs, get sick, get job transfers or just are forced for whatever reason to give up their home through no fault of their own. If this family owns a $300,000 house the fees are going to be in excess of $18,000. That’s a lot of money. It is to me anyway.

As I’ve talked about in previous posts you’ll have to put in a little work. Things might come up. Problems may arise. Every transaction isn’t always super smooth but…$18,000? Understand you’re going to have some costs and you may end up paying a realtor some money that brings you a buyer if you choose to. You can negotiate that.  Whatever happens you are going to save (make?) a lot of money.

To many sellers it’s worth the money not to have to deal with it. Not to go through all the necessary steps to sell your home for the most money. That’s well and good if you can afford it. For sale by owner isn’t for everyone. This is just to let you know there is another way. You can easily sell your house For Sale By Owner.


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