Modern technology has changed the way Americans look for real estate. With one click, you can view all homes in a particular neighborhood and get information about the sale prices. However, not much has changed regarding the actual buying and selling of real estate.
New services that use technology and redefine what “for sale” means are trying to change the rules in real estate. These services bridge the gap between traditional commission-based real estate agencies and the old-style FSBO. Most of these companies offer services at a la carte, which allows you to only pay for what you need, rather than charging flat fees for the sale price.
A la carte real estate companies offer alternatives to traditional commission-based plans. These services claim they will help you save money on commissions. Many of these services offer buyers options, but buyers may be less motivated to try new things since they are not charged for the traditional model. These are some questions to ask if you’re thinking of a non-traditional approach to selling a home.
Do You Have Experience in the Home-Selling Process?
If you don’t know how to sell a house or are like the majority of first time home sellers, it can be overwhelming. If you want to choose a la carte real estate services, it is important that you know the laws in your state about seller disclosure, what information should be included on a contract, and what time frames are acceptable for inspections or other things.
Are You Okay With Showing Your Home By Yourself?
You will be the one showing potential buyers your home if you don’t list through a traditional brokerage, not a real estate agent. This means that you will need to be available to welcome strangers into your home and comfortable enough to allow these potential buyers to look around in the rooms of your home.
Will You Be Able to Verify that Buyers Can Obtain a Mortgage?
Most real estate agents won’t sell homes to buyers who aren’t prequalified for a loan or have otherwise proven that they can afford the mortgage. If someone makes an offer on your house, can you tell if they are qualified to obtain a mortgage? It is a good idea to ask for preapproval for your mortgage or prequalification. However, you might also want to include a deadline for mortgage approval in the contract and/or request proof of funds for the down payment and escrows.
How Good Are Your Negotiation Skills?
Buyers are likely to seek repairs or even a lower price after they have looked at the home inspection report. The seller must lower the appraised price or pay cash the difference if the appraisal is below the asking price of the home. It may be a game changer to have good negotiation skills.
Can You Take Professional Photos of Your Home or Hire Someone Else to Do it?
The quality of photos is one of the most important aspects of selling your home because most real estate searches are conducted online. You should hire professional photographers if you aren’t capable of taking quality photos on your own. Make sure your home description is eloquent and makes your home appealing to any potential buyers.
Is There a Large Market for Homes Like Yours?
Inventory is scarce in many areas of the country and houses in good neighborhoods sell quickly. This is a great thing when you are wanting to sell your home, especially if it’s a luxury home, without the help of a traditional agent. Homes in good neighborhoods basically sell themselves and don’t need all the extra help of normal real estate companies. You just have to be prepared to let people into your home to take a look at it.
Do You Feel More Comfortable Paying a Commission to the Agent Representing the Buyer?
Although you may think selling your home will save you the 6 percent commission, most buyers will hire an agent. The agent will usually charge you between 2 and 3 percent. This means that you can still save as much as 3 percent, not considering what you may be paying for professional services like advertising and photography.
Can You Pay These Real Estate Services Immediately?
Traditional real estate sales deduct the cost of selling the house from the closing proceeds. This means that the seller does not pay anything until the house is sold. Many a la carte services require payment upfront. This can make some people hesitate to use a la carte real estate services because they feel more comfortable paying the commission at the end when they know their home has been successfully sold.
If you’re thinking of selling your home, then it might be worth considering an alternative approach. There are many benefits and drawbacks that come with this model; however, there is no one-size fits all solution. That being said, research local a la carte real estate companies and give them a call to see if their services are the right fit for you!