There are times when selling your home using the traditional approach of hiring a real estate agent might not be your best choice. It is true that a real estate agent will list your house on the MLS (multiple listing service), and therefore maximize its exposure to the market. Generally speaking, this should maximize the amount of money you can obtain for your property. So why wouldn’t this always be the best approach? To answer that question directly, let’s consider any one of the following scenarios:
- Your house is in disrepair and the bank is unwilling to provide a loan to your buyer.
- You need to move quickly and do not have time to list and show your property to the market
- You require very flexible terms that a “retail” buyer might not be able to provide (ie. fast close or long close, etc)
- You hate the hassle of keeping your house perfectly clean and having prospective buyers come thru your home for the 30-60 days required to sell
- You do not wish to pay a realtor the 6% commission they will charge you for selling your home
These reasons and many more may be why you should consider alternatives to selling your home using the traditional sales process. For example, private investors can buy your house fast, easy and often times with no sales commissions. In addition, there are many FSBO (for sale by owner) websites which help regular folks sell their homes without paying sales commissions and on their own terms. Lastly, there are many forms of seller financing and lease-to-buy options that can be used to sell a “problem” property.
If your situation fits any of the scenarios above, you should at least explore the possibility of obtaining offers and options from a few private investors who you trust. How do you know who to trust? Ask them for references of other sellers they have helped. Talk to more than 1 or 2 investors, to see who actually appears to be the most helpful and trustworthy. Do your due diligence to make sure you are comfortable with both the numbers and the level of risk. For more complicated matters, it never hurts to get the opinion of an experienced real estate attorney. And finally, make sure they have the money available to buy your home, by asking for proof of funds (ie a bank statement and/or pre-approval letter from hard money lender).
In coming blogs, I will provide more details on how to analyze the best investors to work with and how to know if the deal is right for you. I will also be talking more about different strategies to sell your house.