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Closing the Sale When You Sell Your Home Yourself

Apr 1, 2008
The decision to sell your home yourself is becoming more and more popular. According to various sources, the percentage of home sales that were completed without a Realtor is in the neighborhood of 14%. And that figure doesn't count sellers who used a discount Realtor service like flat fee listing, or an open listing contract, either of which will lower the cost of your commission considerably.

There are a lot of things that go into selling your home yourself, but let's skip right past setting the right price, imagine that you did all the right things, got the house into great shape, advertised in all the right places... and in less than two weeks - you've got an offer from a buyer at a price that's only a few thousand below your lowest acceptable price. What do you do now?

Negotiating With a Buyer When You Sell Your Home Yourself

Be prepared to negotiate with the buyer. Remember, while you've been reading about how to sell a home, they've been reading about how to buy a home. Everything they've read has told them to bid low. Negotiating doesn't necessarily mean lowering your price, though. Instead, you can offer other concessions or enticements. One popular concession is for the seller to offer to cover the closing costs, or to buy points that will lower the interest rate on their mortgage.

Consider Hiring a Real Estate Consultant to Oversee the Sale

Once you've settled on a price, you don't want to lose the sale because of an oversight in the paperwork or signatures. The cost of paying an attorney with experience in real estate or even paying a very small commission to a Realtor is far less than the cost of losing the sale.

Be Clear About Your Legal Responsibilities When You Sell Your Home
Yourself

If you choose not to consult a real estate professional, do find other ways to educate yourself. There are inspections, evaluations, arranging for escrow and escrow fees, any one of which can delay the sale of your house, or side-rail it entirely. Understand exactly what repairs you are obligated to make before closing, what percentage of costs you're taking responsibility for and exactly what concessions you and the buyer have agreed upon.

Here are a few things that may be among the disclosures and inspections that of your sale:

Roof
Wiring
Plumbing
Termites
Lead Paint
Warranties on All Home Fixtures
Major Repairs

Selling your home yourself can save you thousands of dollars in real estate commissions, but it's important that you know all of your legal responsibilities. Make sure that you don't miss the smallest detail so that your closing goes through without a hitch.
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