Is it a Good Idea to Sell Your Home Yourself?

Is it a Good Idea to Sell Your Home Yourself?

Are you thinking about selling your home? Have you been thinking of selling it by yourself  instead of hiring a real estate agent? There are several advantages of selling your home yourself, but there are disadvantages as well. To make it easier for you to make a decision find the most important pros and cons below.

The most important PRO for selling your home yourself is MONEY.  Selling your home without the help of an agent means more Money in your pocket!

By selling it yourself you save the commissions and fees. – We are not talking about pennys, we are talking about THOUSANDS of dollars which you would have to pay an agent.

Another advantage is that you are able to decide the times for open houses and showings. It is also completely up to you where and when you want to advertise.
Unlike a real estate agent who is selling many houses, you can focus on YOUR house, because you are only selling your own house. It is obvious that you will have more interest in the sale than an agent..

But as mentioned above there are also disadvantages selling your house yourself. Real estate agents are paid a lot of  money for a reason. Selling a home takes a lot of energy and time. Dealing with potential buyers, open houses, closing sales and of course dealing with legal issues. Real estate agents are familiar with all the above and their experience can impact the sale.

Be realistic when making a decision! Will you drop everything  to make a showing? Do you think you are indeed a good negotatior and ask for an offer? Are you 100% sure you are able to close a deal?  Selling a home is a big project! It is not everyone who can take on such a big project and can stay calm and professional when dealing with buyers.
Selling your home is not impossible, but it is a challenge. If this challenge excites you and if you are willing to learn  then it is not impossible managing selling your home without the help of an agent. With some know-how and a lot of energy you can sell your house without the help of a real estate agent and save thousands.

So how to start? Sit down and start evaluating your house. Finding the right price is the first and most important step when selling your home yourself.

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Why You Should Ignore Trends In Real Estate

Many people tend to get caught up in real estate trends reported in magazines, newspapers and on television. This is a mistake of the highest order.

Why You Should Ignore Trends In Real Estate

In this modern information age, you can learn just about anything on a particular subject. While access to information is usually a positive development, things can get a bit crazy if you get overloaded with it. Look long enough and you can find two pieces of information offering exactly the opposite views on a subject. Obviously, that doesn’t really help you make a choice.

In real estate, the information offered in the media is usually uniform. For the last six or seven years, everyone with any brains at all has reported the real estate market has been hot. Now, many of these same pundits are suggesting the market is cooling off. Some are even predicting a crash in the market.

As a potential buyer or seller, how should you evaluate the information being produce in the media? The simple answer is you should ignore it. The problem with these reports is not the accuracy. Instead, the problem is they are reporting national trends in real estate.

National trends are great and all, but they have little or no application to your specific area. Consider the following if you do not believe me. The real estate market for the last few years has been reported as hot, hot, hot. In Colorado, however, the market has been flat throughout this time. If you were considering buying or selling in Colorado, the information being provided for national trends simply did not apply to you.
If you think Colorado is the exception, it is not. The state with one of the worst appreciation rates over the last four or five years, for instance, has been Texas. Put in practical terms, this means homes in Dallas, Houston, Denver, San Antonio and Houston have not followed national trends. The only real estate trends that matter are those in your local markets. Never rely on national data.
If you are considering buying, you have to be very careful when considering real estate trends. If it looks like a seller’s market in your area, you may make the mistake of not buying. Even in a seller’s market, buying a home is better than renting. Every day you are in the home is a day you are growing your personal wealth through equity accumulation. Don’t stay out of the market simply because you feel it isn’t the right time.

It is easy to get caught up in real estate trends since they are plastered in front of your face on a daily basis. In truth, they really should not play much of a role in your decision making process.

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What You Should Know About Foreclosure Listings

Foreclosure listings are essential to anybody that is looking to invest in real estate. Even though foreclosure listings are nothing more than a list of properties that are available, they will go a long way in ensuring that you are successful in this industry. Detailed below is a way for anybody to get their hands on foreclosure listings in their area.

1. Foreclosure listings can be found online in two distinct places. The first place you can check is on a free website that offers foreclosure listings. The good thing about these services is that they do not cost you any money to get started. On the other hand, the information that they offer is usually not as comprehensive as paid sites, which is the other option available. The foreclosure listings on paid sites offer top notch service to customers, as well as a detailed list of properties.

2. Another great way to find foreclosure listings is by compiling your own. You can compile your own foreclosure listings by scouring the courts, checking the internet, and reading the real estate classifieds. Finding foreclosure listings this way is sometimes difficult because it can take up a lot of your time. But then again, you will not have to pay for your listings if you decide to exercise this option.

3. Finding foreclosure listings can also be done by calling lenders direct. By doing this, you will be able to get up to date foreclosure listings that you can use right there on the spot. The main advantage of foreclosure listings obtained this way is that you know they are quality because they are coming straight from the source. The difficult part about obtaining listings this way is that you will have to locate the lender, and then find the right person within the company. This can sometimes be very difficult the first time you try it.

Foreclosure listings are very important if you are serious about investing in real estate. By having these lists, you will be able to find all of the properties in your area without having to spend too much time and money. Even though it may take some effort to obtain foreclosure listings, it is well worth it. You will be sure to agree the first time that you make a large profit on a home that you found on a list!

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Six Real Estate Investing Principles

There are real estate investing “tricks” and techniques that you may know, or want to know. There are new ways of doing things that are worth learning. Knowing about the latest types of financing is another way can also help. Before all of these, however, you need to learn some basic principles. Here are six of them.

1. Build relationships.
2. Understand the numbers.
3. Reduce risk.
4. Be prepared.
5. Set goals.
6. Learn, and apply what you learn.

Real Estate Investing Principles

1. Real estate investing is about relationships. People are your most valuable resource, and the more of them you know, the more likely you are to find good properties to buy, or buyers for your properties. ask people for their names, and if your memory is poor, take notes. Know the right people too, including a real estate agent who gets many listings of the type you are interested in. Wouldn’t it be nice if you were the one he called first?

2. Know and understand the relevant numbers. When you look at a rental property, for example, you should be thinking about the income, the expenses, and the capitalization rate, or “cap rate.” Imagine how certain changes would allow you to raise the income, and what that would do to the value. A “feeling” about a property, without understanding the numbers, gets many investors into trouble.

3. Look for and use methods to reduce risk. Have inspection, financing, and other contingency clauses in the offer, so you’ll get your deposit back when a deal falls through. Consider your exit strategy before you buy, and have a “plan B.” Value real estate using comparables or cap rates, not “hunches.” Buy through your corporation or LLC.

4. Be prepared for real estate investing. Have business cards, pen and paper on you at all times. You never know when you’ll see a property for sale, or hear about one. Sometimes, when you mention that you invest in real estate, sellers, buyers and other investors suddenly appear with information, opinions, and sometimes even good deals. Be prepared.

5. Create action-oriented goals, not just wishes. For example, require yourself to look at a certain number of properties per week, and maybe even to write a certain number of offers each month. Set goals for all sorts of little steps, like making six phone calls per week, checking online listings twice per week, and so on. Action creates momentum. Repeated action creates habits, and good habits lead to more successful real estate investing.

6. Keep getting educated, and using that education. Learning more from books, magazines and even tapes or CDs is a great idea, as long as you spend as much time doing something as reading about it. Some of us let the interest and enjoyment of reading about investing get in the way of actually investing. Good information is crucial, but it should lead to good real estate investing.

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Should You FSBO or Use A Realtor?

When it comes time to sell your home, should you try to sell it on your own, or should you list it with a licensed Realtor? Consider the following factors to help you decide:

EXPOSURE

Realtors, or real estate agents, are part of an office of agents, and each of them knows of buyers that are currently in the market for a home. Their buyers are pre-qualified, that is, they have already seen a lender and have qualified for a loan so the buyer knows exactly how much they can afford, and the Realtor does too. In many areas, a realtor won’t even show homes to a buyer until they pre-qualify. The process saves a lot of wasted time on everybody’s part.

Contrast this with the prospect of you putting up a “For Sale” sign in your front yard, and having to deal with people that will be calling you to talk about your house and want to walk through it, even though they don’t have the resources to actually buy it. In the end, they are just wasting your time.

Realtors also have contact with many people from out of town who are relocating to your area. Each realtor in town gets contacted frequently through their website, by people that are looking for a home by long-distance. They may be coming to town soon to look at available homes for a few days. The Realtor lines up a number of homes for them to tour that fit their criteria. One of them could be yours.

But, if you FSBO, that potential buyer won’t know your house is on the market until they get to town, if then.

EXPERIENCE

A real estate agent will be able to assist in setting the right price to list your home, according to the current market conditions.

A real estate agent is a trained professional who will spend the necessary amount of time it may take to get your home SOLD.

The agent understands and will take care of all the necessary paperwork to complete the buying process. The agent will also act as a liaison between you and the inspectors, thebuyer’s agent, and between attorneys, if they are involved.

Most buyers prefer to deal with a real estate agent because the agent will give them the unbiased professional opinion on a house, and how it stacks up against other houses on the market.

Agents understand all the different types of loans and financing options. They can provide information to buyers about local lending institutions to fit their needs.

ADVERTISING

Realtors have many ways to advertise your home, not just a newspaper ad and a “For Sale” sign in the yard. They also utilize the following ways to advertise a home:

  • The Multiple Listing Service
  • Open Houses
  • Web sites like Realtor.com and Yahoo Real Estate
  • Direct mail
  • Newspaper inserts
  • Regional Real Estate Magazines
  • Cable TV

Realtor “Caravans” where 30 or more Realtors will tour your home and then match it to their prospective buyers.
How much of this marketing muscle can you flex if you FSBO?

SHOWING YOUR HOME

Agents have expertise to help you get your home in top shape before your prospective buyers arrive. They can help you “stage” your home to look more like a model home that would appeal to a larger group of buyers. They know how to emphasize and focus on your homes good points.

If you FSBO you will be learning the process as you go, a costly education when you are trying to sell your own home.

SUMMARY

With all the time, knowledge, effort, and paperwork it takes to sell a home, you should take some of the work, frustration and fear out of the process, and hire a professional!

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Choosing The Best Real Estate Agent

In case you are in the market either buying or selling a house, real estate agents can be the difference between a good and a bad deal for you. This means that real estate agents are very essential in these transactions. However it is almost always a daunting task to pinpoint the best agent due to the fact that there are so many of them. Some have the know how and possess the relevant credentials while others are simply quacks. In this article, am going to give you a detailed guide on how to choose the best real estate agent.

Firstly you will need to look at an agent who has more than five years of experience in the profession. An agent in this category knows the real estate world well and is not trying to learn on you. Ideally, the longer the agent has been in the trade, the more experience they possess and can thus guide you very well on the best deals. That said, some agents might not boast of years of experience but might pass in other areas excellently and you should consider them.

You might know of a family or friend who has worked with real estate agents in the past. It is advisable to request for referrals on some agents from them. This is helpful as you are likely to get honest ratings
of various agents from them. However you should be careful and not just pick an agent simply because a friend or family said they are good. You should do your background check to ensure they meet your requirements.

It is also important to pick real estate agents from your area. An agent operating in your area is likely to be well aware of the local pricings as well as properties in your area. They are also likely to be well aware of the best neighborhoods. Also of importance is the fact that they will most likely know of various social amenities in the area including hospitals and schools.

You should also consider whether the agent is operating legally or not. For reference, most states will have an online list that indicates the various agents who are legally authorized to transact in real estate. As you determine the agent to consider, ensure they are operating legally.

Another important thing you should do is contact their recent clients for response. Ask the agent to give you a list of some recent clients. A professional agent should avail their recent clients to you, for you
to call and enquire about their experience with the agent. You should ask the clients for any issues they had with the agent as this will help you understand the agents better and help you determine whether they are best suited for you.

Ensure you pick an agent with whom you click. It is important that the agent is one you can easily work with to ensure the process is smooth. Selling and buying houses is mostly a stressful experience and as
such, you should ensure the one you are doing it with is someone you get along with.

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Is It Better To Buy A House Or Rent A House?

Many people these days are debating whether to buy or rent. There are of course pros and cons to each. With today’s economy, it is hard to figure out if your job is secure, and whether it is worth the risk of buying, or if you are more secure just renting. All too often, people feel they are financially secure enough to buy a home, only to lose their jobs later, or have some other tough time and find themselves unable to pay their mortgage.

Home rental may be beneficial for those that don’t enjoy working in the yard or doing any other kinds of handyman-types of jobs, such as clearing a snowy driveway. Purchasing the required tools and machinery can be other expenses you are spared, when comparing home rental to the purchase of your own home. Some people prefer to spend their time doing other things and a home rental may include landscaping upkeep.

The next thing that is an advantage about renting is that if anything happens, a broken pipe, malfunctioning appliances, or structural problems, you landlord covers this and there is not out of pocket expenses on the part of the renter. In many cases, rent usually doesn’t go up, and you can move out if you need too, with just a month’s notice. This means that you can walk away from the rental without any problems, and even get your deposit back if you leave your rental in good condition.

This doesn’t mean you won’t face disadvantages, when you rent. Some tenants like to personalize their interior space, but your lease may not allow any type of cosmetic changes. Your monthly rental payments don’t go towards equity or asset-building, like buying a home can offer. Some landlords can be unreachable, unpredictable and inattentive. You may become frustrated with repair issues that aren’t fixed, rent increases and even, the threat of eviction.

Buying a house also has its pros and cons. Buying a house costs more initially, but every payment you make, part of it goes to principle so you are building equity in your home. You can do whatever you want to your home, within reason, so you can repaint the walls, make additions, and change the landscape. If something breaks down, you can replace it with higher energy efficient appliances. Your home is more secure, because you are in charge.

On the other hand, buying a home can be expensive, and not just to move in. If there is a problem of some kind, you are responsible for fixing it. You have to keep you lawn maintained, as well as keep the drive and sidewalks clear in the Winter. If you are part of some kind of HOA, then you have to get permission to do anything on your property. If something happens financially, and you end up going into foreclosure, you run the risk of losing everything, including any equity, as well as your good credit rating.

One of the other things you have to consider when buying a home is that you have to buy extra things for the home. You may have to buy a lawn mower and other yard equipment. Any major problems you have to deal with and pay out of pocket expenses. This can include things like problems with plumbing and electrical.

If you are faced with the argument of whether to rent instead of buy, you just have to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each option. In addition, your personal financial situation and your occupational future should be analyzed. It’s better to purchase a home if your job is secure and you plan to stay in your home for a few years. For those with a less-assured future in their occupation, it may be better to wait out the current economic conditions and rent a home, just in case you need to alter your lifestyle because of lay-off, demotion or relocation.

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