One must be very aware & cognizant when selling property on your own, as some are currently doing, in and around Nassau, Suffolk and Queens. It is extremely important to have the necessary information to sell your home on your own, for those who are trying to accomplish this arduous and many times stressful and complicated task. However, as you will read my column, generally, you probably won’t save the commission, which I understand is your main reason for trying to sell on your own. However read the following to be much more informed:

1. Homeowners that try to sell on their own have no way of qualifying their purchasers by asking them the three most important questions. a.) What is your verifiable income b.) What are your credit scores c.) Do you have a commitment letter from a lending institution. There is a 45-60 day period that you as a homeowner will have to wait and keep your fingers cross in hoping that your potential buyer, receives an accurate appraisal, and then a written mortgage commitment without any conditions. Sometimes the appraisal might be less than the selling price, and then negotiations might begin, once again; since the bank works for the buyer and not you!

2. When doing an open house, you have no way of pre-qualifying your buyers (for income, credit, debt/income ratio, etc.) when they walk through and whether they are even qualified for a mortgage. Are they tire kickers, shopping or casing your home to take something from your home while they are there or another day, when you are out shopping? Lastly, if you were to call back those buyers for feedback, what position do you think they would feel you were in, strong or weak (motivated to sell)?

3. Buyers who know you are selling on your own have already subtracted the brokers commission that you would have normally paid. At the end of the transaction, for sale by owners historically receive a price that is generally 8% below what the top realtors are able, as per the National Association of Realtors surveys revealed in past years. So you don’t save money, when you are selling on your own. Brokerages don’t charge a commission, they do their best to earn their fees!

4. What would you rather be doing on your weekend, playing tennis, golf, swimming or be with your grandchildren on a Saturday or Sunday or sitting at your house waiting for “supposed qualified buyers?”

5.) Most critical and crucial is how you are going to market and merchandise your home. Are you going to take or hire a professional photographer to take photos and videos? Do you know which local and culturally diverse publications to place ads, which will have the potential to capture different and varied audience. Believe or not there are those that don’t go on the internet as often or have access to it and who still pick up and read their hometown newspapers. There will always be a place for a local paper, providing local news about the towns as well as what real estate is on the market for sale. Besides advertising in local publications to create a local buzz, your property also needs to be on the internet locally & globally, so you will maximize your exposure. Moreover, having a presence on social media is also critical eg. on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Yelp, ActiveRain, Zillow, Trulia and many other sites; this will also enhance the ability for more people to view your property. If you don’t have the proper exposure you will not grab enough eyeballs to market your home to. It’s a numbers game and hiring the right Broker is critical to providing the best marketing and their associated platforms to get it done in the quickest and most efficient time with the least amount of stress and hassles for the homeowners!

6.) Your work really begins again, after there is an agreed and accepted as follows:

a.) Home inspection by the buyer and hoping that everything is ok with your home and if not, the buyer will come back and renegotiate the sale price.
b.) Going to contract and waiting for a written Mortgage commitment and hoping they your purchasers will receive a written commitment.
c.) Dealing with yours and the purchaser’s attorney and the countless phone calls that will occur, fine tuning your contract; while being the “go between” and preventing issues that might blow up your sale, that is what a qualified and credible Broker does, among many others items on his or her checklist to get to the closing table.
c.) Final Walk thru by the purchaser
There are so many things and issues that can and do pop up and then have to be solved. Our position is to relieve you of all the hassles and complications to handle all of those obstacles that homeowners face and experience while selling on their own.

A knowledgeable Broker should provide you “free of charge” with, “no strings attached” “without any obligation or commitment” a comparative market analysis. They should research and spend all the necessary time and effort to provide you with an accurate picture as to the value of your home and at what price to list it for, when placing it on the market for sale.

Your agent should provide a carefully prepared report of 10-30+ pages of current available homes, also under contract, sold, as well as expired (overpriced) and withdrawn and released homes and past market activity comparing your home with other similar homes. The analysis enables you to easily compare the features of your property with others and to determine the best pricing strategy for today’s current market. They can discuss the results and determine the best pricing for your specific home.

Lastly, some of us truly earn our fees by providing and performing our valuable, expert and professional services, “Before, During & After the Sale”c to dig and search for that one elusive, qualified purchaser, who ““falls in love” with your home, as you once did too.

Philp A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 Great Neck. He has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute and a Certified International Property Specialist. Receive regular “free” updates of sold homes in your area and a “free” Comparative Market Analysis” of what your home would sell for in today’s market or search on: WWW.Li-RealEstate.Com He can be reached by email, [email protected] or by cell: (516) 647-4289.