We are planning to sell our house. How much money can we save on sales commissions by handling it for sale by owner?

Mark TiptonUncategorized

In Ohio, a typical real estate agent’s sales commission is 5 – 6%.  This means that for every $100,000 of value in your real estate, you will pay $5,000 – $6,000 in real estate sales commissions.  For a $200,000 house, the cost would be $10,000 – $12,000.  Higher value homes cost even more to sell.  What would you do if you could save thousands and keep more of the equity in your home for yourselves?  Would you choose that option?  If so, how, practically speaking, would you close the real estate sale? 

In a for-sale-by-owner arrangement, you, as the seller, would handle many of the tasks that a real estate agent typically does, such as marketing and showing the home.  In a seller’s market, when buyers are eager to buy, houses can be easy to sell.  Also, with social media and other websites, it can be simple to let the public know that you would like to sell your house.  You can schedule your own open houses or showings at your convenience.  One advantage of this strategy is that you are able to see, meet, and evaluate the potential buyers with your own eyes.  Are they trustworthy?  Are they pre-approved by a bank or lender for a house purchase?  Are they paying cash?  If so, you may have good buyers.  If not, be wary as you would not want to enter a contract with a party who could not complete it.  That would cause you significant headaches. 

Once you have found and settled on good and capable buyers and have agreed to the basic terms of the sale, you can contact a lawyer to draft the legal agreement for the sale of the real estate.  This contract should include all of the essential terms of your deal, including the price to be paid and the expected closing date.  You will also need to make certain written disclosures about the real estate to your buyers.  Once the contract is drafted and signed by the parties, the transaction is binding and can proceed to closing.  The lawyer, title searchers, and closing agent will all work together to bring the sale of the house to completion.  The typical time frame is 30 days, sometimes up to 45 days, but it is negotiable. 

The professionals working on the sale will arrange for the necessary documents to be drafted, approved, and brought to the closing.  These documents include the deed to the real estate, any mortgage documents, title insurance, tax documents, and the Settlement Statement.  The Settlement Statement shows how the funds paid for the house will be disbursed.  These disbursements include payoff of liens, such as amounts owed for any existing mortgage or home equity line of credit.  Funds will also be distributed for closing costs, taxes, attorney fees, etc. 

However, what will not be on your Settlement Statement is a large amount for real estate sales commissions!  You will have saved thousands of dollars on such costs! 

If you are planning to sell your house, would like to save on real estate sales commissions, and are willing and able to handle the marketing, showing, and negotiations, then this option may be right for you.  Call attorney Mark Tipton of Tipton Law Firm, LLC for legal guidance on such a for-sale-by-owner transaction.  There is no initial fee to speak directly to the attorney about your real estate matter, and the telephone number to call is 419-636-0010.

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