January 3, 2014

Q: How do I sell my home without using a real estate agent? — Bill, Chicago

A: With housing on the rise, more sellers are flying solo, says Eddie Tyner, general manager of ForSaleByOwner.com. The appeal of FSBO: skipping the seller’s agent commission, usually 3%, when houses seem to sell themselves.

It’s not that easy, of course. You probably should put your home on the multiple-listing service, which displays more than 90% of homes for sale; do that via sites like ForSaleByOwner.com or Owners.com.

You must avoid the mistake of turning people off with a steep price; your listing, per square foot, should be within 10% of that of similar homes nearby.

And you may not be up to the job. It requires a serious time commitment and unemotional negotiations.

Plus, you’ll have to overcome a perennial worry: Could an experienced agent have fetched you a better price?

What selling a $300,000 home costs:

You can pocket extra cash by selling your home yourself… if you can get the same price a broker would.
With a broker: $20,000
On your own: $11,000
Notes: In both cases, seller pays buyer’s agent commission; miscellaneous expenses are for photos and open house; without a broker.

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