Do it  yourself and save
 THOUSANDS in commission

          You’ve decided to sell your house and want to do it yourself, without a realtor to save $10,000 to $15,000 in commission.  Yes, that’s right ($200,000 house price X 6% commission is $12,000). 

          In the age of computers, you can do it yourself if you are willing to educate yourself.  You will need a good plan then just stay organized and be patient.  The Internet has made major changes in how real estate is bought and sold.  The National Association of realtors says that over 70% of buyers consult the Internet at some time in their search
          What you will need to get started is the specific knowledge of how to price your home, how to prepare your home, how to market it and then how to complete a contract get through inspections, appraisals and contingencies. Once you make it that far you are ready to close on the house.
           Most people are aware that there is a lot more to a transaction than “curb appeal” and a classified ad.  Real Estate sales can be complicated; there’s a lot to handle the old days of a handmade sign out front and a classified ad are over forever.    For your house to compete with other houses on the market you need an Internet presence.  Your website should be one that prospects can find easily and should include a photo-tour of your house.  Many buyers won’t even pay attention to listings that don’t include full inside and outside photos. 

          That’s where the internet can be a big help, but real estate is still mostly sold locally, so you’ll still need signs, ads, and buyers.  Then you need a sales contract, possibly a real estate attorney, someone to handle the financing for the new buyer and protect you.  Next are inspections and needed repairs, and the title work, homeowners insurance, title insurance, mortgage and closing.
          Financing is a lot more complicated than it was 10-20 years ago.  Did you know that the average mortgage is 16 pages long and a HUD-1 form contains over 300 entries?  There are contracts, addendums, contingencies, and affidavits needed to consummate a sale.
                   Most of this information has been kept from the public.  We intend to give you the information so you can get it done on your own.
With an organized planned approach, you can eliminate the guess work and succeed whether this is your first sale or your fifth sale.
You should know how to avoid the mistakes that could cost you money. 
You can avoid some of those mistakes by educating yourself. 

START YOUR TEAM
Make some phone calls and develop a team of advisors well before you need them.  These might include lawyers, appraisers, mortgage broker. 
REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY
Call around or ask your friends for a recommendation to find an attorney who specializes in real estate law in your area.  Real estate law is different from state to state and from area to area.  It is important to understand that an attorney who is a generalist handling Estate Law, Domestic Relations Law, writing wills or even handling criminal law will have very little knowledge of real estate law.  Look for a specialist, ask for recommendations, sit down, and interview the person you are thinking of hiring.

APPRAISER
                   You will also need to find an appraiser.  It is important to understand that a comparative market analysis is not the same thing as an appraisal and appraisers because of their licensing or certification are required to follow certain rules.  Ask your friends for some recommendations, talk to your banker and your attorney they will give you the name of a good appraiser. 
SURVEYOR
          Surveyors have become very important in the real estate transaction.  Part of this importance is the fact that technology is ahead of us and most lots have not been re-surveyed since the technology changed.  This means that in a lot of areas they are requiring re-surveys to make the  records more reliable.   
WHOLE HOUSE INSPECTOR
                   If you bought your house more than 10 years ago it’s very possible that you didn’t have a Whole House Inspection.  Nowadays more than 50% of the buyers have a whole house inspection and probably a fireplace inspection also.  It is a good idea to at least get familiar with what these inspectors are looking for when they enter your house.  I have found you can avoid problems if you will first go through the house with an inspector before you put it on the market.  Things that are quick easy fixes before you write a contract turn into big issues once a buyer and probably his father and the whole house inspector are standing in your house.
MORTGAGE LENDER
          Have you met your friendly banker or mortgage professional?  Most of us don’t have a “banker” but if you are proposing to sell your house yourself you need to get an ally on your side.  The mortgage business is complicated now; they offer zero down loans, adjustable rate loans, interest only loans,  ARMS, 2/10s, Fannie Mae products, etc., etc..  You really need to take a mortgage lender to lunch.  Find out what some of the possibilities are especially in particular with your house. 

To sell your house yourself and really save money it is important that you know why you are selling your house so that you can develop a plan.
Your house became a home when you moved the family in and celebrated the birthdays, you put up the Christmas Tree and held the family barbecue.  Your home is where your child took their first steps, it is where you’ve built all those memories, good and bad.
As you think of selling your home, thoughts may run through your mind of deep sadness, joy and fear, of course that’s only natural.
In making your plan you have to realize that selling your home goes beyond those emotions and personal feelings it is a business transaction.  It is a dollars and cents decision and you need to separate yourself from all those emotions. 
That might be easier said than done.  Keep in mind that potential buyers can only buy your house if they can see it as their home not yours.
People naturally think their home is worth more than anybody else’s is but don’t make that mistake.  It will cost you money. Come up with a true value by making comparisons to what other houses have sold for.  Homeowners want to say that’s true but my house has a huge aquarium built into the living room or we spent $5,000 to put in a home theatre.  Look at the comparable values and then decide would a potential buyer see the aquarium as a plus or is it just something they are going to have to rip out?
There are many decisions to make and you can’t put them off, just be systematic about it.
          From the moment the thought of selling first enters your mind, the choices, decisions, and uncertainties just keep coming at you. Is selling the right thing for us to do?
          Will we be able to buy the new house we want?
          Is it the right time to sell?
          What is our house worth?
          How long will it take to sell?
          What will be our net at closing?
          What repairs and fix-up should we do before we put the house on the market?
You need to understand that your house is in competition with all the other houses on the market. You also need to know why you are selling.  If the point of selling is to move to a certain other house that you’ve already picked out than it may be very important that you get the sale accomplished quickly, in 20-45 days so you don’t lose the contract on the other house.  If on the other hand you are just casually looking around and haven’t really picked another house you may have many months to sell your house.  
First, check out the local market; are there more houses for sale than there are buyers? Are prices going up or down?  Is there a demand for the type of house you have for sale?                    
Second, you need to be aware that the market has changed.  Your marketing approach needs to keep up with the newest developments and include a web presence, a 360 degree tour and hopefully an interactive way of setting showings automatically for people right on the internet.   
Will you offer a commission to selling realtors if they bring a buyer to your house?  If so how much commission should you offer?  Is 2% enough or should your offer 3%?  Some people even offer a bonus?  If you are willing to pay a commission maybe even a bonus, how will you get that word out to the Realtors?
If you want to have your house presented to the thousands of realtors in your area should you look for a way to get it on “MLS”.  Will you look for a flat rate Broker or a cut rate office.  What work will you still do?  Can you sell it without the “MLS”?