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Sell By Owner Quiz
By Robert Irwin
I never met anyone who didn't want to save the commission on selling their home. That 6 percent or so can represent 30 percent or more of your equity (depending on how highly financed you are). And keeping it in your pocket is probably something that you, just like every one else, would like to do.
At the same time, however, many people are hesitant to take the steps necessary to save paying that commission. They're anywhere from uncomfortable to downright scared when it comes to selling "by owner," without the full services of an agent.
Where do you fit in? Do you have what it takes to sell your home "By Owner" and save thousands? Here's a short quiz you can take to help you decide:
BY OWNER'S QUIZ:
Do you have some extra time to spend selling your own home?
Yes No (You'll have to do the work otherwise done by the agent.)
Do you really want to save some money on the sale?
Yes No (We're talking serious money, here.)
Do you like talking with people on a subject about which you're familiar-your own home?
Yes No (Who knows it better than you?)
Are you acquainted with the home selling process?
Yes No (Hopefully you've previously sold at least one or more homes with or without an agent.)
Are you willing to open your home to strangers, even after taking common sense precautions such as having a friend with you?
Yes No (It's almost always necessary.)
Will you take the time to learn about the disclosures, inspections and other paperwork that's necessary to conclude a sale?
Yes No (The information is out there on the Internet and in books.)
Will you solicit the aid of an attorney or topnotch real estate agent to handle the specialized work (such as preparing a sales agreement) that you can't do yourself?
Yes No (Fee for service is increasingly available.)
Are you willing to handle sometimes tough direct negotiations with a buyer?Yes No (You make your own deal.)
Will you carefully follow escrow to its conclusion to be sure your buyer's financing materializes and you are able to deliver clear title?
Yes No (It usually takes around 30 days and requires calls to escrow, finance officers, title companies and so on.)
Are you willing to set a reasonable time limit so that if your home happens not to sell for whatever reason, you'll admit you need help and list with a full-service or discount broker?
Yes No (You want to give it a good shot, but not be stubborn.)
Here's how to score yourself:
9-10 Yes = You're a natural "by owner" seller - what are you waiting for?
7-8 Yes = You can probably do it, but you need to work on your self-confidence. Check out sites like owners.com that provide links to tools and resources.
5-6 Yes = Think a little bit more on how much a 6 percent commission really is.
3-4 Yes = Maybe you'd like to try it for a week or two, just to see how it goes?
1-2 Yes = Call an agent right away; you need help.
Many people can successfully sell their own home. However, it's not quite like falling off a log. A mistake can be costly. It helps if you've seen it done at least once or twice by a professional. Also, don't hesitate to get the aid you need from websites, books, and professionals.
Robert Irwin is the most prolific real estate writer in America having produced over 100 published books in the field. His TIPS & TRAPS McGraw-Hill series has sold well over a million copies and his FOR SALE BY OWNER KIT and FIND IT, BUY IT, FIX IT and other books have been strong sellers for Dearborn.
In addition Irwin writes a regular real estate column for The Wall Street Journal online and is introducing a new weekly column forOwners.com.
Irwin has sold his own property "by owner" and during over 30 years in the business has been a broker and consultant to lenders, agents, buyers and sellers.
He can be reached through his website RobertIrwin.com.