Non-aviation: advice for selling first house

ArrowFlyer86

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The Little Arrow That Could
I was part of the post covid 2020 urban exodus that migrated to the suburbs, and after about 3 years I've decided it's time to move along in early '24. While it's been fun having this house, the truth is that as 1 person I kind of over-bought (way too much empty space) and just maintaining a house that gets so little use has become sort of silly (yard maintenance alone is obnoxious, then factor in the random thing that breaks, etc). I thought about keeping it and renting it out since it'd be hard to beat the interest rate, but I don't have experience doing that and it seems like it could be a headache to assume the the roles/responsibilities of a landlord. So selling it is where I think I'm headed.

But that's led to a ton of logistical questions that I feel like most people know off the top of their head, but as a first time seller I don't really know:
- How would you all go about getting a realtor? Pick a name out of a hat or is there more of an educated process for it? Do you negotiate what % they get or is it entirely standard 6%? I assume selling it without a realtor hinders your marketability.
- What do you do with all the excess furniture that won't have a home in your new place? Where do you sell it these days? Do people donate it? Junk left overs?
- How do you decide what improvements to make before you list it? Just go based off realtor suggestions or are there any heuristics to use?
- If you rent out a house, how much of a headache is it? Is it worth having the mortgage bill paid?

I searched through various online resources but they haven't been super helpful, and their motivations are usually such that they're trying to sell you something. Thus I'm curious if anyone could share their practical wisdom here.
 
Do you know anyone who has sold a house? A numbder of years ago, one of my bosses at work recommended a realtor, said she worked well with him and his wife, and worked hard.

A good realtor will help you with your other questions...

Did you like the realtor that was involved in the purchase of the house?
 
the more salient question is, where are you going to live? The interest rate alone will be a big shift, which is why inventory has remained so low (people frozen to their <3% mortgages). This would likely be a lateral move at best. 3 years is generally considered a pretty short amount of time to not end up losing money on the transaction costs, but given the low inventory and people willing to hang themselves with 8% mortgages, maybe that is moot for ya.

All of that will go into whether it's a better idea to rent it out. I'm assuming you've run the numbers on the financing purchase parity of 2024 rates vis a vis 2020. It's not insignificant.

Good luck!
 
I've rented my house out a couple of times and it was a gamble. There's good renters and then there's nightmares.

Most likely when you walk into the door of a realtor they kinda take over and give you the hard sell on how much better they are then the other reality outfits. Be very prepared for that. Keep the contract short so you can switch realtors easier and sometimes sooner. They want to list your house at the top dollar but sometimes that just drags things out. Good Luck with the realtor world.

When you buy furniture new it's spendy, when it's time to part with it you get what you can. Craigslist, facebook and other local advertising. Then take everything else to the goodwill.

The most important improvements are the ones the house inspector points out. I've paid an inspector to come out and make sure the homes met code before putting them on the market. The other improvements that matter the most is CLEAN everything and paint everything else. Don't guess the buyers taste. Many people waste way too much making the house like they wanted it. The buyers will have a totally different choice of everything. White walls are best, Keep It Simple.. S...KISS
 
Do you know anyone who has sold a house? A numbder of years ago, one of my bosses at work recommended a realtor, said she worked well with him and his wife, and worked hard.

A good realtor will help you with your other questions...

Did you like the realtor that was involved in the purchase of the house?
Unfortunately the realtor I used during buying was the recommendation I got from my buddy who lives in the area. It was kind of a PITA to work with her. After submitting a bid she just disappeared and would send her deadbeat son to do all the remaining work and respond whenever he felt like (the guy seemed perpetually hungover). I was thinking of using the previous seller's agent just b/c she staged the house really well and answered q's quickly. But that's my only basis for picking her really.

the more salient question is, where are you going to live? The interest rate alone will be a big shift, which is why inventory has remained so low (people frozen to their <3% mortgages). This would likely be a lateral move at best. 3 years is generally considered a pretty short amount of time to not end up losing money on the transaction costs, but given the low inventory and people willing to hang themselves with 8% mortgages, maybe that is moot for ya.

All of that will go into whether it's a better idea to rent it out. I'm assuming you've run the numbers on the financing purchase parity of 2024 rates vis a vis 2020. It's not insignificant.

Good luck!
That's an excellent question and something I'm still struggling with. I'm pretty sure wherever I go I'm going to bite the bullet and sink my money into rent instead of ownership for 1-2 years, just b/c I want to make sure any place I buy is where I want to be long term. It's slightly masochistic b/c it sucks losing rent money (and moving), but it could prevent more pain later on.

I would get a more concrete solution before I actually list the house. I also have to be sure I'm near (<30mins) from an available hangar, which will be a constraint when I pick a location.

I've rented my house out a couple of times and it was a gamble. There's good renters and then there's nightmares.

Most likely when you walk into the door of a realtor they kinda take over and give you the hard sell on how much better they are then the other reality outfits. Be very prepared for that. Keep the contract short so you can switch realtors easier and sometimes sooner. They want to list your house at the top dollar but sometimes that just drags things out. Good Luck with the realtor world.

When you buy furniture new it's spendy, when it's time to part with it you get what you can. Craigslist, facebook and other local advertising. Then take everything else to the goodwill.

The most important improvements are the ones the house inspector points out. I've paid an inspector to come out and make sure the homes met code before putting them on the market. The other improvements that matter the most is CLEAN everything and paint everything else. Don't guess the buyers taste. Many people waste way too much making the house like they wanted it. The buyers will have a totally different choice of everything. White walls are best, Keep It Simple.. S...KISS
The "nightmares" are what terrify me. The house is the single biggest item on my personal balance sheet, and I hate the idea of some degenerate treating it poorly out of spite. I've also heard it's just not very attractive to rent property in IL due to stronger tenant rights than in other places where you can get stuck with the people longer.

That's a good point on the inspector. So hiring an inspector before you even list it pretty much just to make sure there's no houseworthiness AD's that would scare a buyer :) ? Thankfully the people I bought it from totally renovated the house in 2019 and it still looks sharp. As one person who lives here I've put pretty much zero wear and tear on the place.
 
A good presentation is worth the money. Put your best foot forward with the pictures and presentation. Get people looking.
 
As far as renting, there are a number of services available that essentially handle the maint/repairs and even the tennant issues. Just depends on how much you want to pay them to deal with the problems. It would be great retirement income if the property was decent (and hopefully in a desirable area).

Honestly though, I can't imagine sinking money into renting a place and getting no equity in return when you already have a home at low interest rate. Hire the yardwork out and pay a handyman for the odd repair. Can't imagine the cost of that would outweigh what you give up in rent.
 
Good ole’ real estate

Time of year

Timing is important and usually the spring/summer time is the best time of year to sell

Interest rates
You’re going to have issues selling with 8% interest rates, the market is starting to slow and prices will be taking a hit, especially in Illinois with high property taxes is becoming less desirable for folk moving in

Renting
I’d be picky as anything, make all adults go through a background check and be named on the lease, check the court records in each county the tenants lived in to see if any cases have been filed (background checks do miss some of these), do your homework (Google and lots of free tools out there). Renting is not terrible, as long as you can still pay your bills if there is a deadbeat tenant, and only do month to month. Late tenants can make false promises to pay later and judges buy this BS. Month to month you can say you need to move back into your home or sell the home and their lease is over.

Finding an agent
In my opinion unless you have something unique, listing in the MLS is all you need and buyers will come. Do you want your sellers agent present for each showing? Buyers and agents could steal stuff if that is a concern. If not, then it doesn’t matter who your agent is as long as you are listed on the MLS and have professional photos taken.

Agent commission
Yes, it is negotiable. If an agent says it’s not, then their interests are with themselves and not with you. Frankly they are lying, and I hate working with liars. Agents have full authority to charge whatever rate they want to, end of story. In Illinois, I would offer a buyer agent commission of 2-2.5% and a seller agent commission of 1-1.5%. If your home is over 300k I would be on the lower end. That means 3% total commission. Some shady agents were taught to lie and say that the buyer pays their buyer agent commission. You can reword the numbers however you want (it comes from your pocket end of the day) but an agent who makes that type of comment is a hustler, not someone you want to work with.

Start with a 30-45 day contract, so if the guy is not your cup of tea then the listing automatically expires and you can hire someone else. I dislike 3 month contracts as I have wanted to fire agents before the 3 months and it involves a nasty phone call to the managing broker (they won’t release it easy so you have to be unreasonable) to get out of the contract earlier. I’ve done it before and I rather do shorter contracts than bring out the inner demon in me.

Getting the house ready
Clear clutter and large items. Sell them on OfferUp, a great app! I wouldn’t do repairs unless something necessary for daily use is broken.

Negotiating the offer
When a buyer comes to you with an offer, they will negotiate at different stages (attorney review, inspection, appraisal), each time for a further discount with some excuse. Stand firm on your price, if a buyer loves the house they will move forward (lots of tire kickers in this industry). I also tell my sellers agent not to present offers under a certain price. Only thing that could deal break is an appraisal issue or more likely the buyers credit / financial situation (yes preapproval means nothing). So someone trying to buy with little money down or an FHA mortgage has a high chance of failure or you picking up the shortfall. Also remember that the buyer is not buying a new house, if something is old, that doesn’t mean you have to give concessions (as a buyer I’ll say the furnace is old and knock off 3-5k, but that furnace may end up lasting even through the next transaction).

Read your contracts and don’t agree to pay any compliance fees, usually agents sneak this in for the buyers. It’s a sham.

Good luck!
 
- How do you decide what improvements to make before you list it? Just go based off realtor suggestions or are there any heuristics to use?
- If you rent out a house, how much of a headache is it? Is it worth having the mortgage bill paid?

Don't make any improvements but have your own home inspection done so you have a baseline to accept or reject the buyers home inspections "findings"

I rented a house we moved from for 5 years. It was a sound financial decision and paying a management company was an even better one. It was hassle free for me and they vetted renters and dealt with any minor issues.
 
The only advice I have for renting it out is to run the numbers and operate it as a business. Expenses will likely be higher than you expect and plan for some rehab prior to selling.

God forbid you get another market perturbation preventing you from both collecting rent and evicting non-payers.

Selling is a realtor’s job. I want to know stats for the realtors I use. Their listing performance and volume compared to segment averages. Too many part-timers and hobbyists in the space. Goldiocks pricing and days on market is what you’re looking for.
 
The only advice I have for renting it out is to run the numbers and operate it as a business. Expenses will likely be higher than you expect and plan for some rehab prior to selling.

God forbid you get another market perturbation preventing you from both collecting rent and evicting non-payers.

Selling is a realtor’s job. I want to know stats for the realtors I use. Their listing performance and volume compared to segment averages. Too many part-timers and hobbyists in the space. Goldiocks pricing and days on market is what you’re looking for.
I still believe a property on the MLS will sell doesn’t matter who the agent or marketing strategy is with exceptions for unique properties. So for that pricing it correctly is important but I do think it’s a guess for any agent, so no way to know who was right.
 
If you don't mind the work, you can sell it yourself. An agent that demands 5% these days, with these home prices, better work damn hard for that money, as that's a lot of money. Especially in this market where decent houses sell very quickly, sometimes with bidding wars.
Agents really do represent themselves. The higher the price, and the quicker the sale, the more money they make. Not always bad for you. But realize they're just middlemen, and don't always represent your best interests.
 
Drive around and gather six realty businesses. Call them up and ask for a BROKER. Ask broker for their top performing realtor. Schedule an interview, let them know you’re speaking to others.

You’ll get one bottom performer.
You’ll get one that says price low, sell quick.
You’ll get one that says price high, will sell eventually.
You’ll get one no show.
You’ll get two that impress you.

Pick from those two.
 
Drive around and gather six realty businesses. Call them up and ask for a BROKER. Ask broker for their top performing realtor. Schedule an interview, let them know you’re speaking to others.

You’ll get one bottom performer.
You’ll get one that says price low, sell quick.
You’ll get one that says price high, will sell eventually.
You’ll get one no show.
You’ll get two that impress you.

Pick from those two.
That’s not exactly how it works, when you call an agency, typically agents sign up for inbound phone calls or floor time. That means any leads go to those agents, and those are always the newer inexperienced agents. Sometimes you’ll get the experienced oldies who are managing the floor, but usually top performers are out selling (most of their business is word of mouth) and not in the office.

All of this “top performers” is a bunch of nonsense really, once on the MLS, it’s the buyers agents who show the listing to the buyer, unless you have a higher ticket listing where the seller accommodates each and every listing (I would require that for a primary residence as I don’t want the buyer and their agent helping themselves to my belongings - using my toilet, breaking something, walking through their 6 children and 3 dogs, etc), but then again if your listing agent is going to every showing appointment then they aren’t really a top performer after all. Not enough hours in the day, how many listings and buyer appointments can you practically handle? I’ve recently had listings with 10-15 showings per day! It’s (the market) definitely died down however.
 
Since you are planning to rent your next place, it doesn’t make sense to sell. What is your current interest rate and is it fixed? That is basically free money and over time you’ll gain more equity via paying it off, a small tax deduction annually for the interest, and possibly property appreciation depending on where.

The reasons to sell would be lots of equity tied up in the property and time to realize your property appreciation and/or equity, the property taxes are abnormally high, the local jurisdiction is a pain (or HOA doesn’t allow rentals), or you are having financial considerations that paying the mortgage taxes and upkeep is a burden on you renting elsewhere.

If you will live nearby or have someone you know nearby, you can even consider turning it into an Airbnb, it is work but there is money to be made there, or find a long-term tenant. Handling one rental house is not that difficult, you can find a neighbor who will do the lawn, have the thermostat on WiFi to keep an eye on the place, maybe even a few cameras, it’s when you scale it that it becomes more burdensome and a full-time job (some love it because it’s easy money but it is mentally taxing).
 
- How would you all go about getting a realtor? Pick a name out of a hat or is there more of an educated process for it? Do you negotiate what % they get or is it entirely standard 6%? I assume selling it without a realtor hinders your marketability.
Picking a realtor is hard... Look on Zillow or realtor.com or drive around and see who has the most signs up.. Usually going with one of the name brands is better as they network... sell sell sell money money money

- What do you do with all the excess furniture that won't have a home in your new place? Where do you sell it these days? Do people donate it? Junk left overs?
Garage sale, Craigslist, or Facebook Market place. My son uses Facebook Marketplace and has had good luck getting rid of stuff
- How do you decide what improvements to make before you list it? Just go based off realtor suggestions or are there any heuristics to use?
Remember these words "being sold as is." Outside of some cosmetic stuff, whatever you do, don't count on getting your money back... Of course, a realtor is going to want you to do a bunch of stuff, and it just so happens they know a guy. If anything, do bring in a professional cleaner and a landscaper to get the place nice and bright.

- If you rent out a house, how much of a headache is it? Is it worth having the mortgage bill paid?
Yes if you're living close and have some time on your hands - yes This also depends on where you are. I am close to a military base which translates into a hot rental market - the key words being hot rental market.
If the rent covers the mortgage and other overhead (taxes, maintenance, etc..) then the answer is yes, keep it. There are some real estate people who specialize in property management - they take care of all the headaches for a fee.

If not, and you can walk away with money in your pocket and want to keep life simple, then sell... But food for thought... I don't know what your loan rate is, but you won't see that with a new purchase, and over the years this could translate into some serious cash..

Other than that, there is a ton of great advice already posted here... good luck...
 
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maybe even a few cameras,
You do understand this is against the law in a lot of places.

As a landlord you're entitled to a lot of stuff, but this is not one of them
 
Oh! Something I forgot, if you do rent, walk out with the prospective tenant and look in their car.. If it is a mess, chances are that is how they will treat your property. If not chances are they will be a good tenant..

This has only failed me once in 25 years. They had just picked up the car from the rental agency and I was their first stop...!!!!!
 
If you're going to sell, the advice I had years ago from a local real estate agent was that the only improvements that would pay back the cost were cleaning and painting. Everything else you won't get the money back. This predates the time when staging was popular at all. Then, the thought was that a house with stuff in it was more difficult to sell and sold at a lower price.

If you're going to rent, suggest a good property management company. Oh, that and talk to a bunch of people who have rental property. It can be a huge PITA.
 
Sounds like these are some of the top takeaways (thank you all!:)):
1) Get a home inspection done to find out if there are any houseworthiness issues - address those
2) Don't pour a bunch of money into capital improvements. For instance, I've got 3 windows with broken seals that should be replaced but maybe kick those to the curb for now?
3) If I don't sell it myself then be selective on realtor and use a short contract term. Don't get tied down with one person doing a bad job selling it and being locked in w/them.
4) Get rid of furniture on FB marketplace, offerUp and even Craigslist (I didn't know that was still in operation). Take the remainder to goodwill.
5) Invest in presentation: paint, cleaning and landscaping.

And if I decide to rent it out: run the numbers and treat it like a business. Get a mgmt company if it's in the budget if I don't want to be involved in daily headaches.

Honestly though, I can't imagine sinking money into renting a place and getting no equity in return when you already have a home at low interest rate. Hire the yardwork out and pay a handyman for the odd repair. Can't imagine the cost of that would outweigh what you give up in rent.
Yeah, if it were just yard/house mx issues that could be more easily solved (and to clarify, I do already pay for yard service every week but there's all kinds of other things that pop up like felled trees, mulch, etc). Those bills add up. But there's other issues. It's too large of a house for 1 person and I have no interest in furnishing it b/c I'll never get the use out of it (and it'd cost a ton). So it sits largely empty with the exception of a few of the rooms. I never really fully settled into it as 1 guy. My biggest issue is I don't really wanna stay in the immediate area. The area is awesome if you're married with kids, but for a single person it's just a tad too quiet.

And frankly the problem I foresee with renting it out is that it'd be kind of a unique market. It'd be 4k$ to break even on mtg and taxes even with my sub-3% rate. I'd have to charge quite a bit more if I were to make a profit on it (aside from the equity) or pay a mgmt company. Most people with that budget in this area would probably prefer to buy a house, even a smaller one, rather than rent. That's just my guess though, I could be wrong.

You’ll get one no show.
I thought getting a no-show was unthinkable given how bad the industry is hurting for inventory and sales. Yet the day I created this thread I had already contacted 2 realtors (mainly as a fact finding mission for myself). But neither called me back or gave any other response!
 
Another take on improvements….

You can replace the carpet (with the cheapest non descript carpet on the planet) and have a prospective remember your home as the one that smells of new carpet and they can move in immediately…

Or the one with crappy dated (even though the nicest stuff ever made when it was new…) smelly carpet and an allowance…

Cheap carpet rocks when it’s new…

Food for thought.
 
Another take on improvements….

You can replace the carpet (with the cheapest non descript carpet on the planet) and have a prospective remember your home as the one that smells of new carpet and they can move in immediately…

Or the one with crappy dated (even though the nicest stuff ever made when it was new…) smelly carpet and an allowance…

Cheap carpet rocks when it’s new…

Food for thought.
Thankfully a non-issue for me. It's hardwood floors throughout the whole house (except basement, which has big stone tiles). Not a carpet fan for that exact reason: it ends up looking nasty after a few years unless you really stay on top of cleaning it.
 
@ArrowFlyer86 I understand the reasons for selling. My first (and current) home I bought is a shade over 3K sq ft, and I bought it as a single guy. 2 of the 3 bedrooms sat completely empty, and I really didn't have anything other than basic stuff in the remaining rooms of the house/kitchen. I wasn't necessarily looking for a house that big when I began searching for a home, but I stumbled upon it for a great price since it was a foreclosure (this was 2010 time frame, so after the market collapse) and got locked at a low interest rate. I have since gotten married and had children, so naturally the house got filled with "stuff", but I was perfectly happy leaving half of the house empty. If it's not the right area/fit for you there's nothing wrong with cutting bait, it just may not be the best time from a financial perspective. If that's a sacrifice you're willing to make, then make it happen.

I would recommend seeing what that rental market looks like, as there are a lot of people out there who need a larger home but aren't willing to eat 8%+ interest rates/inflated home prices but have the cash to pay the higher rental rates. Some people also won't qualify for a loan on a house like that, but can swing the monthly rent.
 
@ArrowFlyer86 I understand the reasons for selling. My first (and current) home I bought is a shade over 3K sq ft, and I bought it as a single guy. 2 of the 3 bedrooms sat completely empty, and I really didn't have anything other than basic stuff in the remaining rooms of the house/kitchen. I wasn't necessarily looking for a house that big when I began searching for a home, but I stumbled upon it for a great price since it was a foreclosure (this was 2010 time frame, so after the market collapse) and got locked at a low interest rate. I have since gotten married and had children, so naturally the house got filled with "stuff", but I was perfectly happy leaving half of the house empty. If it's not the right area/fit for you there's nothing wrong with cutting bait, it just may not be the best time from a financial perspective. If that's a sacrifice you're willing to make, then make it happen.

I would recommend seeing what that rental market looks like, as there are a lot of people out there who need a larger home but aren't willing to eat 8%+ interest rates/inflated home prices but have the cash to pay the higher rental rates. Some people also won't qualify for a loan on a house like that, but can swing the monthly rent.
That's a good plan. I think I'm going to do that (check out the rental market). Perhaps there are some people who can swing the rent but can't qualify for a loan in these conditions...

And from your description it sounds like you and I were in almost the exact same boat; glad you can relate! Like you I have multiple rooms that sit empty or nearly empty for that exact reason, the rest of the furnishing can be described as "bachelor style minimalism" at best and "does anyone actually live here?" at worst :) .
 
Get a GSP. That big house will feel a lot smaller with one of them things bouncing off the walls. Ask me how I know.

This most definitely would not help the maintenance aspect however.

"Bachelor style minimalism"...I have decorated with 2 elk, 3 deer, a moose, a giant TV and a nice sectional... And a couple stupid expensive barstools.

I would talk to a few realtors. Get there opinion on what they could sell it for and what it would rent for. My realtor did all the vetting when I put my rental up. The nice couple with the 810 credit score that offered more than my ask won out.
 
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Sounds like these are some of the top takeaways (thank you all!:)):
1) Get a home inspection done to find out if there are any houseworthiness issues - address those
Yes... and understand the buyer needs to know that their home inspection is not for a laundry list of stuff they think needs to be fixed, nor a negotiation point. Again - "being sold as is.."
2) Don't pour a bunch of money into capital improvements. For instance, I've got 3 windows with broken seals that should be replaced but maybe kick those to the curb for now?
Yes, kick to the curb, but let the potential buyer know
3) If I don't sell it myself then be selective on realtor and use a short contract term. Don't get tied down with one person doing a bad job selling it and being locked in w/them.
I did a FSB (For Sale By Owner) as a buyer once and what an effing headache. After some adroit maneuvering on my side with the code enforcement and building inspectors, we were able to get into the house... albeit in the middle of a 30-plus-inch blizzard..
4) Get rid of furniture on FB marketplace, offerUp and even Craigslist (I didn't know that was still in operation). Take the remainder to goodwill.
Solid plan
5) Invest in presentation: paint, cleaning and landscaping.
Remember, it is the wife who is buying the house.. you want to make it as appealing as possible.... trust me on this :D
And if I decide to rent it out: run the numbers and treat it like a business. Get a mgmt company if it's in the budget if I don't want to be involved in daily headaches.
When I was on the east coast and the house was on the west coast, I did this.. The only downside, it the water heater I could have replaced for $500.00 was $1,500.00. If you're still close, put together your own list of handypersons for repairs. If the management company gets involved, 10 times out of 5 they will have a service charge.
Yeah, if it were just yard/house mx issues that could be more easily solved (and to clarify, I do already pay for yard service every week but there's all kinds of other things that pop up like felled trees, mulch, etc). Those bills add up. But there's other issues. It's too large of a house for 1 person and I have no interest in furnishing it b/c I'll never get the use out of it (and it'd cost a ton). So it sits largely empty with the exception of a few of the rooms. I never really fully settled into it as 1 guy. My biggest issue is I don't really wanna stay in the immediate area. The area is awesome if you're married with kids, but for a single person it's just a tad too quiet.
Get married and have kids... :):D:p
And frankly the problem I foresee with renting it out is that it'd be kind of a unique market. It'd be 4k$ to break even on mtg and taxes even with my sub-3% rate. I'd have to charge quite a bit more if I were to make a profit on it (aside from the equity) or pay a mgmt company. Most people with that budget in this area would probably prefer to buy a house, even a smaller one, rather than rent. That's just my guess though, I could be wrong.
Point # 5, remember it is the wife buying the house and if there are kids one of the main concerns is going to be the schools, if you're in an area with good schools, you may find a rental, but they may be short-termers that is, in and out in a year.
I thought getting a no-show was unthinkable given how bad the industry is hurting for inventory and sales. Yet the day I created this thread I had already contacted 2 realtors (mainly as a fact finding mission for myself). But neither called me back or gave any other response!
There are two agents wishing they had picked up the phone.

Good luck to you mate...
 
Some other advice, look at some homes in your area on realtor.com.. they are tapping into some of the tools appraisers are using... this should be a strong benchmark




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It doesn’t matter if the house is sold as-is, as a buyer I will get an inspection and then trash talk the house for a further discount, usually I’ll get 5-20k cash concessions which is well worth paying for the $500 inspection. Always get the sewer line scoped out with a camera as well! For any buyer who loves the house, they will proceed at the initial offer price if it is the right house for them. If it isn’t then they might not try hard to get approved for the mortgage with cold feet later in the process. It sucks to spend 4-6 weeks waiting to end up with no deal in the end.

As a seller the only thing you can do, is part of any offer, insert a term to keep the listing marked as active and continue to show until the inspection contingency is removed and the deposit is received. That way you don’t feel a sense of loss when the buyer is asking for 50k in repairs and you’re like nope, but problem is once a listing is marked pending, it is now less desirable and most of the time you won’t receive a better offer as pending and back on market scares a number of potential buyers from your home. So it’s a gamble but I like to get multiple interested parties and string them along until you got a semi-solid deal that’s only remaining hurdle is the buyers loan and bank appraisal which still can fall through. Preapproval letters mean nothing these days makes me annoyed how they write a letter (the buyer their agent and mortgage broker) how great their buyer is and how thorough the preapproval is but then 3 days after the inspection they send a notice to break the contract due to the mortgage disapproval. It’s like wtf and the reason is for something stupid like “length of employment at current employer”, like really this simple question wasn’t addressed?
 
It doesn’t matter if the house is sold as-is, as a buyer I will get an inspection and then trash talk the house for a further discount, usually I’ll get 5-20k cash concessions which is well worth paying for the $500 inspection. Always get the sewer line scoped out with a camera as well! For any buyer who loves the house, they will proceed at the initial offer price if it is the right house for them. If it isn’t then they might not try hard to get approved for the mortgage with cold feet later in the process. It sucks to spend 4-6 weeks waiting to end up with no deal in the end.

Agree 100% on the sewer line. In my burg, this is a requirement if not done in the previous 10 years. We have a lot of homes with Orangeburg pipe that has failed. I and a few of my neighbors got together and did a quantity discount deal with a plumber to have PVC installed, even though half of us really didn't need it. But, this is cheap peace of mind.

Regarding your first statement, you can trash talk all you want - in a seller's market, it will just be noise. I had a buyer do this, but like was recommended above I had my own inspection done prior to listing it. They gave me a punch list of what needed to be done, which was done. The buyer came back with a laundry list of about 20 items that had nothing to do with the structural, plumbing, electrical, safety, etc... We had a 1950s refurbished Okeefe and Meritt gas stove that they wanted to be upgraded to a new energy-efficient one or a $1,000.00 credit - the stove was a period piece. We told them to read the MLS, no appliances were included in the sale and the house is being sold as is. We told them to move forward with the deal by COB at the week's end or we're canceling escrow. Needless to say, the deal closed and the kicker, they bought the stove from us...

Lastly, a good agent will advise not to accept any deals unless there is a pre-approval for a loan. I had an offer where they were coming in with 20% down, and pre-approved for the asking price, and another (young couple) where they were coming in with 40% down and pre-approved at the asking price - needed to do so to get the monthly payment down for the lender, and another that was $10K over asking but was 10% down and a little sketchy on the loan.... but the agent has to bring all offers forward. Can you tell me which one we countered and took?
 
I have used the same realtor for buy and sell transactions. She was the listing agent on my first house in the area and did too good of a job ;-)

- Yes, there are 'top performing agents'. It's just objectively true, there are agents who have 10x the sales volume than other agents in the same office/market. They know how to price, they don't put up with stupid sellers, they know how to stage a place and know what little handyman jobs to get done prior to listing so there is no hangup at the home inspection stage. Finding that top performer may be difficult as the broker of course wants to build up other agents in the office. Ask around on who the go-to person is in your neighborhood.

- Yes, you can use a limited service broker to get your place onto the MLS. You still have to offer a fee to the buyers agent. You will find that buyers agents will steer their buyers clear of your listing. It's not right and it's not legal, but buyers agents don't want to deal with unrepresented sellers. Too much headache.

- Contrary to popular belief, your agent is not really interested in having you list with a high price. He or she is interested in you listing at a price that makes the property move so he can focus on the next listing. No interest in having a property sit on the market due to a moon price.

- The typical split of the 6% commission is 50/50 between the buyer and seller broker and their respective agents. You will have to offer the full 3% to the buyers agent anyway, so the only one who can give up anything is your listing agent/broker. So your 'savings' is 1-1.5% max. My current home was sold through a part time agent who was friends with the military seller. She was hard to get hold of, knew nothing about the property and the local market. The sale happened despite her efforts, not because of it. We managed to beat them down on the price by about 15%, in part due to her inexperience. Worked for me, and they 'saved' 1% on the agents fee, it'was a win-win.
 
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... Contrary to popular belief, your agent is not really interested in having you list with a high price...
The Freakonomics guys proved just this.
 
- Contrary to popular belief, your agent is not really interested in having you list with a high price. He or she is interested in you listing at a price that makes the property move so he can focus on the next listing. No interest in having a property sit on the market due to a moon price.

There are so many tools out there now similar to KBB, vRef, etc.. for agents to use so they can formulate a competitive price for the property. ost agents have to work through a broker, and the broker is going to want as much off of each sale as possible.. they are the ones worrying about the overhead.
 
There are so many tools out there now similar to KBB, vRef, etc.. for agents to use so they can formulate a competitive price for the property. ost agents have to work through a broker, and the broker is going to want as much off of each sale as possible.. they are the ones worrying about the overhead.

Yes and no
First listings generate enquiries
Require little work from the sellers agent
And you can say hey buddy I got 35 listings
Are you going to ask how many are priced right or how many sold?
And even if so would I tell you how many didn’t sell?
 
I have used the same realtor for buy and sell transactions. She was the listing agent on my first house in the area and did too good of a job ;-)

- Yes, there are 'top performing agents'. It's just objectively true, there are agents who have 10x the sales volume than other agents in the same office/market. They know how to price, they don't put up with stupid sellers, they know how to stage a place and know what little handyman jobs to get done prior to listing so there is no hangup at the home inspection stage. Finding that top performer may be difficult as the broker of course wants to build up other agents in the office. Ask around on who the go-to person is in your neighborhood.

- Yes, you can use a limited service broker to get your place onto the MLS. You still have to offer a fee to the buyers agent. You will find that buyers agents will steer their buyers clear of your listing. It's not right and it's not legal, but buyers agents don't want to deal with unrepresented sellers. Too much headache.

- Contrary to popular belief, your agent is not really interested in having you list with a high price. He or she is interested in you listing at a price that makes the property move so he can focus on the next listing. No interest in having a property sit on the market due to a moon price.

- The typical split of the 6% commission is 50/50 between the buyer and seller broker and their respective agents. You will have to offer the full 3% to the buyers agent anyway, so the only one who can give up anything is your listing agent/broker. So your 'savings' is 1-1.5% max. My current home was sold through a part time agent who was friends with the military seller. She was hard to get hold of, knew nothing about the property and the local market. The sale happened despite her efforts, not because of it. We managed to beat them down on the price by about 15%, in part due to her inexperience. Worked for me, and they 'saved' 1% on the agents fee, it'was a win-win.

"In the typical home sale, the home seller pays a commission, not just to their agent, but also to the buyer's agent. This fee-sharing arrangement is part of a decades-old practice involving what realtors call an "offer of compensation."

Others call it a conflict of interest."
 
"In the typical home sale, the home seller pays a commission, not just to their agent, but also to the buyer's agent. This fee-sharing arrangement is part of a decades-old practice involving what realtors call an "offer of compensation."

Others call it a conflict of interest."

The other way around. The only one who pays at a closing is the buyer (and his mortgage Co). Everyone else goes home with a check. The skim is built into the RE market, a buyer wouldn't get any more if the barnacles didn't exist.
 
The other way around. The only one who pays at a closing is the buyer (and his mortgage Co). Everyone else goes home with a check. The skim is built into the RE market, a buyer wouldn't get any more if the barnacles didn't exist.
Depends how you look at it, the buyer pays X and then there are deductions of X, the Seller gets the rest so really the Buyer pays the Seller then the Seller pays all of the fees.

If buyer agent commission is 2 or 3%, the seller would have a 1% spread there whether it’s in or out of their pocket is up to the seller at time of listing. On let’s say 500k that’s 5k or about an annual inspection on your airplane.
 
This thread is a great example of "ask 10 people for their opinion and you'll get 12 different answers".
 
And even if so would I tell you how many didn’t sell?
With many online resources available, buyers and sellers are getting pretty savvy these days. And there is the MLS.. any half-competent agent could look and see what is going on.

For instance...https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-search/93001/overview

By chance are you a real estate agent?
 
"In the typical home sale, the home seller pays a commission, not just to their agent, but also to the buyer's agent. This fee-sharing arrangement is part of a decades-old practice involving what realtors call an "offer of compensation."

Others call it a conflict of interest."

In California, where the real estate laws are pretty stringent to protect the consumers (buyer and seller), they don't see this as a conflict of interest... even if both agents are working for the same broker.

Years ago when I did real estate sales, I started off by "sitting open houses." There were I few cases where I wrote up an offer and presented it to the listing agent, who presented it to the seller, who accepted, and the deal was done. At first, I was a little nervous thinking there was a conflict here, but the law and the broker said nothing was wrong as it fell under "dual agency" and we had all the disclosures to both parties on the table, but I was damm sure to have documented everything.
 
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