Good Things to Know About Selling Your House Without An Agent in Savannah

We live in a world where everyone does everything without expensive expert service providers. People trade stocks without a stockbroker. People create wills and trusts without attorneys. Many even remodel homes without contractors. As independent as everyone is, why wouldn’t you want to look at the benefits of selling your house without an agent in GA?

That being said, there can be good reasons to choose a real estate agent to list your house. However, choosing to work with an agent and list your house on the MLS (think Zillow) doesn’t have to be your default option…there are many circumstances where it can be more beneficial to the seller for working with a direct home buyer, especially if they are local and have a good amount of experience buying homes (Bluff Pointe Properties is one example of a local home buyer that operates in the Savannah area).

Example of Home Purchased by Bluff Pointe Properties

Saving Money (Especially on those Realtor Fees)

Agents cost money. It’s that simple. In many cases, it’s a lot of money. A real estate transaction can cost six percent of the final property sales cost. If a property sale price is $500,000, this can cost sellers $30,000. This amount is split between both the buyer’s and seller’s agent. In Savannah for example, the standard fee for the seller’s agent is 3.6%, and the standard fee for the buyer’s agent is 2.4% (these percentages are applied to the final sales price of the house). The combination of both these percentages comes to a total of 6%…the $30,000 mentioned above equates to 6% of the $500,000 sale price

This is a considerable amount that is taken from the final sale price. If a seller still has high mortgage balances that need to be paid off, eliminating commission costs (aka, realtor fees) is a huge advantage (in some instances, there may also be liens on the property that need to be paid off..these liens can be related to taxes, former construction work, etc). Keep in mind, just because you don’t have an agent as a seller doesn’t mean you can preclude the buyer from having an agent. When selling to a professional home buyer, the buyer is rarely represented by an agent…and if they are, the buyer will pay their agent’s commission (aka, you, as the seller, don’t have to pay it).

Most sellers end up paying between two to three percent to the buyer’s agent in self-represented sales. And friendly reminder from above, in Savannah, buyer’s agents are compensated with 2.4% of the final sales price. However, if you are new to real estate sales, the buyer’s agent might try to negotiate a bigger commission because he (or she) will most likely be doing work on both ends of the transaction to make up for your lack of experience and understanding. This doesn’t always happen, but should be something you watch out for.

Saving Time (No Open Houses, Minimal Showings)

One thing to consider when listing your property on the MLS via an agent is that you will likely have to conduct at least one open house (possibly more), and there will likely be multiple showings. Although this can be a good strategy for getting multiple buyers to look at your house, it also requires work and preparation on your behalf. You will have to clean and prepare the house for each open house, and you and your family will have to vacate the house as well. Open houses are usually scheduled on the weekends, so you’ll have to find a place to go so the agent can run your open house. The good things about open houses is that they’re scheduled in advance. However, there will also likely be showings that are unplanned and unexpected, and that will require some last minute coordination for you and your family to vacate the house so you can let a potential buyer into your house to take a look around. If you’re working with a professional home buyer, there’s usually just one initial walk through that needs to be conducted before the contract is signed.

Qualified Negotiator (You May be Better Qualified than You Think)

Even though you can’t force the buyer to not have an agent, it doesn’t become negotiating power to say you are more flexible in the price if there is no outside representation. Buyers might feel they are able to negotiate a better price without an agent because they know the amount of savings in the transaction.

Beyond negotiating the sale price, sellers might feel they are more qualified to sell and negotiate the transaction than an agent. Sellers well versed in real estate transactions might be comfortable walking through the process and negotiating items at different points in the escrow process. When a seller is comfortable dealing with a buyer or buyer’s agent, he or she can save at least three percent of the commissions by representing themselves.

It is also possible that the transaction is very straightforward. Perhaps it is new construction or being sold as is and the seller isn’t willing to negotiate on anything. Buyers can come in and make an offer without expectation for repairs or credits. Sellers set with their price and are able to provide all disclosures and documents properly might not see a need for agent representation. Remember, nobody is going to know the property better than you as the seller. You are going to know the ins & outs of the condition of the property, and will be the most well-versed when it relates to the condition of the property.

Before Renovation by Professional Homebuyer
After Renovation by Professional Homebuyer

Keeping Things Personal – Selling Amongst People You Know

There are times when a transaction is among well-known parties. Well-known could be family members, close friends, neighbors, or even business partners. In cases like this where everyone is clear who the parties are and what to expect in the sale, there may not be a need to bring on an agent. Of course, there needs to be a lot of trust among all parties in this type of transaction scenario.

Even when parties to a sale know each other, legal sale requirements must be followed. Adhere to all Savannah codes for disclosures and timelines. The last thing you want as a seller representing themselves is to find yourself in a legal battle down the road for a property you thought you no longer had any ties to. Follow the rules to avoid legal ramifications and penalties.

Ultimately, there’s not a 100% right answer for any seller’s situation. The most important thing for any seller is to weigh their options before they decide to work with an agent, or sell directly to an experienced home buyer. There are advantages and disadvantages to both courses of action, and educating oneself on the plusses and minus for each is a GREAT way to start.

If you are unsure about whether or not you should sell your property in Savannah, don’t hesitate to send us a message. We can help you decide whether you should use an agent or sell your property directly! Call today! 912-299-7747

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