A recent survey revealed that approximately 30 percent of homeowners intend to sell without a real estate agent. I bet more would if they didn’t fear the contract side of the process.
Contracts When Selling Your Home Without An Agent
It is undisputed that you can save tens of thousands of dollars by selling your home without an agent. Typical commission fees charged by an agent equal six percent of the sales price. On a $300,000 home, the fee of the real estate agent equates to $18,000 dollars. That is a lot of money you are leaving on the table.
If a seller can save so much money by foregoing an agent, why don’t more people do it? Simply put, they are scared of the process. In particular, real estate contracts can be a scary issue for most home buyers. How do you know if you are doing it correctly? What if you don’t? Will you lose the home? Will there be lawsuits? Frankly, most people have nightmares about the idea of dealing with these issues. This need not be.
First off, most real estate agents do not know anything more than you do about contracts. They are in the business of selling real estate, not being legal experts. Moreover, most real estate contracts are of the pre-printed form variety. All and all, you need not be overly concerned with this issue. Of course, it isn’t my property.
There is a very simple way to get around the stress associated with dealing with real estate contracts and documents. The answer is found in the legal field. Specifically, you can hire a real estate lawyer to handle everything. You will get a legal professional that is one your side and who knows the details of the real estate process inside out. Frankly, they are a heck of a lot more competent than real estate agents when it comes to the transaction.
Ah, but isn’t it true that attorneys are incredibly expensive? Well, yes. In this case, however, they are much less expensive than paying a six percent commission to a real estate agent. Keep in mind our example above where we are paying a realtor $18,000 in commissions. Most attorneys charge in the $200 an hour range. If it takes 20 hours to handle the transaction, which is probably on the high end, you are looking at $4,000 in legal fees. In practical terms, you get much better advice and save $14,000 on commissions. In such a scenario, hiring legal counsel absolutely makes sense. Frankly, I am surprised more people do not do so.
The biggest barrier to selling a home by owner is often the fear of contract documents. Follow the above advice and you should have no problems.