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Selling home - Traditional realtor or Help-U-Sell?

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Selling home - Traditional realtor or Help-U-Sell?

Old 03-10-06, 11:24 AM
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Selling home - Traditional realtor or Help-U-Sell?

Hi folks,

My wife has accepted a very nice job in Tucson, so we will be moving at the end of June. That's the good news! The bad news - we have to sell our 1 1/4 year-old house that we built.

We got burnt in the past trying to sell a house. It took forever and we ended up with a double mortgage for way too long. We would like to avoid that if at all possible.

There is still a lot of building going on in our area, but the fact that the house is already here, a popular model from the builder, and on the best lot in the neighborhood - hopefully all this will make it appealing.

We are going to be picking up/cleaning up over the next week and hopefulyl putting it on the market at the end of next week. The big dilemma is whether to go with a traditional realtor or to go with one of these newer services like Help-U-Sell.

With a traditional realtor, we would have to price our house higher to make certain we get back what we paid for it (6% commission). But perhaps this person would work harder to get the house sold. We really want to have an accepted offer by the end of April if at all possible so that we can house search in Tucson in May.

With Help-U-Sell, I believe it is a flat fee (~$2000) to list with MLS. Sounds like a great deal versus the realtor, but I'm afraid that the house won't get as much attention on the market. Sure, it will be in the MLS system, but is another realtor going to want to show our house when they would not get the normal commission on it?

Any input or experience on this topic would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Old 03-10-06, 11:37 AM
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Help U Sell is kind of a joke. What good is putting it on the MLS if the Realtors who see it won't get paid, and thus won't show it to their clients or will find reasons to bash it when they ask about it. I'd do that for $2,000 because it costs them nothing.

Honestly, you are better off doing FSBO rather than Help U Sell.
Old 03-10-06, 11:40 AM
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Not that I'm going to provide any helpful information here, I just wanted to offer my condolences on moving to Tucson.
Old 03-10-06, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Deftones
Not that I'm going to provide any helpful information here, I just wanted to offer my condolences on moving to Tucson.
At least Nogales is close so after a visit there Tucson looks better. Especially if you bought lots of alcohol.
Old 03-10-06, 12:57 PM
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this depends on your local area

if you live in a place with a lot of open land i would go with a realtor since many people will probably want a new home. If you live in a very densely populated place where builders are buying tiny corners here and there and the resale market is very good, than look into FSBO.

I have family that just moved out west from NYC. They did a FSBO in NYC and saved a bunch of money. If they were to sell their home out west they would need a realtor since there is still plenty of open land and the resale market sucks.
Old 03-10-06, 01:21 PM
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When I was looking for houses, I always preferred the FSBO people (usually ended up being people using buyowner.com) better than realtor-represented. The owners were a lot more willing to talk and be accomodating, whereas realtors seem like salespeople to me (yeah, I know), so I never really trusted what they were saying. I preferred looking for houses through yard signs in front of the actual house in neighborhoods I was actually interested in living in, not through a book in a realtor's office showing me something in my price range but who knows where it is until you get there.
Old 03-10-06, 01:22 PM
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I would go witha realtor, especially if you are trying to sell your house quickly.

Do it yourself home sales seem to sit on the market much longer. As a home buyer, I have never taken those sellers as seriously. It seems like selling it yourself is more for people who just want to be cheap and stick it on the market and wait for a deal. If you are gong through a realtor it just conveys you are more serious. (At least that is how I felt when I was home shopping.)

Have you looked into doing a bridge loan? We did that when we moved, which allowed us to get into our new house right away while we sold our house. It worked pretty well. We ended up selling our house right at the end of the six month period of the bridge loan.
Old 03-10-06, 02:26 PM
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The only thing you lose by listing FSBO is time. If you have the time, do it, but then do a proper job.

I had a full write-up on this somewhere so I will summarize:

Advertise. That means not only on your front lawn, but on the internet, newspapers, bulletin boards, etc.
Don't lower the price of the house. Pick the right price for the house to be sold at (as if you were selling with an agent) and then sell it at that price. If you sell it low then raise the price when an agent comes in no one is going to buy it. If you sell it too high then no one will buy it and the house will stay on the market for too long, making buyers weary.
Offer compensation to buyer's agents. If an agent brings you a buyer, offer them 2.5% - 3.5% commission (3% or less is the norm). Feel free to note this on the flyers you send to real estate offices. If a buyer comes in without an agent, offer them settlement help. (Say, pay for 2% of their costs).
Take a very large deposit. If you are serious about selling, you want someone who is serious about buying. Take a nice, fat deposit ($5000 if it can be done) to make sure the buyer doesn't change their mind.
Financing. Pre-arranging financing options for buyers is a good idea. While you can't force them to go any one route, have info at hand for them so they can see estimated payments etc. Anyone at a bank or mortgage company should be more than happy to do this for you.

If you don't have the time to do all of this, then hire an agent. The market is not where it was two years ago that you can just expect people to fall in your lap.

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