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 Washington?
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.
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 is a huge advantage. Just increase net profits is attractive to sellers. 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.
Most sellers end up paying between two to three percent to the buyer’s agent in self-represented sales. However, if you are new to real estate sales, the buyer’s agent might try to negotiate a bigger commission because he will most likely be doing work on both ends of the transaction to make up for your lack of experience and understanding.
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 can save at least three percent of the commissions by representing himself.
It is also possible that the transaction is very straightforward. Perhaps it is a 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 able to provide all disclosures and documents properly might not see a need for agent representation.
Keeping Things Personal
There are times when a transaction is among well-known parties. Well-known could be family members, close friends 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 Olympia codes for disclosures and timelines. The last thing you want as a seller representing himself 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.