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Home Sale

How to Sell Your Home in 2018

by Victor Zhang • July 20, 2018

As technology is changing the way homeowners sell, many new brokerages and services are emerging. Here are some of the different ways to sell your home in 2018.

We are now well into the 21st century and there has been many technological advances. When it comes to selling a home, however, the first step for most homeowners is to find a local real estate agent. While you could just go with a referral to a local agent, there are a few other ways you can sell. Here are some different ways you can sell your home in 2018:

Online Brokerages

Everyone knows that the internet has disrupted many industries. This includes the real estate industry, with online brokerages popping up left and right. Online brokerages typically charge clients fees or commissions that are lower than those of a traditional sale. They are able to leverage technology to lower costs and pass on those savings to their clients. Since these companies can charge a lower commission or flat fee to sell your home, they are also known as discount brokerages.

Some discount brokerages such as Home Bay or Homie will guide you through selling your home with a remote team. They will do everything necessary to get your home sold, but just without the physical presence.

Another type of discount brokerage are those like Redfin, with real estate agents who are willing to provide full service for a discounted commission.

In the past, discount brokerages have been viewed as providing lower-quality service because they are cheaper. However, the adoption of technology is a big reason why many of these firms are able to lower their costs. They are able to automate their tasks and cut down on the time required to sell your home. Many of these companies has a centralized team to handle recurring tasks and support, so your agent has more time to serve you. As every brokerage will be different, be sure to do your research on what they do or how well they have done to make sure they are a trusted firm.

Pros Cons
Lower fees and commissions Service quality will vary depending on your agent
Support from centralized team
Utilization of technology, such as a free 3D home scan with Redfin

Direct Home Buyers

Selling to a direct home buyer is one of the fastest ways to sell your home. A direct home buyer is a company or individual who will make a cash offer on your home, providing homeowners with a fast route to sell. You can normally request a free no-obligation offer, so it may be a good idea to get some additional opinions of value, even if you have no intention of selling to one.

An advantage of selling to a direct home buyer is the flexibility because you are able to close on your own timeline. This takes off the stress of having to buy your new home before selling, resulting in paying two mortgages. On the other hand, if you sell before you buy, it also takes off stress as you no longer need to make living arrangements between moves.

While this is a stress free and fast alternative to the traditional sale, offers may not be ideal as there is a lack of multiple buyers bidding up the sale price. Most direct home buyers will only send you a single offer and wont accept counter offers unless they initially made a mistake valuing your house. In a traditional sale, there will typically be multiple buyers interested in your home, each sending you an offer. As the buyers or their agents realize that other buyers are also bidding on your house, there ends up being a bidding war that drives up the property price. This is more common in a sellers market where demand is greater than available housing inventory. However, this is not the case for every property due to a variety of factors. If you are in a position where you need to sell your home fast, you may want to consider using a direct home buyer.

Pros Cons
Fast home sale Lack of competing offers
Timeline flexibility
Free to request an offer

For Sale By Owner

It has never been easier to sell your home on your own, thanks to the internet. This process is called For Sale By Owner or FSBO, and most people take this route to save on commissions and fees associated with selling.

There are plenty of online websites that provide homeowners with everything they need to sell a home, such as contracts, marketing materials, MLS listings, listing syndication, event management, and educational pieces. While it may be easier than ever to sell on your own, there have been studies done by the National Association of Realtors showing that FSBO normally sell their homes for less than agents. However with the proper pricing tools and marketing plan, that shouldn’t be a problem.

While this route will save you on the commission, you will need to price your home well and spend the time learning and going through the process, which may not be for everyone.

Pros Cons
Save on commission Time-consuming
Understand every detail of the process Will need to learn everything on your own

Finding an Agent Online

If you would like to find an agent, there are free services you can use to do so. You can always ask a friend or family member for a referral to a good agent, but if you want to research further to find an agent that best fits you, you can use these online tools.

For instance, Homelight is an agent finder that uses algorithms to match you with an agent that can fulfill everything you need. They have analyzed millions of home sales by agents, along with many other factors to help provide you with a great agent around you.

Upnest is another company that can help you find an agent, while helping you save on commissions. They have local agents send you a proposal with information such as the agent’s years of experience, track record, and commission charged. This creates more competition between the agents bidding for your business, driving down the commissions they will charge.

If you have a specific real estate franchise like Century 21 or Keller Williams in mind, they will all have online agent directories where you can see a list of local agents who work for the franchise. The real estate behemoth, Zillow, also has profiles on many agents that include reviews from past clients so they are a great resource as well. You can always go with a referral, but supplement it with more information about the agent ensure you find the right one for you.

Pros Cons
Free service Level of service will vary depending on the agents
Helps find an agent to match your needs
Some will help you save on commission

Conclusion

Ultimately, every homeowner is under different circumstances and will benefit from different solutions. Online discount brokerages with remote teams will sell your home at a low cost, but it may not be suitable for people who want an in-person agent guiding them. Direct home buyers are great for those that are in a distressed property or in a situation requires them to sell fast, but may not be good if you are looking for the highest possible offer on your home. Those selling For Sale By Owner will save big on the commission, but will require hours of their own time to market and sell their home. Each type of company or brokerage is better suited for different situations. At the end of the day, which one to use is up to you.