When selling a property, it can feel like you have a million and one things to think about, from carrying out pre-sale renovations, holding open houses, dealing with potential buyers, and handling the seemingly endless stream of invoices from realtors, solicitors, staging experts, and other contractors. There’s, undeniably, a long list of different things to consider when it comes to selling your home, and costs are likely to be near the top of that list.
It’s true that some of the costs of moving may be unavoidable, but they can quickly add up if you don’t stay on top of your finances and look for ways to cut down your expenses and maximize your profits.
Below, we’ve listed five key things you can do to cut your costs and save yourself some money when selling your home. By implementing any of these tips, you could save a considerable amount and potentially make selling your home significantly less stressful.
1. Use a Discount or Flat-Fee Agent
Typically, you can expect to pay somewhere around 6% in realtor fees if you’re selling your home with a traditional agent. So, if your home sells for $200,000, you could be looking at $12,000 in estate agent fees alone. This is likely to make up a large proportion of your seller’s fees and when combined with all of the other costs that a seller must cover, you could be looking at a pretty hefty bill when selling your home.
With that being said, working with a qualified, skilled estate agent is likely to significantly increase your chances of securing a sale and of selling at a higher price, so it’s a cost that many sellers feel is worth paying. This is where flat-fee or discounted rate agents might come in.
In recent years, real estate agent models have become much more varied, offering a wide range of services at different rates. Some flat-fee agents will offer a basic service that includes listing and advertising the property in exchange for one single payment that’s agreed upon prior to the sale. Others might offer a flat fee that may increase slightly if the house sells for considerably more than its market value.
The specific contract will differ depending on which agent you use but shopping around to find the right agent for you could end up saving you a substantial amount of money.
Read this article from Real Estate Witch to learn more about discount real estate brokers and how they work.
2. Negotiate Your Agent’s Commission
If you do decide to work with a traditional estate agent, it’s well worth negotiating with them on their commission rates. More often than not, your agent will be willing to reduce their commission if asked and you could end up saving yourself a large sum of money.
Real estate is a competitive industry and there’s no reason that you can’t use this to your own advantage. Approach multiple agents and ask each one to provide a quote. If the agent knows that they are in competition with other agents, they are much more likely to give you their lowest quote.
On the sale of a $200,000 home, the difference between paying 5% or 6% in realtor fees would be $2,000!
When it comes to selling your home, there are two key stages at which you should never be afraid to negotiate: when liaising with your potential buyers, and when choosing a realtor. This way you can be sure that you’re going to make the maximum profits on the sale of your property.
3. List it ‘For Sale By Owner’
If you want to bypass the real estate agent fees altogether, you could also list the property ‘For Sale By Owner’. FSBO means that the property is being sold independently without the help of a realtor. Lots of sellers choose to do this to really minimize their costs.
Of course, this method of selling your home will come with its pros and cons. In terms of the pros, you’re looking at lower seller fees and more control when it comes to the sale of the property. You control when or if you hold open houses and who is allowed to attend. You could even increase your chances of securing a sale since you know your home better than anyone and can really emphasize its positives and potential.
In terms of cons, however, you’ll miss out on the expert knowledge, contacts, and skills that a realtor is likely to have. A good realtor will know how and where to advertise the property for maximum exposure and will be able to use their contacts and networks to find potential buyers.
With that being said, if you’re looking to really cut down on your costs, it’s absolutely possible to sell your home independently, without a real estate agent. Just be prepared to take on some additional work if you do choose to take this route.
4. Sell to an iBuyer
An iBuyer, or an instant buyer, is typically an investment company that will use technology to make an instant offer on your home. Selling to an iBuyer is quick and simple as it cuts out all of the middlemen including solicitors, independent surveyors, and realtors.
To sell your home to an iBuyer, you’ll need to provide some basic details about the property along with some photos or videos, depending on their specific requirements. They will then send an agent to inspect the home and make you an offer.
The main con of selling to an iBuyer is that they don’t always offer the highest price. Often, you’re much more likely to get a higher price for the property by putting it on the market. However, selling to an iBuyer does cut out all of the seller fees that you would need to pay if you were to sell to a traditional buyer (although some iBuyers do have hidden fees and these should be looked out for) and the process is usually much quicker than with most traditional sales.
It’s definitely worth looking into this option and weighing up the pros and cons for you personally. If you’re looking for a quick and easy sale with minimal fees, an iBuyer might be exactly what you’re looking for.
To learn more about iBuyers, please read 5 Ways to Sell Your House Fast.
5. Make Smart Updates and Renovations
Your home might be in need of some repairs prior to listing, but it might not be necessary to carry out a full renovation that could prove extremely costly and time-consuming.
Be smart about the updates and repairs that you want to make to the home. Often a simple coat of paint or new curtains or carpets will brighten up the space and significantly increase buyer interest. If more serious renovations are needed, like bathroom or kitchen updates, shop around for discounted supplies and if possible, carry out some of the labor yourself to save on costs.
A buyer may ask for repairs to be made on the home, and it’s important that you carry out plenty of research to find out whether these are financially viable before simply agreeing to the request, and again, shop around to find the cheapest options that will satisfy the buyer.
Undeniably, selling your home can be a stressful experience, but it doesn’t have to be a hugely expensive one. By using one or more of these tips, you could significantly cut down your seller fees, saving you a substantial amount of money and maximizing your profits when selling your home.