#1 Best Way To Sell Your Home
- It’s the cheapest and easiest way to sell your home.
- Neither real estate agents nor For-Sale-By-Owner websites will tell you about it.
- In truth, it’s obvious but a bit of a longshot.
So what’s the best way to sell a home?
The guitarist. I have a high school friend who one day heard a knock at his front door. He opened it and a famous musician was standing there. The musician said he was interested in buying my friend’s home. My friend and the musician had a mutual friend who had been inside my friend’s home and who knew my friend planned to sell it. The musician ended up buying the home.
The friend of a friend. Here’s a more typical story. A friend in my neighborhood used to live in Seattle. When she was getting her home ready to sell – but before she had hired a real estate agent – a friend of a friend approached her and said, ‘Hey, I hear you’re moving to Arizona and you’re going to sell your house, I’d be interested in buying it.’ And, indeed, her friend of a friend ended up buying her home.
No real estate agents were involved in either sale. Each seller kept the 5% to 6% of the value of their homes that would have gone to real estate agents. They likely were more flexible on price because of that savings.
A forgotten tradition
The National Association of Realtors estimated in 2015 that 9% of the homes that are sold in the United States are sold without the help of real estate agents.
About 5% were sold “For-Sale-By-Owner” where home sellers put for-sale signs in their front yards and actively market the homes to prospective buyers.
But there’s still that other 4%. That 4% is rarely talked about.
About 4% of the homes sold in the United States – that’s over 200,000 homes a year – were sold by word-of-mouth.
These homes weren’t actively marketed by either real estate agents or home sellers. This 4% of homes that sold weren’t traditional For-Sale-By-Owner home sales because these homes were NOT actively marketed – no for-sale signs in their yards, no traditional marketing at all.
They sold by word-of-mouth before the sellers hired real estate agents.
That’s what happened to my two friends. Both intended to eventually hire real estate agents but both found buyers first. To be sure, it was serendipitous but there’s not a better way to sell a home.
- You save the 5% or 6% of the home’s value you would pay to real estate agents. That’s probably a large part of your equity.
- You put little or no money into marketing.
- You put little or no time into marketing.
- You don’t have to get the home looking spectacular.
- You don’t have the inconvenience of showing the home. No, “Yikes! There’s a showing in 20 minutes! We gotta grab the kids and the dogs, straighten up the place and run!” No real estate agents arriving unexpectedly without an appointment and asking you if they can come in and show the home.
Is it pure luck?
Is selling by word-of-mouth just pure luck?
Or can we make our own luck?
Can we improve the odds that we sell our homes this cheap and easy way?
I think we can.
This is what I suggest you do.
Tell everybody you know
If you’re thinking of selling your home in 1, 2 or 3 months, start right now telling everybody you know that you’re planning to sell your home soon.
Get the word out to all of your friends and to all of your neighbors.
Neighbors are particularly good because they may have friends who have talked about buying in the neighborhood.
- Tell your Facebook friends.
- Tell the parents of your children’s friends in school.
- Tell the people on your softball team.
- Tell the people at work.
- Tell the people at church.
- Tell everybody you know that you’re thinking of selling.
- Tell your Facebook friends again.
And tell them you’ll be more flexible on price before you hire a real estate agent.
It’s a longshot so work on Plan B too.
You know any great agents? When you’re telling everyone about your plans to sell your home, be sure and ask them if they’ve used any real estate agents they can wholeheartedly recommend. Recommendations of agents they’ve actually used to buy or sell a home are FAR better than recommendations of agents they only know from their book club or softball team.
If word-of-mouth marketing doesn’t work for you – it is a long shot after all – you’ll want to be all set with Plan B and to start interviewing your list of highly recommended real estate agents. Or, if your Plan B is to go full on For-Sale-By-Owner, you’ll want to kick those plans into high gear.
But there’s more!
Know that your work isn’t done when you find a buyer.
The hardest part, of course, of selling a home is always finding the buyer but there are still a ton of other things you have to do.
- You have to come to an agreement on price and terms with the buyer, of course.
- You have disclosure, inspection and repair issues.
- And you have a lot of paperwork that needs to get done.
Just because you find a buyer, those other things still have to be done, and done well.
Attorney or agent? I could do hours and hours on your options but if you have done the hardest part and already found a buyer, you’ll find a way to get the rest done.
You have lots of options. Hiring a real estate lawyer to advise you and prepare the paperwork is key. Or you could hire a real estate agent who charges a flat fee to help you.
The cheapest, easiest & best way to sell a home
I hope you can see why I think that selling a home by word-of-mouth is clearly the cheapest, easiest, best way to sell a home.
There’s a lot of serendipity to it, however, you can make your own luck to some degree.
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