In a hurry to sell your Brantford home?
When you decide to sell you have several choices, and each has its pros and cons.
- Try going For Sale by Owner
- List traditionally
- List with the aim of selling quickly to investors
- Sell directly to an investor
- Sell through one of the new models – While not yet in every community,
- Opendoor, OfferPad, Zillow, Redfin, and perhaps others are all buying houses.
For Sale by Owner: Not a good choice if you’re in a hurry.
If you offer your house For Sale by Owner, you’re in for a lot of work and perhaps an extended time on the market. You won’t pay a commission, but will still pay closing costs. You could also lose in other ways. For instance, by not knowing the true market value of your home and selling too low.
A traditional listing: This is the route most home sellers take, simply because it works. A professional real estate agent will help you set the price at fair market value, take care of all the marketing, help you negotiate, and handle the myriad of details that will need attention.
To get top dollar, you’ll need to put your home in top condition. You may also have to keep the house show-ready for a good number of showings.
In some communities, a sale can happen in a matter of days, but unless the buyer has cash, you’ll still have to wait for closing until after inspections, the appraisal, and the completion of bank financing. And yes, you will pay a commission plus closing costs. Depending upon the market in your community, you might also pay part of the buyer’s closing costs. Should problems come to light during the inspection, you may need to pay for repairs.
Here in Brantford the average days on the market for listed homes is 45. This can be higher or lower depending upon factors such as the price and condition of the house.
Listing with the aim of selling to an investor: In this case you won’t worry about repairs and the number of showings will be minimal because your agent will be marketing to a known list of real estate investors.
A benefit is that the closing could happen quickly. Investors with cash don’t need appraisals and they generally do their own inspections. You will pay a real estate commission and closing costs, but no repairs and no concessions to the buyer.
Selling directly to an investor: You’ve no doubt gotten letters from them. They’re honest about paying less than market value because they’re either buying to fix up the house and make a profit on the resale or buying for rental purposes.
You won’t pay a real estate commission and in some cases won’t pay any closing costs. Some investors will view your house, make an offer within a day or two, and close within a couple of weeks.
Selling to Opendoor, OfferPad, Zillow, or Redfin: This, in our opinion, is the least desirable of all the choices. Yes, you can probably name your closing date so can avoid holding costs for the period of time your house would normally be on the market. As far as we can see, that is the only advantage.
They’ll tell you the benefit of not having to show the house, not paying a real estate commission, and not paying concessions to the buyer. That’s all true, but real estate investors offer the same thing, without added costs.
What they don’t mention in the advertising is that you will pay a “Service charge” of from 6% to as much as 13%. This fee is supposedly based on how long they expect to have to hold the house before reselling it. Some of these companies plan to do any required fix-up or cosmetic repairs and re-sell within 3 weeks.
About those repairs -they’ll charge you for them. The big difference regarding repairs is that once you’re under contract, you won’t have the freedom to say yes or no. (In a traditional sale, if the buyer demands too much after the inspection, the seller has the right to terminate the contract.) Each of these companies has their own set of guidelines, but the bottom line is that you’ll either do the repairs or reduce the selling price of your house to cover them.
And about that price: They’ll bring in their own professionals to tell you what the price should be. You won’t have an unbiased market evaluation, and there won’t be 2 or 3 eager buyers outbidding each other for the right to own your house.
Remember that unlike the real estate agent you hire, they’re working for themselves, not for you. In addition, they’ll be buying with the intent of quickly turning the house around to make a profit on the resale. It stands to reason that they aren’t going to pay you market value under those circumstances.
Before you consider making a quick sale to one of these companies, do visit their websites and learn all of the details. Be sure that you know all of the fine print and the costs involved before you sign a thing.
In addition, do get a market evaluation from an agent who will tell you what your house should bring on the open market. It couldn’t even hurt to get an offer from an independent investor.
Then do all the math and decide what’s right for you.
The bottom line for home sellers: If you want someone on your side who knows the Brantford market, we will give you honest answers, and will work exclusively for your benefit during the sale of your house, you need your own agent.