Pros and Cons of Selling Your House Yourself (FSBO)

If you’re considering the sale of your house in Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, or Baltimore, you have lots of questions. Selling your house is one of the largest financial transactions most people do in a lifetime, you want to make sure you make the right decisions and avoid unnecessary costs which eat into your profit. Perhaps you’ve even wondered if you really need an agent to sell your house; after all, you can easily meet potential buyers and show your home…but is that all there is?

Before you decide to try and sell your house without an agent, learn the pros and cons associated with the “go it alone” technique known as “for sale by owner”.

Pros of Selling Your Home as a FSBO

Save Money on Commissions

Selling your home as a FSBO (for sale by owner) will certainly save you the cost of commissions for the listing agent. While all commissions are negotiable, most range from 4-6% nationwide. Typically, half of the negotiated commission is then offered to the agent who finds the buyer. Most FSBO listings still sell to a buyer with their own agent, thus you save only half the cost of commission.

No Strangers in Your Home

By selling your home as a FSBO, you never need to worry about who’s in your home or with whom. You will arrange all showings yourself and will be present for the visits.

Control of the Process

By representing yourself in the transaction, you can control what is communicated to the other party. You control the negotiations at every stage of the process.

Cons of Selling Your Home as a FSBO

Pricing

While overpricing a listing is bad, underpricing the listing is worse. When you are not privy to the market analysis in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), you do not have the most comprehensive data to use when pricing your home for sale.

Time

Arranging home showings takes time. Not only is it common for buyers and their agents to run late, or early, but you must be there to meet each party.

When Is the Best Time to Sell Your House?

How long have you been thinking about selling your house in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington DC? Is your current property too large? Too small? Too expensive? Too hard to manage? Are you ready to travel more? Whatever the reason, you’ve been thinking about a move but you don’t know if it’s the right time to move?

The right time might have arrived!

The truth is that whenever you need to sell is the right time. There are advantages and disadvantages for all seasons. Certainly the spring selling season gets the most attention, but selling a home during the slower winter months has advantages as well. For one thing, in the winter there is less competition as home sellers wait for the warmer months to list. Additionally, buyers tend to be more serious as the effort it takes to view homes in the ice and snow is less appealing than dropping into an open house while out for a summer drive. Finally, your house in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington DC never looks better than when it’s dressed for the holidays.

The first step in making a good decision is information. You would be amazed how many people will use stories they’ve heard at the grocery store to make the decision to sell a home. Selling a property is one of the largest financial transactions a person makes in a lifetime, you have to get all the information you can to make that informed decision.
So is it time to sell?

You might have more money sitting in your home than you expect. If selling this time of year makes personal and financial sense for you and your family, then sell. Take the time to learn more about the current market and available properties and then examine your own goals. Selling a home in any season has advantages; the timing has more to do with your own needs and wants.

As always at 8 Day Home Sale, we buy houses in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC for cash. If you need to sell your house fast, let us know.

How to Know When It’s the Right Time to Sell Your House

Almost everyone will sell their house at some point. Here are some indications that will help you find the right time to sell my house fast in Maryland, balancing market conditions and your life situation.

House Values

Many people will tell you “if your house has increased this much in value, it’s time to sell”. In reality, no one can predict the market or how much your houses value will rise. Aside from massive economic corrections, home values tend to rise except in specific circumstances. You certainly don’t want to sell if your house’s value hasn’t risen enough to cover the closing costs and realtor fees that you’ll have to pay. Look for comparable home sales in Maryland on Zillow to better understand your house’s value.

Lifestyle Change

If you’ve had a major life event, such as having a child or losing a spouse, it could be time to sell my house fast in Maryland. If your lifestyle does not fit your house, e.g. the house is too big or not in the right school district, it’s time to sell. The quality of your life is more important than losing thousands of dollars in the short term.

Financial Issues

If you can’t afford a house any longer, either because you are burdened by mortgage, taxes, or upkeep. It might be time to sell.

As always, if you are looking to sell my house fast in Maryland, 8 Day Home Sale can help. We buy houses in Maryland for cash, paying all closing costs and charging no fees. We even clean out the house for you.

Understand Title Insurance

While terms like car insurance and homeowners insurance are quite familiar to most of us, most are unaware of title insurance and its importance. It is a crucial part of any house purchase.

What is title insurance?

When selling your house, your closing attorney executes a title search to ensure that the property is free of any existing liens or zoning restrictions. For this, he looks at the deed papers as well as court records for ownership history verification. Title insurance plays a crucial role here. A special type of indemnity policy, it safeguards your financial interests if you face any type of defect with the property’s title. If you are trying to sell my house fast in Maryland or Washington DC, title issues can be a huge problem.

At the time of title insurance policy purchase, an independent search is conducted by the title company to verify that there are no disputes or legal issues surrounding the property’s ownership. Usually, you are required to pay a one-time premium for the policy at the time of closing. Any future discrepancy when the house is sold that needs to be fixed by an attorney will be covered by title insurance.

Protection provided by title insurance

The coverage provided by the title insurance typically depends on whether the policy belongs to the lender or the owner. A lender’s policy is purchased if you are taking a loan from a public mortgage lender. It provides insurance to the full loan amount to the lender if any dispute or problem arises with the home’s title post financing. The policy remains valid until the time you pay off your entire loan, sell the house, or get it refinanced.

The owner’s policy covers the amount paid for purchasing the home. It covers numerous problems like tax liens, deed errors or omissions, fraud, mistakes in public records, forgery of deed documents, etc. It also provides protection in scenarios of unknown heirs surfacing to stake a claim on the property. Few of these policies can also offer extended coverage like protection against structural damage, building permit violations, zoning law violations, etc.

In case of title dispute, both policies cover all legal costs and losses including your down payment, principal payment or any other improvement cost incurred by you.

Is the title insurance really worth it?

The one-time premium amount of title insurance depends on your area of residence and the policy itself. Usually, the cost can be about $2.50 for every $1,000 of coverage. The owner’s policy is slightly more expensive than the lender’s policy. The total title insurance amount can range from few hundreds to few thousand dollars which may look big but is trivial compared to the cost of facing a lawsuit later and getting a complete peace of mind.

Bottom line

Title insurance is worth the money. Without it, the cost of defending a title claim can prove so expensive that you may lose your property.

As always, at 8 Day Home Sale, we buy houses in Maryland and Washington DC for cash. If you want to sell your house, contact us for a cash offer. We will handle title issues for you!

What You Don’t Know about Zillow

Zillow’s website is often the first place to be visited by people who want to sell their house fast for cash in Maryland. However, majority of these persons often feel disappointed with the results they get at the end of their search. Although the Zillow online marketplace is highly revered in the American real estate industry for its practical resources, it may not be the best place for you to sell if you’re planning to sell my house fast in Maryland and hassle-free. The majority of the information on the platform is not sufficient for you to make informed decisions.

If you’re planning to sell my house fast in Maryland in exchange for cash, here is a few reasons why you should not list your home on the Zillow website:

Incorrect Home Estimates: In case you don’t know yet, most of the home values you get from Zestimates are not accurate. This is so because a computer cannot actually determine the true value of a home since there are so many factors involved in determining it’s worth. Zillow doesn’t do field inspection to check out the details of each property. The computer algorithm only generates home values based on what has sold in the area, the square footage, and the number of bedrooms. The truth is that no two houses are the same. People often make changes to their homes which Zillow obviously won’t be aware of. These changes affect home values.

Unsolicited Communication: Once you enter your information into the Zillow database, expect your phone to start ringing with unwanted calls. Since your information will be shared with hundreds of agents, you’re going to spend hours attending to lots of annoying calls, texts, and emails from different peoples. In fact, these unwanted calls could last for months.

Inaccurate information: Many homes listed on Zillow may not be available for sale. This inaccurate information often pushes away potential buyers who have experienced false leads in the past.

Most people only visit Zillow to get rough estimates of the values of properties in a particular neighborhood. They do not intend to buy through the platform. If you’re looking to sell my home fast in Maryland, Zillow is not the right platform for you.

If you need instant cash for your home, you can always contact 8 Day Home Sale. We buy houses in Maryland for cash.

What to Watch Out for When You are Closing on Your House Sale in Maryland

As a house seller, there isn’t a bigger relief than to finally close on selling your house. You managed to find the right buyer and got the deal you wanted, so there are just a few steps to go through and you will be ready to move on. After all you’ve been through to sell this house, you probably see the closing as the easiest part. Well, it can be, if everything runs smoothly, but it’s usually easier said than done. It’s best to prepare for worst case scenarios or at least know what things could go wrong so you can be prepared to handle them. Don’t know what to watch out for when you are closing on your house sale in Maryland? Then the following details may prove to be more than useful:

Take care of all the repairs you have to do

If the buyer agreement states that you are going to take care of making the repairs necessary to pass on the house in good condition, then you should do them now. It is true that no one feels motivated to work on a house that is almost sold, but leaving the repairs to the last minute is not a good option at all. Make sure you allow sufficient time to make all the needed repairs or there may be problems during the buyer’s final walkthrough. Save all the invoices released by the contractors you hired and receipts for the items you purchased so you will have proof of everything you did in case the buyer contests the repairs before you actually close the deal.

Get ready for the final walkthrough

Just before the closing, in most cases 24 hours prior to the closing, the buyer accompanied by his agent will walk through each room of the house. You should not be present at the final walkthrough, which doesn’t last for more than half an hour in most cases. Make sure that everything is in order. They will look to see whether you repaired what you promised to repair and if the house has any major issues that they don’t know about. If they find something wrong, you will be notified right away, getting the chance to repair the problem or settle for a trade.

Check out the closing documents

If everything goes according to plan, all you’re left to do is to read and sign papers to close your house sale in Maryland. Although it may not be that exciting to read all the papers, do know that some are more important than others. For instance, you need to read the settlement statement, because it contains the amount of money you agreed upon with the buyer and the tax implications of earning such a sum through selling your house. You’ll have to check the numbers to see whether they correspond with your verbal agreement, so you can point out any issues to your attorney or real estate agent in a timely manner.

Renegotiations

There are cases in which the buyer would like to renegotiate right before closing. No one wishes to get to this point, but you might just listen to what the buyer has to say since you gotten this far. Maybe you can settle if you agree to offer the dishwasher and dryer. If the buyer wishes to get a smaller price, then maybe there’s no other option but to delay the closing until you manage to reach another settlement or find a solution to the problem. It’s easier to negotiate than file an expensive, time consuming lawsuit.

How to Choose a Cash Home Buyer

If you are looking to save money on estate agent fees and want to avoid the time consuming paper work and back and forth that comes with it, then you might wish to consider a quick home buying company to sell your house fast for cash. However, with the rise in demand for real estate investors that buy in cash the industry has become a little crowded with some less than desirable companies. It is getting harder to find the best, most trustworthy companies. Here are some of the things you should ask before committing to a company.

Is the Company Based in Your Area?

There is a massive network of “we buy houses” companies that attempt to sell your house fast for cash from across the country. These companies are less likely to provide a good customer experience as they will attempt to do business via the phone. Also, companies that buy houses for cash in your area are much more likely to know your neighborhood and thus give you a fair price. Make sure to determine if the company you are considering is based in your area.

How Long Has the Company Been in Business?

Companies that have been in business for 3+ years are much more likely to give you a fair price on your house and a good customer experience. Be wary of “we buy houses” companies that are brand new.

Is the Company Actually a Company?

Many people claim they are a “we buy houses” company to try to sell your house fast for cash. In reality, they are just a single person and not reputable. Make sure the company you choose is a reputable business and not just a single individual.

Will the Company Commit to a Time Frame?

Reputable “we buy houses” companies will commit to a timeframe in which they can sell your house. Before signing any contract to sell your house fast for cash, check to make sure there is a guaranteed “close by” date.

At 8 Day Home Sale, we buy houses for cash in 8 days or less. We’ve been in business for years and are rooted in the DMV area. Head over to the contact page if you’d like a no obligation quote on your house.

What is a Property Easement in Maryland?

You might be thinking I want to “sell my house fast” and buy a new one. If this is true, knowledge of any easements on the property is critical. An easement is a sharing of land. It gives the right to a particular person or group to utilize the land. When trying to sell your house fast, an easement can be problematic as it may affect resale value.

An easement dictates legal usage of the property by an outsider. That person or group cannot be stopped from using the space in specific legally designated ways. Easements occur in the following forms:

The Right of Passage – This easement entitles a person to cross through a property that is not owned by them. For example, if a person owns a house near the beach and the only possible way to the beach is on the property, the owner has to allow the people to access the beach via its property. The second example can be a neighbor that may not have access to any other road, which leads to the main road rather than the property of the owner.

The Right to Utility Maintenance– This easement entitles utility organizations to use property for laying power cables and/or reaching out to neighboring places for maintenance work.

The Right to Historic Lands – This easement involves individuals whose property is located in the same district as a historic property. The owner needs to abide by the rules of the historic property. The rules can be related to the coloring of the property or can also be related to structural changes that cannot be made to the property. Read about historical easements in Maryland.

Recreational Easement – The easement pertains to the usage of land which has not been developed. The government can allow public use of such land for recreational activities such as fishing, hiking, biking, etc.

Easements are listed on the property deed. For property you own, you should check the deed for easements before listing the property before you “sell my house fast”. When buying a house, always ask your realtor about easements. At 8 Day Home Sale, we buy houses for cash and have been doing so for years. As such, we always work with home owners to find and understand existing easements on their property.

How to Sell Your Home without a Realtor

The time has come. You have made all of the necessary upgrades, from the new granite countertop to the more visually appealing shower tile in the bathroom. You’ve planted some new flowers to maximize curb appeal, and that clutter that you once had in several rooms is now neatly stored away for another time and place. Now, it’s time to put your home up for sale on the market. Save your hard earned cash by not giving an up to 7 percent commission to real estate agents and their firms, giving you more funds to spend on your new house. Sell your home without a realtor! Here are some tips you can use when you put your home up on the market without having to go through a real-estate agency:

Set your sell price.

Do your research. See what other homes with your size, age and other specifications are going for in your area. Scour the Internet and local listing magazines to establish your price. It’s vital to be realistic during this step. If you ask for too much or too little, you could end up selling your home for less than its worth or waiting a long period of time for your home to sell. This is when you will also decide how you want to accept payments, whether it is direct cash, land agreement, loan, etc. You will also want to think about laws in your area and what you will do during the later negotiation phase of the process.

List your home on the MLS.

The Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, is an extensive guide to all real estate for sale in the United States. If you go through a real estate agency, a realtor will usually do this step for you; however, as an individual seller, you can pay a flat fee of $400 to list your home.

Get the word out about your house.

If no one knows your home is for sale, your research and listing will be in vain. Put up “For Sale” signs in the front yard, leave brochures in key locations within your area, place online ads on Craigslist and in your newspaper and more. Creating a website with your home’s description, photos and other information is also a good advertising tactic when selling your own home. Take some time to really think about what makes your home unique, and highlight those features on your website and other collateral materials.

Host an open house.

This can really work in your favor if it’s done correctly. Before hosting the open house, make sure your home is deeply cleaned, from the floors to ceiling. Scrub the kitchen counters and appliances, clean the bathroom grout, shampoo the carpets… anything you can think of. Make your home comfortable without adding too much of your personal touches. Keep your personal effects tucked away when hosting the open house. The open house is a perfect opportunity to advertise your home and its key features.

We’ll be writing more articles in the future about selling your home without a realtor. Remember, 8 Day Home Sale will buy your home directly without a realtor in 8 days or less.