If you’re planning on selling your house or investment property in Salem, Keizer, or anywhere in the Willamette Valley, you might be considering whether or not to list it with a real estate agent.
Real estate agents certainly have their place. We work with agents for some transactions, but not every seller benefits from using an agent.
After all, paying up to 6% of the sale of your property in a commission is a lot of money. And putting your property on the MLS could mean a long wait before you find a buyer. In some situations, a particularly good Oregon broker or real estate agent can be very useful and earn their commission. In other situations it may cost you money and drag out the sale.
So what if I want to sell my house without an agent in Salem?
You have a few options to avoid paying high commissions in your Oregon sale.
In most sales in Salem, the 6% commission you pay as the seller is split between your broker and the buyer’s broker.
Why should you pay for the agent on the other side of the table? In theory it’s because that broker brought a buyer to see your house that otherwise wouldn’t have found it. Of course, that theory is based on the days before Zillow and Redfin when buyers didn’t have a lot of resources to find houses for sale. These days, a buyer is probably more likely to find a house themselves online than to have their broker find it and recommend it to them. Kinda makes you wonder what the buyer’s agent does to earn their part of the commission.
Some people choose to list their house without an agent. This type of listing is called For Sale by Owner, or FSBO.
But even if you don’t use an agent, you can’t control whether or not a buyer comes with an agent of their own. If you choose to sell your house without an agent you’ll want to think about structuring your sale with a buyer’s agent commission in mind.
When you look at other houses that have sold in your neighborhood, factor in the commissions the sellers paid. Most sellers didn’t really get to keep all the money that the sale price suggests because they paid a commission to both agents.
Price your property appropriately: Don’t price your house too low just because you won’t be paying a commission to an agent of your own. You’re supposed to be keeping (actually earning) that money because you’re doing the work your seller’s agent would have done. But at the same time, your lack of sales experience may mean your house isn’t seen by as many buyers. You might need to come down on price to get the attention of buyers.
Sometimes in Salem, buyers who don’t have their own agent won’t remember to negotiate the buyer’s side commission out of the price for themselves. If they aren’t asking for that commission there’s no need to offer it to them, but don’t be surprised if they bring it up during the negotiation.
In order to attract buyers that do have an agent, you may want to consider offering 2.5% commission. This is the agent’s incentive to bring their clients to show your property. Sure, it’s a lot of money. If you’re pricing your property including that commission, you can always negotiate a better deal for a purchaser who comes without an agent.
If you don’t leave room for the buyer’s agent’s commission, those agents are very unlikely to bring their clients to you, and you won’t have access to most of the buyers in the market in Salem.
Over 90% of real estate transactions happen through the MLS – that’s the Multiple Listing Service. It’s a huge database that all the brokers in Salem use to access information for their clients on the houses and other properties. It includes information not just on properties that are currently for sale, but also for properties that have already sold.
There was a time when you had to pay a full commission to get your property on the MLS. Now in Salem, there are a few brokers who will charge you a flat fee just to list your property on the MLS.
Compared to other types advertising, the MLS is a cheap way to market your property to a very large audience. Why is that important? Because your house is not for everyone. Some buyers are looking for something smaller. Some are looking for something larger. Some will hate the color you painted your living room, and some will not want to deal with the moss your roof. But your house is probably perfect for somebody out there. You have to cast a wide net to get that specific buyer to notice your house.
All the major real estate search sites like Realtor.com, Zillow, and Refin get data from the MLS. Chances are good that when you submit your listing in Salem to the MLS, information on your property will end up on most of the major sites within a few days.
Each of those sites sells ads. They’ve got packages that let you pay to enhance your listing, feature it at the top of the search, and a lot of other bells and whistles that might or might not get an interested buyer to buy your property.
Advertising is a gamble. Sometimes open houses in Salem Oregon can be a great way to sell a property, and sometimes they’re a waste of time. Same with newspaper ads, craigslist postings, fancy signs – sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t. Each day you waste on ineffective marketing is another day closer to your next mortgage payment, and another day that you’re responsible for taxes and insurance on your property. A quick sale saves money. A house sitting on the market for months costs you money.
To effectively sell your property on your own, you have to market it well.
Putting up fliers and signs around your neighborhood can generate some calls, and there’s a lot of free websites where you can post information. But often just putting up flyers and an open house isn’t enough if it doesn’t reach the buyer that loves your house.
In theory, real estate agents charge big commissions because they have to spend a lot of money up front to advertise your property. By advertising lots of properties at once, they expect to get more phone calls – and obviously, they’ll make good profits by selling lots of houses. If you go all in on marketing your property, it may cost you a lot of time or a lot of money (or both) and you still won’t reach as many buyers as an agent can.
Certain properties might require thousands of dollars in advertising expenses before the right buyer happens to see the ad and call.
If you want to avoid paying any commissions, you can also sell your house to investors like us for CASH
We offer fair prices for properties – and we can close fast. The price we offer will likely be less than what you could get by using an agent and selling to a traditional buyer, but when you consider the commissions and holding costs of putting your house on the MLS, you may come out ahead with our lower offer.
Another consideration is the repairs your house needs. Many of the houses we buy simply cannot be sold to a traditional buyer because no bank will finance them without major repairs. When you sell to Willamette Home Buyers you don’t have to make any repairs, pay any commissions, closing costs, or other fees.
Sometimes we’ll purchase Salem houses, fix them up, then rent them out… sometimes we’ll fix them up and sell them to other people looking for great homes in the area, and a lot of other reasons, too – but we love to hear from people like you who are thinking of selling anywhere in Oregon.
We’re investors who care a lot about Salem, and about our neighbors like you.
If you’re considering options for selling your Salem house, give us a call now at 503-383-1686 or fill out the short form over here. There’s no commitment, no pressure. We can have a friendly conversation about the best way to sell your property.
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