Selling Yourself

THE PRECISE NUMBER is a matter of some debate: Still, each year, it seems less than a tenth of homes are sold directly by owners, rather than through a real estate agent. Moreover, selling direct seems to be growing less popular.

Tempted to give it a try? Sellers can list their homes using sites such as,, and Many of these sites charge if you want more than a basic listing. Even so, with traditional real estate agents often taking 5% or 6% of the proceeds from a sale, the potential savings are huge.

The potential hassles, however, are also great. You need to be available to show your home at any time, often on short notice. Buyers are frequently suspicious of homes that are listed without an agent, fearful that the properties may have undisclosed problems. Many sellers also hurt their cause by pricing their homes too high. Before you list your home, be sure to study the local property market and carefully prepare your home for sale.

Among folks who endeavor to sell on their own, many throw in the towel and end up using an agent. But if you aren’t in a rush, trying initially to find a buyer by yourself could be a smart move.

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