Are you thinking about selling your house without using an agent?
If you’re considering going forward with a FSBO (For Sale By Owner) listing, chances are you’re trying to save money. That’s understandable — the 6% commission price tag that comes with most real estate sales is a lot of cash.
You may be thinking that, by managing the process yourself, you’ll improve your odds of selling fast and maximizing your profit. Unfortunately, if it were that simple, real estate agents wouldn’t exist.
The process of selling a home is incredibly complicated and time consuming. For the vast majority of sellers, FSBO listings aren’t successful. Only a small percentage of FSBO listers end up closing on their sales.
If you want to sell your house without paying the standard 6% fee, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about how you can work with a top-rated, full-service agent who will sell your house for a fraction of the typical price.
Still want to take a stab at selling your house yourself? Here are some tips to help you get the job done.
How Real Estate Agent Commissions work in New York
The biggest closing costs for New York sellers are real estate commissions. Normally, the seller pays the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent each 3% of the final sale price, for a total of 6%.
What you might not realize is that you’re going to have to pay the buyer’s agent 3% even if you don’t use a realtor to list your home. Also keep in mind that you’ll have up-front costs for things like listing fees, staging, advertising, and other marketing materials.
The potential savings are rarely worth the risk. You may pay less in commission by going the FSBO route, but you’ll also be less likely to receive competitive offers or sell quickly.
Learn More: Average Real Estate Commission in New York
4 Tips for Selling Your Home Without a Real Estate Agent in New York
1. Price Your New York Home Competitively
New York is a big state with a lot of different real estate markets. A median home in New York state is worth $296,800. Obviously, New York City and its surrounding area drive up the median prices for the state. In NYC, you’ll see a median of $672,400, while in Syracuse the median is $82,300.
Overall, the New York market is very hot and categorized as a sellers market. This means demand exceeds supply and sellers are more likely to see multiple offers or perhaps even sell above their list price.
Agents have the knowledge and local market expertise to price a home competitively, ensuring you get the best possible price for your property. Recent data from the National Association of Realtors suggests that sellers who work with agents get, on average, 33% more for their homes than those who opt to go the FSBO route. For an average New York home worth $296,800, that’s $97,944.
Learn More: How to Sell Your House Fast in New York State
2. Stage, Market, and List Your Home to Attract Qualified Buyers
We’re in the age of internet real estate listings, and photo quality and staging matter. Homes with the highest quality photos are the homes that stand out.
After you’ve cleaned your home to perfection, you need to stage it. Good staging is minimalist and helps prospective buyers picture themselves living in your home. While your furniture and decorative style may be perfect for you and your family, that doesn’t mean it makes your house appealing to all buyers.
Staging your home isn’t just for viewings — it’s also important for your listing photos. A picture is worth a thousand words. Getting the right photographs to go with your listing is a key part of selling property. It’s important to use photographs that give prospective buyers a thorough view of the housee while emphasizing all of its best points.
Even if your property is gorgeous and full of top amenities, if the photos aren’t flattering, you’re going to have trouble getting people interested.
Your listing should emphasize all of the great things about your house and the area your property is located. Think about what types of features your local audience is interested in.,
Agents know which features of your house will attract local buyers — and which will not. The amenities buyers are looking for in Manhattan are different than in Brooklyn, much less in Westchester or upstate.
Learn More: How Much Does it Cost to Stage a Home?
3. Negotiate with Buyers to Get the Best Possible Price
Getting an offer is great, but it’s far from the end of the home selling process. In most sales, the offer is just the first step. When a buyer places an offer, you can accept, respond with a counter offer, or let it lapse.
There’s room for negotiation everywhere, not just in the offer price. Sellers and buyers frequently negotiate who will pay specific closing costs (title insurance, transfer taxes, and assessors’ fees), who will pay for particular inspections, and what repairs should be made after the home inspections are completed.
Be careful when negotiating; this process can put a dent in your profits. Experts can help you get the best deal and increase your margins by negotiating with prospective buyers. Their experience gives them the upper hand in managing negotiations while protecting your interests.
Learn More: Real Estate Counter Offer Etiquette (with Examples)
4. Understand New York’s Legal Requirements and Paperwork Involved
From pre-listing to closing, there is paperwork and regulation at all steps of the selling process.
New York has a variety of laws in place that hold sellers responsible for what they disclose. Many FSBO sellers don’t understand the legal ramifications of the state’s disclosure laws.
There are a number of things New York homeowners are legally required to disclose when selling. New York sellers are required to fill out a form detailing their knowledge of problems that could damage the property’s value.
Disclosure forms are just the beginning. If you go the FSBO route, you’ll have to prepare a series of documents, from the sales contract to the pre-inspection report and even the final purchase agreement.
Preparing home selling paperwork is a complicated and technical task that should be handled by an expert. Consider hiring an agent to take the pressure off your shoulders — let them handle all the paperwork needed to close the deal.
Learn More: How Much Paperwork is Required to Sell a Home without a Realtor?
The Pros and Cons of Selling Your New York Home Without a Realtor
It can be hard to calculate the exact potential cost-savings of choosing to work with a real estate agent. But the vast majority of New York sellers are better off working with an experienced local real estate agent who fully understands the state and local housing markets, home valuations, negotiations, legal issues, and tax implications.
Although selling without an agent may sound like a way to save money in theory, in reality it usually works to the seller’s detriment.
Cost-Saving Alternatives for New York Sellers
Clever offers home sellers a way to work with local experts and save money. Clever Partner Agents offer sellers a full-service experience for a fraction of the price charged by other agents.
Our Partner Agents have agreed to charge a $3,000 flat fee for homes under $350,000, and 1% of the sale price for homes over $350,000.
If you’re selling a median home in New York worth $296,800, normally you would pay $17,808 (6%) of the price in commission to realtors. If you worked with a Clever Partner Agent to sell the same home, you’d pay just $11,904. That’s $5,904 in savings.
Our agents will take care of everything in your home selling process. You’re likely to make a lot more money from the sale than you would save by doing it yourself.