Tips For Private Real Estate Sales

In recent years, more and more people have been moving away from using real estate agents for selling their homes. There are many reasons for why private real estate sales are increasing. Let’s start by looking at a few:

Get More Money from the Sale

Probably the biggest reason that sellers go to For Sale by Owner is that they want to save money on commission fees. Average real estate commissions go from 3% on the low end to 6 to 7% on the high end. When you’re talking about, say, a $500,000 house, that is no small chunk of change. FSBO eliminates real estate agent commissions.

The price of commission to you is even higher since the percentage is based on the total price of the house. When looking only at your equity in the home, you will find that the agent’s commission is usually a much higher percentage than 5 or 7%. That alone is enough to convince many people to go For Sale by Owner.

Speed Up Sales

If speed is more important to you than money, you can also do something else with that commission savings: lower the asking price for your house. If you know how much you wanted to ask for with a real estate agent, deduct the commission from that and ask for that amount. A lower price will result in a quicker sale.

For motivated private real estate sellers, lowering the price might not even be necessary to sell your home quickly. After all, you know the house better than any real estate agent does, and you are committed to selling it. FSBO sellers often can sell more quickly or as quickly as any real estate agent.

Sell Your House on Your Terms

When you are doing a private real estate sale, you are in complete control. You decide on the price. You decide where and how it will be advertised. You decide what and if preconditions are required for potential buyers. Who gets to see the house and when they get to see it are performed on your schedule and the buyers’, not on the real estate agent’s.

Many people find it important to keep this control over the sale of their home. After all, it is your home and not the real estate agent’s: you should get to be the one who makes the important decisions for what you think best needs to be done to sell your home.

FSBO Challenges

Of course not everything is easy in private real estate. Because you are taking on much of the responsibilities yourself, it will take more time and effort on your part than it would if selling through an agent. Advertising and other expenses will need to come directly out of pocket, since it will not be coming out of the real estate agent’s commission. You’ll also need a real estate attorney who knows the ins and outs of private real estate law so as to ensure that everything goes by the book. If you are willing to overcome the challenges, however, you can find putting up a home For Sale by Owner can be very rewarding.

Copyright (c) 2009 Wes Fernley

A Good Real Estate Letter is the Real Deal

It seems like I’ve written at least a couple of hundred real estate letters over the last year. So, it may surprise you when I say “I hate writing letters.” Writing for me is a stomach knotting, finger tightening, forehead creasing, gut wrenching experience. I guess that’s why I avoid writing them as often as I do.

However, there’s one good thing about the tortuous experience of writing letters and that’s this…I love what a good real estate letter does for my business. A good letter generates leads that can be leveraged into paying customers, customers who buy, sell and rent real estate. Nothing has had as big an impact on my real estate business as has a single, but well written letter.

I wish I could say that my letters are magical, but they aren’t. However, what I’ve come to realize is that somewhere along the way of becoming good marketer is that I learned the formula for letter writing success. Specifically, the letters are not about how good I am, but rather a reflection of how well I address the needs of the readers.

Real Estate Letter to Sellers

For example, most sellers want to sell their homes as fast as they can and for the most money they can get. So, my letters to them tend to emphasize the things that I do to effectively market their real estate; networking with agents known for always having buyers, spelling out the unique ways I’ll market their home (e.g., market to grad students, college professors, physicians, investors, law enforcement personnel, fortune 500 company employees, etc.).

I tell them the things that they want to hear and then deliver on what I promise. I also sell them on the idea that I’ll be available to them 24/7, while secretly hoping that they don’t call at 2:00 AM. But just between me and you I’d be okay if they did.

Real Estate Letter to Buyers

On the other hand, letters to buyers emphasizes finding them a good deal, no matter how long it takes. Of course you want to sell buyers homes as fast as you can, but you have to respect the fact that they’ll be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, so a little patience is in order.

The difference between rushing a buyer into a home after only 2-3 three days of looking verses 2 weeks of looking before they find the perfect home is HUGE. In the first instance they’ll know that you’re all about you and that your main goal is to make a sale. However, in the second example they’re likely to think that you have their best interests at heart and are therefore good candidates for a lifelong relationships…and referrals.

Capturing A Readers Interest

Summarily, an effective real estate letter captures a readers interest and compels them to action. It starts with an attention grabbing opening line that makes them stop and actually think about what you have posed. That’s followed by a solution to their proposed expressed as a teaser. To get all of the specifics of your solution will require them to pick up the phone and call you.

But when it’s all said and done I still hate writing letters, but I love what they do for my business.