The ultimate "do it yourself" project

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - "For Sale" by owner signs are popping up among lingering "For Sale" signs all over East Texas. But, selling your home yourself is forcing some homeowners to make some tough decisions. The ultimate "do it yourself" project is quickly gaining in popularity.

1731 Sterling Drive...Home bitter sweet home.

"It has a big formal room here up front," said Allan Gaston, showing me his home.

He says the house is part of his mother's estate. She died about a year ago. He listed the house as "for sale by owner" about six months ago.

"We reduced the price to get it more in line with the current market, and right now, I've got it priced at 109,500," he said. "Since we're going to lose about eight or nine thousand on it anyway, we just can't afford a real estate commission...that would double the loss."

Less demand and more supply has driven home prices down, but a realtor's commission, on average, can still be close to six percent.

Nikki Perryman is a realtor with Keller-Williams. She says she can appreciates saving money, but that's, generally, where the perks end.

"In our multiple listing service, we have about 1,100 active realtors so that's going to give you a big pop right away," said Perryman.

She says exposure, getting buyers in the door, is key.

"Most of those agents are working with qualified buyers," she said. "Say they have two qualify buyers. That's going to give 2,200 applicants, prospects for your property right away."

She says, just having the buyers isn't enough. Contracts, paperwork, and financing have to be in place before the deal is done.

"The professional fee that we have associated with our services is worth it, to save you the headaches and pitfalls of not closing on your home," she said.

It is something Gaston realizes, now.

"If it were a year and a half ago, it would be with a realtor," said Gaston. "They do a great job. They spend a lot of money advertising, they show it a lot, and they go through a lot of trouble."

Another good note. Realtor commissions are not set in stone and can be negotiable. Most realtors will sit down with a potential seller for free to answer any questions before setting a selling game plan.

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