A friend of ours is a realtor, and he was extremely helpful answering questions we had in regards to the whole process. He also informed us that he breaks down his 3% commission into separate areas, so you can hire him for 1% chunks (or the whole thing). He charges 1% for marketing (including pictures), 1% for MLS, and 1% for closing. We decided to do our own photography, but hire him for the MLS, since we had never done it before, and Tom had a lot to do finishing up our home (plus working). We had checked with our first realtor, but she only did the whole package of 3%. Although we understood why she did, it was helpful for us to be able to hire in 1% sections (especially since originally we wanted to do it all on our own).
All of the reasons listed in part one of this post seemed like good reasons to sell our home on our own (or mostly on our own). However, when you find that wonderful new home or land and fall in love with it, suddenly selling your home quickly and smoothly becomes important. The sooner you get an offer on your house that you accept, the sooner you can put an offer on the new place. This is what happened with us, which made the possibility of having a realtor help guide us along (with the opportunity to pull them onboard for the closing if needed) an attractive option. Since we were trying to figure out what land we wanted to make an offer on as soon as our house got an offer, it added another layer of complexity to that time. We were trying to do what everyone wants to do- have a home (or land) waiting so we could move all our stuff onto it before we moved out of our home.
When we finally put our house on the market, we had 3 people lined up that evening to see it. We were still trying to sell it on our own, and Tom was on the phone most of that afternoon setting up times and answering questions. It was an exciting time, but also exhausting. The buyers’ realtors also asked questions that we didn’t know the answers to, and we started experiencing firsthand what the benefit of having our own realtor would be. We planned to go look at properties the next day, and realized that it wasn’t going to work if Tom had to be in cell service to answer calls and set up more times for people to look at our house. We had also been doing our research into how the whole process would go, and realized we were in over our heads. Honestly, we could’ve done it. And it likely would have been fine. But there were so many things we didn’t know about, and the how the order of things that needed to be done worked so that things wouldn’t get held up and take forever. In weighing the pros and cons, we knew that the benefits of having a realtor by this time strongly outweighed the cons (which was basically financial). So we called our realtor friend and offered him the 2% to also do our closing. Thankfully he said yes, and jumped right in. It was perfect timing, as we accepted an offer after 2 ½ days. There was some negotiating, which we were thankful to have our realtor give suggestions and advice on. Tom had met the buyers during those days, and had a good conversation with them, so it was wonderful to have them put in the first offer. It was solid, and so we accepted! What a wonderful evening that was! Always remember- every step of the way, celebrate the big and little things. Going out to eat is wonderful, especially if you are in your last trimester of pregnancy! Those things are worth it, and will help encourage you along the road to selling your house, and on to buying land and cultivating it. It’s going to be a long road, so enjoy the accomplishments along the way!
Since then, we have been even more grateful we hired a realtor. There are so many things that are wonderful to call and ask him about, like the multitudes of paperwork to sign, and complications with the buyers that make closing dates fluid. Nothing bad, just little things that could add up to more difficult things. Due to the fact that two days after we accepted an offer, our offer on land was accepted. But we can’t close on our new place until this place is closed. So the two are closely intertwined. Thankfully our realtor has been our liaison with the buyers realtor. He also has talked with our realtor for where we are buying so that all communication lines are up and running. Closing is now within days, and it’s crazy to think of it! So much is dependent on other things, and it seems that if one thing goes wrong, everything will topple. Again, we are so glad that God is in charge! Without Him there guiding us, I don’t know if we’d have pushed through. It’s good to know we can rest on Him. But do what we can in the meantime (which is a lot, but that’s for another post).
Have you sold or bought a house and changed your mind about using a realtor? What were your reasons, and were you happy with the final decision?