With buyers competing for limited inventory, a new approach could save sellers some money.
The Seattle housing market is crazy hot right now.
With lots of tech workers flush with cash, and limited homes for sale, even fixer-uppers are getting multiple offers above the asking price.
That’s terrific news if you’re thinking about selling a home. No matter what condition it’s in, you can expect a profit.
In this kind of market, selling your home in the traditional manner is not the only option. And some of the alternatives could save you money.
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You see, when you sell a property, you normally pay a real estate agent a 6 percent commission which is split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent.
That might have seemed like the only choice when the market was slower, but in a hot market, finding a buyer is less of a chore.
The average house in Seattle sells for $635,000. That’s over $38,000 in agent fees.
A for-sale-by-owner listing is another traditional option. This can work for someone who perhaps has a buyer already lined up, or who has some sales or real estate knowledge.
But what about someone with no experience? Enter technology.
A local company called Faira is using technology to help average people with zero real estate experience sell their homes without the help of an agent. They’ve done it by modernizing and streamlining the way houses are bought and sold.
And it’s totally free for sellers.
Here’s how it works. Faira sends a professional photographer to take pictures of your home. They provide signs, fliers and marketing materials, plus guidance on pricing your home.
Then they’ll schedule an inspector to take a detailed survey of your property and the results are posted online for everyone to see. That means 10 different buyers won’t have to pay 10 different inspectors – a great cost savings and convenience for buyers.
Properties are given maximum exposure with a free MLS listing. Buyers make their offers online, in a few clicks. Buyers can increase their offers instantly, and when sellers see an offer they like, they simply accept.
The entire process is transparent and fair for everyone. Technology shows real-time bids and everyone has an equal chance to make their top offer.
As for all the legal stuff? Real estate agents have very little to do with the fine print. Once a price is agreed upon, the sale goes through a standard title and escrow process to make sure everything is legit.
“Saving money was very attractive for me but the most appealing thing was the new business model,” says Mirela Silva who shares her experience selling her Redmond home in this short video. “The online offers make it possible to get the maximum market value. We were hoping to get $800,000 for our house and we got $856,000!”
How does Faira make its money? Buyers agree to pay Faira.com 0.5 percent of the sale, which is included in the list price.
Faira.com is a Kirkland-based startup founded by Kamal Jain who created the business as an alternative to what he saw as an antiquated and biased system. Jain spent 15 years designing business models for Microsoft, and he understood that technology could make the process better for buyers and sellers.
“Faira offers a fair and transparent process for everyone. That’s why it’s a part of our name,” says Jain. “Everyone sees the same inspection report. Everyone gets a response. Everyone knows what others are willing to pay.”
Whether you’re selling your home with an agent, as a FSBO or using an online service, here are some tips to keep in mind before you list.
Tip 1: Price your home right
The list price and the sale price are often two separate numbers. The list price is your advertisement. The sale price is the market value of your home. Sellers do not determine the sale price of a home; buyers do. What sellers can do is adopt a strategy so you can find the buyer who values your home the most. Learn more about how to price your home.
Tip 2: Prepare your home to sell
Think like a buyer and their lenders. Unless the home is a tear-down, definitely consider whether the home is financeable and try to update it just enough. Otherwise consider making the home move-in ready either for a tenant or for a new owner.
Tip 3: Know the costs to sell
Do your research and determine what you are willing to pay to sell your home. Knowing Seattle is a seller’s market, what percentage of your equity are you willing to pay to sell. Calculate how much it will cost to sell your home.
Visit Faira.com to see homes for sale in Washington. Faira is available for everyone to use – home sellers, buyers and agents. Faira guarantees full commission for buyer’s agents. Give us a call at 1-800-571-FAIR, or text 206-732-6581 to learn more.