Saturday, August 11, 2007

Should You List a Flip of Sell it Yourself?

I'm constantly asked whether a real estate investor should try to sell a home they've remodeled themselves or list it with an agent. My advice: always use an agent, especially if you've never sold a home before.

My main reason is that selling homes is what agents do. Your efforts should be pointed toward buying a home, remodeling it, flipping it, and then finding another property. You have to do what you do best, and hire an agent to do what they do best, which frees you up to concentrate on the core of your business--flipping houses.

As a former real estate agent myself, I know how hard agents work, but I also know how hard some agents don't work. That means that all agents aren't created equal. Your best bet is to shop around, find an agent you're comfortable with and who has a good track record of selling homes, and then use them as often as possible. The reason: Agents work on commission, so if you promise to keep bringing them business on each end of the process, from purchase to sale, you'll find that they will work harder for you. They'll learn the kinds of homes you want and point you toward them when they find them. They'll also know that your homes are nicely remodeled and reasonably priced when you go to sell them, so they'll be looking for buyers for you throughout the remodeling process, which will translate to quicker sales. You may even be able to negotiate a better commission percentage once you've done several transactions and have proved that you are committed to making money for the agent, too.

Agents have access to other agents, to lenders and mortgage brokers, to the MLS book, to advertising sources, and they can easily do many things that would take you extra time and energy to do on your own. Again, your time is valuable and should be spent on pursuing your core business--fixing up and flipping homes. Just having an agent's brokerage sign in the yard can mean the difference between a quick sale and having your home sit on the market for a long time.

You could even list the home before the work is done so people can see the work as it progresses. That way, you might even have the home already sold before you've finished the work, which will take a lot of the worry out of the process!

Check out our Faux Flip to be featured on Flip That House September 29.

Copyright © 2007 Jeanette Fisher


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