If you’re a homeowner in Atlanta, Georgia thinking of selling your house for top-dollar, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve been working in Atlanta’s real estate market for years now, and yet I still get asked the same two questions by dozens of people nearly every day:
Hey Jonathan, should I hire a realtor or sell the house myself?
Hey Jonathan, selling the house myself seems like a hassle, but I don’t want to pay the realtors so much. What’s the best alternative?
Therefore, I decided to write this detailed guide to help homeowners to make the right choice.
The fastest and recommended way to sell your home in Atlanta is by selling in cash to a Real Estate Acquisition Company. While you might have less market information selling yourself, hiring a realtor can cost you an extra $30,764 on average.
Let’s dig deeper to understand all your options when selling your house, starting with the first question that may come to mind.
Is it possible to sell a house without a realtor?
In short, yes. It’s possible and, in fact, advisable not to hire a real estate agent and sell your house by yourself. I’m not saying all real estate agents in Atlanta are somehow wrong or evil. But let’s be honest, not everyone cares about your home as much as you do. At the end of the day, realtors are trying to make money as well. And that money is a HUGE chunk out of your pocket.
Based on a recent report from Realtor.com, the median selling price of a single-family home in Atlanta, Georgia, is $345,000 as of January 2021. On average, your real estate agent is going to take a 3% commission on the selling price of your home. That means you need to be prepared to cough up an additional $10,350 out of your own pocket.
And if you think that’s too much, let me remind you, that’s just half of the real cost. As a seller, you’re liable to pay your buyer’s realtor as well – a hefty sum of over 6% in commission. So if you choose to sell your house without a realtor in Atlanta, you can potentially save yourself $20,700!
Related Article: Should I Sell My House? The Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide
How do you sell a house by the owner?
Now that you know it’s oftentimes more profitable to sell your house without a realtor, it’s noteworthy to mention that selling your home yourself is also the more difficult alternative. But the extra money you’ll save ($20.7K) will certainly be worth the effort. And here’s why…
Selling a house by yourself requires a few obvious yet essential steps to make up for the absence of a real estate agent. First and foremost, you need to prepare your home to leave potential buyers in awe of your house. To do this properly, get to know your prospects and ask yourself the following questions:
- What kind of people would be willing to buy this house?
- What changes/makeovers can be done to impress those potential buyers?
The next step is to decide what your house is worth based on your local market. One way to do this is by going around your local zipcode and checking out other “For Sale” properties.
Or you can save time and let the experts handle it for you. For example, we calculate how much your home is worth using industry-standard evaluation software, predictive analytics, and local market analysis.
After everything is ready, now it’s time to let the dogs out. Throw open house parties, go to auctions in your zip code and put a “For Sale by Owner” sign on your lawn. Why the extra “by Owner” on the sign, you ask? Here’s a pro tip for you: just like you’re trying to save money by avoiding a realtor, buyers do that too.
Recent reports show that buyers without a realtor are more likely to buy homes directly from owners without using any middle man on either side. But be sure to speak with a lawyer or another authority to understand the paperwork and the legal requirements in your area. That way, you can sell your home safely.
So it goes without saying, there’s much to consider before you start the process of selling your home, regardless of whether you’re hiring a real estate agent or not.
Is there a disadvantage to Selling House yourself?
As compared to the incurring costs of a real estate agent, selling the house by the owner is undoubtedly a better alternative. However, it’s not the best one and has a few big problems of its own.
One of those problems is the closing costs. By definition, closing costs are the fees paid by both parties (buyer and seller) during the settlement (or closing) of a real estate transaction. Here’s a quick introduction to them (you can read my full guide on closing costs and how to avoid them here).
|Common Closing Cost||Meaning||Estimated Cost|
|Title Search||To ensure you’re the valid owner of the property.||$100 – $200|
|Settlement Fee||Fees charged by the title company and attorney (if present)||$350 – $600|
|Unsettled Payment||Includes payments such as HOA fees, utilities, etc.||$200 – $1000|
|Prorated Property Taxes||Property taxes starting from Jan 1 to the final date of settlement.||0.87% – 1% of Home Value|
|Municipal Lien Search||Other property issues that aren’t reported in the title search.||$100 – $200|
|HOA Estoppel Letter||This is an approval letter from HOA to ensure you’re in good standing with the association.||$200 – $500|
|Transfer Tax||These documentary stamps on the deed are paid to your local county.||$300 – $400|
|Title Insurance||Insurance for the buyer against any potential issues with the title in the future.||$1375 – $3564|
You can check the transfer tax on your property from the website of the Georgia Department of Revenue.
If you exclude the prorated property tax, which depends on the settlement date, you can still expect to pay at least $2,625 to $6,464 on average. And there’s more to consider. (Hey, selling a house is no cakewalk!)
According to a recent survey, it takes at least 63 days for a seller with a realtor to sell a house in Atlanta, Georgia. This means you have to consider an additional 2 to 3 months’ worth of mortgage payments, utilities, and prorated property taxes from when you first put your house on sale.
Long story short, here’s a summary of what we’ve learned so far:
|With Realtor||$23,325 – $27,164||Moderate||Least|
|By Owner||$2,625 – $6,464||High||Moderate|
What if I tell you there’s a third way, and you can save thousands of dollars? An option that requires the least amount of work and provides the most amount of profit in return. If you have been following this article properly, from the beginning, you already know what the best option is.
What is the fastest and best way to sell a house?
As I stated at the beginning of this guide, the best way to sell your house isn’t hiring a realtor or doing it yourself. The best way is to sell it to a local Real Estate Acquisition firm such as JWS Acquisitions in Atlanta, Georgia. Now before you shake your head, let me explain exactly why:
While hiring a real estate agent means you can take advantage of their experience and connections, they come with a hefty price of over 6% commission. On the other hand, if you do it yourself, there’s a lot to be considered and done before the settlement.
However, you can take the third option and sell it to Real Estate Acquisition companies for cash. JWS Acquisitions can give you the best market offer within 24 hours for free and without any commitments.
Related Article: The Low-Down on Companies That Buy Houses
JWS Acquisitions is a small, family-owned real estate investing company in Atlanta, Georgia. Because we’re native to Atlanta’s real estate market and turn properties into long-term rentals, we can give you the best possible offer without any commission for ourselves.
I know what you are thinking, “Jonathan, I still have to think about the mortgage and closing costs.” The catch is, you don’t. If you like our offer, we take care of all the paperwork, closing costs and even help you move, saving you that extra 6 – 11% on your home.
Beyond that, you also don’t have to worry about equity since we offer cash upfront. Before you go scratching your head, let me explain what I mean when I say we pay “in cash”…
How does Real Estate Acquisitions / Selling House by Cash work?
When I say we pay “in cash,” I don’t mean two big guys are going to come to your house with a briefcase full of money. The most common issue with selling a home is that you have to worry about the buyer’s mortgage loan approval. But you don’t have to worry about that with us.
In a cash offer, often called the all-cash bid, we can finance the payment and paperwork between 8-11 days, depending on your status with the Homeowners Association (HOA).
Here’s how the process works:
- Step 1: Go to our website and get your free cash offer.
- Step 2: Our staff will contact you within 24 hours with a cash offer.
- Step 3: Discuss the offer with an authorized representative and close the deal.
- Step 4: Sit back and relax while we handle all the paperwork and closing costs.
- Step 5: Start counting your money.
The biggest advantage of the cash offer is that you can exploit the current bull market in your favor. In 2020, Atlanta’s real estate market forecast predicted that home prices would go up 6.7% in Atlanta compared to a 5.7% increase nationwide. Even after COVID-19 struck, Atlanta’s real estate market has continued to tilt in favor of sellers.
To quote the famous words by legendary investor Benjamin Graham, the author of Intelligent Investor,
An Intelligent Investor dreads a bull market and starts selling for profits to invest back again in a bear market.
Now it’s your turn to make the next move. Go ahead and find out how much you can sell your house for today.